This the season...
I love this time of year and not just because of all the high calorie meals and treats, I really dig the whole spirit of the holidays.
When my kids were in preschool/kindergarten, I went to a parent meeting where we were discussing Santa Clause and St. Nicholas. Many parents were struggling with the concepts because they didn't want to "lie" to their kids.
Now I am a bit old school, I don't think kids need to know everything about how the world works right away, or even when they ask for that matter. I like the philosophy of giving information on a need to know basis. I guess it is a fine balance, but my personal opinion is that the information floating all around us is for us to process and then present to the children when they are ready, when we feel them to be ready. I don't think preschool and kindergarten are the time to dispel the myth of Santa Clause...call me old fashioned, but I like to keep a little magic alive.
Durning said meeting...I suggested that although we as parents all knew that the red suit dude who drops down chimneys and eats our cookies and drinks our milk is a fraud, that perhaps the real "spirit" was alive and kicking. Santa, like many beautiful, mythical notions, has been bastardized in the name of commercial consumerism...no doubt. But if we all looked into the true meaning of who this spirit was, maybe we could vibe with it after all, and that it isn't a lie to bring this spirit into our homes/consciousness once a year. I threw out that it really wasn't a lie...this Santa Clause...because as parents we allow this "spirit" to move us, to embody us, to work through us. So the filling of the stockings, although it is us, the notion of "Santa Clause" is universal and of a higher more celestial nature. We simply facilitate.
So to say Santa really does exist...you bet!
Is he down at the mall handing out Applebee's gift certificates to the first 50 customers? Yeah....noooooo...I don't think so.
Maybe it would be easier to toss the whole thing out and tell the kids it's all a joke, that we have been fooling them. Or maybe, we can take responsibility on embodying this magical feeling and create this season something really magical, really special, really meaningful.
I suggest that we take Santa back, reclaim him from corporate greed, bring him back into our homes to share our holidays together and make a batch of cookies for the old lady down the street. Bring the spirit to life...GIVE. Give hugs, compliments, cookies, dinners, foot massages, little candies, flowers...give to fill your heart and spirit, and the hearts and spirits of those around you. Tell your kids stories of Santa, read them books about Santa, share giving with them. And just once light a candle, turn off the lights, and watch your tree in silence. (Leave the christmas lights on though, not so magical without them)
Tell your kids you invited Santa over for dinner. Maybe then they will clean their rooms.
Consider yourself lucky if you are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or a godless heathen...you can skip this whole Anglo-Christian tradition and simply enjoy cookies your crazy neighbor bakes you because they are channeling Santa. La Heim!