Advent and Christmas are really the most wonderful times of the year. I have always rejoiced in the spirit of Christmas and since having our son, it seems that the season has become even more joyful as we are now looking at it through his young, pure and precious viewpoint.
"I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.” (Luke 10:21)
I love sharing these seasons with our little love who is full of amazement and excitement each time we partake in any of our Advent preparations and celebrations. Even going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation brought him so much joy by simply praying with us together before confession, then with my husband and then me separately as we both waited our turns to confess and then praying our penance after. He giggles with excitement each morning when he gets to see where we’ve moved the Little Christmas Angel and he loves to bring her to see the Baby Jesus in the manger.
What made my heart swell the most is what happened today. Our son loves to stand near the Nativity which we set up on a table which is his height (he’s almost two) and he sometimes picks up the pieces and shows us and then we tell him to “gently” put them back down. Today, he picked up Baby Jesus and made me kiss Him. Then he put Jesus back in the manger and picked up the Blessed Mother and lovingly said “mama” as he put her next to Jesus.
I am so blessed to understand the real reason for the season and even blessed to have my son showcase it to me in the sweetest ways. At first, I literally squealed with joy hearing my love call the Blessed Mother, “mama” while nestling Her next to Jesus. Then I realized that God wants me to be like my son. He wants me to sit down for a moment and admire the Nativity and to place myself in those times, thousands of years ago. To remember that the reason for these celebrations and preparations is because the Blessed Mother’s Yes brought salvation and the brightest Christmas light to the world.
“I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word" (Luke 1:38)
When I was pregnant with our son, my husband and I discussed various topics and made many decisions based on thoughtful research and consideration. One of those decisions was about Christmas and Santa Clause. Ultimately, we decided that we would not raise our son and future children to “believe in Santa Clause” as we feel that it could potentially dull that bright Christmas light.
Let me reiterate that this is a judgement free, you-do-you, zone and while I am sharing our view and decision on the matter, I am not suggesting that anyone else change their decisions. We do not think badly of parents or families whose children believe in Santa Clause and will certainly advise our son to “not ruin Santa” for other children who may believe. We also plan on celebrating Saint Nicholas’s feast Day with our little love annually on December 6th. Stay tuned for more on that!
Here are a few reasons in which we decided to not “let our son believe in Santa Clause.”
Jesus is the reason for the season
That’s it, no one else. Not Santa, Saint Nicholas, or dancing snowmen or La Befana: an old woman who delivers gifts to children in Italy on the Epiphany Eve, or elves or reindeer. Jesus Christ is the only reason for the season: CHRISTMAS.
My husband and I felt like we were lied to.
When I was told that Santa Claus was not “real” and that my mother had been the one to read my letters, eat the cookies, drink the milk, buy and wrap the toys and settle them under the Christmas tree, I felt betrayed. I had a feeling that Santa wasn’t real for a while but always thought that if my mom was telling me he was real, he must be real. My husband mirrored that feeling. I don’t want to chance my son ever feeling betrayed by me and my husband.
It made me doubt if Jesus Christ was real.
To expand further on the last point, when I found out Santa Clause was not real, I started to doubt other “people” that my mom had told me about: the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, Jesus and God. Woah! Now, as a parent, when I think of how I questioned if Jesus Christ and God were real it makes me mentally pump the brakes and take a huge step back. I never want my husband and my actions to cause my son or future children to question if Jesus Christ and God are real.
"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:9
Jesus Christ is God and King.
When I believed in Santa Clause, I thought he had “magical powers.” Like how he could, somehow, quietly sneak into my locked and alarmed home and, somehow, have enough time to visit all the children around the world in one night. I figured that since I was told that Jesus Christ was able to do things like walk on water that, of course, I could also believe that Santa Clause could do things like fit an unimaginable number of gifts for children all around the world in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. God would surely have these powers to do these Christmas things, so I reasoned, as a child would, that Santa Claus must be like a god. That is something else that we do not want our son to misconstrue.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
It can take away from the real reason for the season.
How many parents have said: “You better be good, because Santa is watching and if you’re naughty he won’t get you presents.” We want our son to be good not so that he will get something in return, but so that he can be good for himself, his own self-worth and so that he can be good for others. We also do not want our son to misconstrue the season of Advent and Christmas to be revolved around a bunch of weeks leading up to the big day when he gets presents from Santa.
Jesus Christ is the best gift ever.
Again, expanding on the last post, while our son does receive gifts at Christmas, that is secondary. The primary, true gift of the season comes from, again, the real reason: Jesus Christ. There is absolutely no better gift in the entire universe than the love and salvation that comes from Jesus Christ. We are blessed to receive Jesus Christ each time we participate in the Blessed Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. Christmas reminds us of these irreplaceable and sacred gifts that can’t be purchased in any store or website.
What will we do about Santa instead?
As a part of educating our child on cultures, customs and traditions throughout the world, we will certainly explain to him that some people celebrate Christmas with Santa Clause. It doesn’t make it wrong for them to celebrate Christmas that way, but that is not how we celebrate. When we see “Santa” we call him Saint Nicholas. While of course, as our son gets older he will hear others call him “Santa" and we will explain that some children believe in “Santa” and that is okay.
We will also tell him that some people do not know about Saint Nicholas just like some people do not know about Jesus ☹. But, we as Catholics, are here to spread the good news. So, we will remind our son about the real Saint Nicholas and all the good that he did, just as Jesus Christ wanted. We also pray that our son does good in this world as well, just as Jesus Christ wants.
How do you and your family celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? Please share with us on Facebook!
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!