Thursday, December 10, 2009

Season of Peeking: weeks 3 and 4 and Santa

So, last year Dave and I decided we wouldn't really do much with Santa in our family. We'd treat him the way we treat Max in Where the Wild Things Are, as a respectable, lovable fictional character. We'd read the stories about Santa and watch DVDs with Santa, but we wouldn't say that he left any gifts, or was any real part of our lives.

This was all, of course, before Andrew went to preschool.

Now Andrew has lots of questions about Santa. Mostly he wants to know where Santa lives. And when I say "at the North Pole" Andrew corrects me. Santa does not live at the North Pole, he lives in his house. Or, sometimes, and this one scares me a little, Andrew declares that Santa lives in the sky.

When discrepancies about Santa came up in my classroom, I used my diplomatic line, "Some people believe in Santa. Some people don't." And I actually tried it out on Andrew, but it didn't work at all. It was out of context and above his head. And anyway, I'm his mother, not his teacher. It's okay for me to influence what he believes.

Andrew doesn't seem particularly concerned about whether or not Santa exists. He's more interested in the details of Santa's deliveries. And the very question about whether or not anything exists just hasn't come up yet. He just doesn't think like that.

So, this year, I'm not sure we're going to put a lot of effort into explaining the difference between fiction and non-fiction. We won't try to clarify the facts about Santa. Just like we don't put a lot of effort into convincing Andrew that Max doesn't really exist. It doesn't seem like he'll be easily swayed into changing his mind, anyway.

So, this year, we might play along a little. Answer the questions, talk freely about Santa, but certainly not push it. As long as Jesus wins out overall (and Jesus is up against mighty strong competition), we're good. But I have a feeling that it will take years to set the record straight.


Mama V said...

Pretty fabric flower!

Lucas, too! The parts in the book 'The Polar Express' about believing and not believing just go over his head. I now edit those parts when reading and don't even bother. That's just not his issue yet. He does know that Santa is bringing one special gift and that's it's already under the tree. None of that creepy enter-your-house-in-the-night kind of stuff that might scare him at this age.

We too are curious to see how the Santa phenomenon shifts as our boys grow. (Poor Jesus!) ;)

Anonymous said...

I have this problem too. Erin is now 4 and has been at preschool for 2 years. Santa has become such a big part of her Christmas and I'm at a loss on how to deal with it. I don't want to shatter the illusion for her as I do feel that its a good part of childhood, but on the other hand I'd rather that Jesus was the focus. This year we're doing a bit better than last year, simply because her new preschool (we moved house) is doing a Nativity play. Her previous preschool didn't because they didn't want to offend people of other faiths. Bleugh. Anyway, because of the nativity play she is relating to the whole Mary, Joseph and Jesus thing a lot easier this year.

As for Santa, in our house he only brings the presents for the kids. Mummy and Daddy still have to pay for the presents, Santa is just the delivery guy... and all the adults buy each other presents.

I'm looking forward too to seeing how much Santa features in future Christmas's.

Oh, and I have a much bigger problem with Halloween! Erin is obsessed with it much in the same way as your boy is with Santa.

scrappyjacky said...

Good luck with this!! My kids are older now and seemed to 'grow out' of Santa without any real problems.When little...their stockings came from Santa with a few little gifts in...but all their other presents were very clearly marked with who had bought them for them.

Ladkyis said...

When my son was around four years old he thought about stuff very seriously and he suddenly said "We are all very lucky because we get presents on Jesus' birthday. What does he get?"
So then I had to get into a whole other conversation.
He totally accepted that jesus is in Heaven with God and he likes to see people celebrate his birthday with presents delivered by Santa

Shannon said...

We have done the same thing with Santa - just treated it like any other fictional character but for some reason it takes them a while to get it. Cole at 8 now understands that it is totally fiction but it took him a while. The outside forces are so strong trying to lead them to believe otherwise so its confusing to them. Paige asks a-lot now and even though we tell her straight out that he is pretend, she doesn't get it. She still wants to know why there are so many Santas around and all that.

Melissa said...

Atticus too! He knows that Santa isn't REAL, but doesn't really care. He just wants to know all about him and when he's going to bring gifts. Enzo wants nothing to do w/ Santa.