With less than 30 days until Christmas, every store around the area has some sort of holiday decor and Christmas cheer. Suddenly, we are walking through the mall by the big trees and the reindeer and Sam points into the distance and says, “Who’s that Mommy?”
Of course I look up to find a very authentic looking Santa Claus staring right back at her, waving with his jingle bells. (Side note: I love how the Santa Clauses of our imaginations all look so real here in the States. They’re burly and rosy with real white beards, and hardly any fake padding. AND! They they are jolly old souls).
At so it begins. The introduction to the imaginary mythical character that is Santa Claus. If you ask me, the optimist in the family, I am all for bringing a Santa into my kids’ lives. You have leverage to keep them “nice” because they know that if they are, Santa will reward them in the end. Heck, it always worked for me. I loved the idea that I would write a letter and it would mysteriously disappear into the North Pole and I would just find out on Christmas day if I was good enough for Santa to have given me what I asked for (of course, I made sure my letter contained the details as to where to find the item of desire). And, I learned the value of patience — not pestering my mom to buy them for me now because Santa could bring them to me if I stayed good all year.
Dad on the other hand, is the realist in the family, and a very practical persona at that. So he questions, “If we have the power to influence our kids as they grow up, then why even bother teaching them about Santa? Isn’t it better to reward them from you when they are good?” I of course, scowled at him for 2 days when he said this, but then reconsidered when I spoke to some of my mommy friends here with different cultural beliefs and practices from mine. They never grew up with a Santa Claus, and are not planning to bring them in to their kids’ lives. So daddy’s point of view made sense to them. You can still have a Merry Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday and raise and reward nice children without the presence of a Santa.
Interesting thought. Sans the analogy of Santa replacing “God” and promoting commercialism into your family (we don’t want to go there), which rewards method is more effective in the long-run? Are you teaching your children imagination, creativity, and perseverance, or how to tell white lies to get what you want in the end?
Share your thoughts! I’d love to hear them!