So I am very much on the fence in regards to telling my girls about Santa. For reference throughout this post, Anaya is 3 and Breanne is 1. Not quite old enough to fully understand, but one would assume that at least Anaya is old enough to grasp the concept.
Well, either we just don't talk it up enough, or Anaya really doesn't get it. Because she hasn't been asking about Santa. Just like she hasn't been asking for a Bratz doll or anything like that. We're a television free household until Daddy gets home in the evenings. There is the occasional movie and of course some PBS here and there. But all that's done is make Anaya's favorite show "Word World".
I digress. As MarvMan has been wrapping the presents, he's been putting them directly under the tree. Not that he's been wrapping a lot of presents, but you get the idea. Presents come in from his family, and they're directly under the tree. Which leaves me sitting here going...
Have we ruined Santa for the girls?
I remember sitting up when I was younger, staring at the bare spots beneath the tree and willing them to fill up with presents. As though even back then I believed I had some sort of advanced mind control powers. Here's where the whole image gets me, though...
The focus was never on Santa. Where was it? On the question "what am I gonna get?" What's the fat man gonna bring me?
Which - if you've been chatting with me recently, you'll know this already - has been making me question the entire concept of Santa all together. It's not about the altruism of a jolly saint anymore. It's not about being grateful that you've got something - which means you were on the good list. Remember, if you ever believed in Santa, all the anxiety associated with Christmas Eve? You may have thought you were on the good list, but suddenly all your bad deeds of the past year have come back to haunt you. Had you made right on them enough to get that ten speed mountain bike?
Now, every kid gets a present. We can't not give a child a present. Even if they've been a heinous beast all year, we don't want to damage their precious self-image. There's no fear of not getting anything. They see the catalogs and the sales, they hear Mommy and Daddy fighting about the credit card bills. They know this is the one holiday that just might beat out their birthday. And that's all they care about. Getting the next big toy, more toys than their friends, and the "gimme gimme gimme".
The actors may have changed, but the special effects are still just that. Effects and photoshopping and CGI. It's lost all magic, all appeal and, quite frankly, is making me consider not celebrating Christmas at all. Yule would be much more honorific to our German heritage anyway. Santa seems to have become just like gift giving was - over commercialized, over sold, with too much flash and lights.
Gift giving had been wearing me out until I discovered the joy of making gifts for my family members. More on that in another post, though.
Now, though, I've got to close to get back to house work and the wrapping of Christmas presents. But until then, I'm left with more questions.
How can I solve my Santa conundrum?
Is there anyone else out there who feels like this?