Friday, December 14, 2012

On Santa and faith...(with a little ranting mixed in)

Our house is all decorated for Christmas now.  Thanks to my mother-in-law, I've got some nice greenery and bows for above the fireplace and some stuff for the railing around our front porch.  We've got our tree, and the kids had fun decorating it.  It's not too bottom-heavy...  ;)  It's a nice tree, and the house smells great, the way Christmas is meant to smell.

We got our tree at Home Depot.  Not a particularly exciting place to go for a tree, but it's close and not too expensive, and they have decent trees.

Unfortunately, an experience we had with the sales lady this year left me with a funny taste in my mouth.

She was a nice enough lady, and I'm sure she meant well, but since when is it her right to try to convince my daughter that Santa Claus is real?

Let me explain.  We had our tree picked out and went inside to get the lady to come wrap it up for us.  As seems to be the usual practice any time we go anywhere in these days leading up to Christmas, the sales lady had to ask our kids something about if they were ready for Santa to come or some such nonsense.  We've never done the Santa thing in our house; we want our kids to know where the presents really come from so they can be appropriately thankful to the givers, not to mention we want the focus to be on the real reason for the season, Jesus's birthday.

So naturally, Reuben pipes up quite loudly, "There is no Santa!"  The lady was just appalled at this, (and I couldn't tell if she was seriously appalled or just playing it up a bit to try to keep up the allusion that there really is a Santa), but she proceeded to try to convince the kids there is a Santa, and the kids kept saying, "No, there's no Santa."  Finally, we just stepped in and said, "Okay, kids, that's enough." 

I had hoped the conversation was over at that point.  Heh.

We were walking outside to where the tree was ready to go, and the lady decided it was okay for her to take Kaylee aside, deliberately leaving Reuben behind (the more vocal objector of the two), and whispered in her ear, "Don't you listen to what anyone else says.  If you believe there's a Santa, then there's a Santa.  Do you believe?"  And Kaylee apparently replied, "Yes." (The sales lady then came and told me what she had said to Kaylee.)

I think the lady might have thought she was helping because she later made a comment that she had kids and grandkids, and I sensed that she's had to deal with older children popping younger children's "belief in Santa" bubbles before, but neither of our children have ever believed in Santa, (not that we've encouraged at least, if anything we've deliberately discouraged it).  There was no bubble being popped, and if anything, she just created a difficult and confusing situation for my poor 3-year-old little girl.

We ended up having a conversation in the van on the drive home about the real meaning of Christmas, how we believe in God and Jesus, not Santa, and Christmas is about Jesus's birthday.  I think we got the message across, but I also think that Kaylee was a bit upset by the whole thing.

When I look back on the situation, I get a sick feeling in my stomach.  I wish I hadn't let that lady take Kaylee aside.  I should have been more protective of her and not let some stranger take her away from me and whisper in her ear.

It's also caused me to consider a little more closely the whole thing about faith and how to talk to our kids about what we believe.  I mean really, the difference between faith in God and faith in Santa is not so far a leap as far as believing in something you can't see goes.  So I had to think about how to explain to the kids why we believe in one and not the other.  I am so thankful for the Bible!

I'm equally annoyed that our society puts So.Much.Emphasis on Santa Claus.  Especially since the prevailing sentiment is that Santa isn't actually real, that he's just something for little kids to believe in.  Why in the world is it so important to set our little ones up for disappointment?  Fine, have some nice stories about Santa at Christmas time; I won't make too much of a fuss.  But for the love, don't expect me or my children to ACTUALLY believe that he's real, and you darn well better not step in to try and convince my child that Santa is real if he or she is telling you he is not.  It is MY job to teach them what to believe about Santa, not yours.

Anyway, enough ranting.  I think, I hope, I pray that Reuben and Kaylee got the message about what the true meaning of Christmas is.  It's so hard to know how much they understand and what they think about all of it at this age.  And now I know what to prepare for when Nathan gets a little older, and people start trying to convince him that Santa is real...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Odds and Ends

It's funny the random things that give inspiration for a post.  Like today, I don't really have anything in particular that I wanted to say, but my sister posted last night, and it made me feel like posting, too.

Back to having nothing really to say, it means you're going to end up with a post full of odds and ends.  Here goes:

We will probably go get our Christmas tree today.  This year, Christmas means that Nathan is six months old and starting solids.  Already.  I need to remember to enjoy this time before he gets mobile because next Christmas, he's probably going to be walking and trying to take all the ornaments off the tree.  But maybe next year he'll be sleeping better, and I won't feel quite so sleep deprived.

I've discovered the awesomeness of making broth for soup in my crock pot.  As in, we deep-fried a turkey, and I put the bones etc. in the crock pot overnight and made broth.  And I bought a whole chicken, cooked it in the crock pot, got some great meat off it, and then made broth with the bones.  One of these days I will remember to take pictures of the process so I can post about it. 

We are planning to finish off the unfinished room in our basement.  I have plans to repaint it, and we need to put in some carpeting.  We also want to extend the subfloor to in front of the bottom of the stairs, carpet the stairs, and put some new lighting in the stairwell so the kids will feel like it's not so creepy to go down there by themselves.  But first things first, it needs to be emptied of all our junk.  This will be our winter project this year.

Well, the kids are done breakfast.  I can only buy myself so much time in the mornings.  More coffee is needed...