Santa Claus: To Be or Not to Be
As anyone who is a parent knows, at some point, no matter how much you fight it, your children begin to talk about Santa Claus. Lizzie started talking about him a few years ago. This wouldn't pose a problem per se, except for this. We don't promote Santa Claus - since he isn't really the reason for Christmas. For several years now we have not purchased gifts from Santa for her and yet she still holds on to the dream.
Of course, it doesn't help us that other "Santa's elves" help him out mysteriously. For example: Last year she desperately wanted a Nutcracker. A few days after Christmas, one showed up with a note of apology from Santa telling her he had been very busy and that his elf had to help him out a bit. While this note was adorable, at the same time, it has perpetuated the belief in Santa Claus.
Now I love the idea of Santa Claus - especially, since Santa Claus was a real person. Nicholas was a man who helped the less fortunate and gave them gifts since God had blessed his life so richly. Sadly, this made him an outlaw in his home country - since it was against the law to help people then (this is according to Veggie Tales - so take it with a grain of salt okay). Oddly, no matter how many times we have watched this lovely dvd, it does not seem to sink into her head. This is where my problem comes in.
Last night, I took Lizzie to CiCi's so we could aid her school in it's fundraising goals. We try to support her school whenever possible (within reason of course). After eating terrible pizza I took Lizzie to the mall and she HAD to see Santa Claus. I like that the kids can see him and yet you don't have to pay to have your picture taken with him if you prefer to save your money. So Lizzie went and sat on his knee and told him her wish - she wants a robot boy so she can grow up to work on robots when she gets older. Can you tell she is obsessed with Astroboy? I had to remove Astroboy from our Netflix Instant Play because I watched some of it and it was very violent. As if my autistic daughter who is very imaginative needs to see that - no thank you. We are still dealing with the aftermath from her watching Coraline. Oy vey.
Here was my dilemma - Do I purchase the toy robot she wants and allow her to remain unscathed and delusional for another year. Or do I let her learn the hard way that there really isn't a Santa Claus? The truth is, I believed in Santa Claus when I was little and my parents got me a present from Santa each year until I no longer believed in him. But Chris and I decided to neither encourage nor discourage Santa Claus. After all, it was only a matter of time before Elizabeth went off to school and her peers informed her about him. And after sleeping on it, this is what I decided to do. . .
I sat down with Elizabeth and we talked about how Santa Claus was a real person a long time ago. However, he was dead and unlike Jesus he didn't come to life again after 3 days (a concept she still hasn't quite figured out - she can say it, but I don't think it's fully made the connection in the brain yet). I told her that St. Nicholas/Santa Claus was a very good man who did many things to help others and that it was okay to like St. Nick/Santa Claus. But Santa didn't really bring toys to children and that he is not the reason we celebrate Christmas. So we won't make cookies for Santa - however, we will make a cake for baby Jesus and we will make cookies and mail them to Daddy. I'm not sure if this helped her or if it even worked, but for now we'll wait and see.
It's amazing how when our children are little life is so easy to fix. There is no problem too big that cheerios can't solve or a kiss to a booboo can't help. Mommmy and Daddy have all the answers and are the smartest people on earth. Then as they grow up, their problems become much more difficult, their ouchies are in their hearts and on the outside. But the outside wounds from falling down are much easier to help than the wounds to the heart. Sigh, and I have many more of these to look forward to - and today I just don't know if I am completely up to the challenge. But as Scarlet would say, "I'll think about that tomorrow."
Have a good week and a Merry Christmas.