Thursday, December 24, 2009


Winter stirrings

The whole issue of Santa Claus raises some interesting questions about how to handle topics of ... that which is not strictly literal, with one's kids. I struggle with the terminology because ... well, is Santa make-believe? Magic? Religion? How do you categorize a tradition like this?

I know a lot of religious folks who are anti-Santa, because they see him as a symbol of the secularization and commercialization of Christmas. I can certainly see that point of view. But, though I do celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday and not just an excuse for presents, I embrace Santa. Not every aspect -- my kids did not write letters to Santa with a list of gimmes, and we did not visit the "Santa" at the mall -- but we do hang our stockings, and the jolly old elf does visit our house in the wee hours of the night, bringing goodies for the stockings and one special gift for each child.

I know parents on the other side of the spectrum who insist on "not lying" to their children. They seem to equate believing in Santa with perpetrating a fraud upon their innocent children. This puzzles me greatly, since I wonder... do these same parents not play imagination games with their children? When their child exclaims, "Look, Mommy, I'm a kitty-cat... meow!" do these parents quickly correct them that they are not really kitty-cats?

Magic. Do you believe in magic? Do you believe in powers in the world that go beyond the literal? Do you believe that people sometimes act, not in their own self-interest, but in selfless servitude towards others? Do you ever close your eyes and feel something touching you besides the wind?

I do. I believe my life is richer due to the magic around me every day. Call it what you will. In this house, we will lay out cookies tonight for an ancient saint, who will bring us a little magic on Christmas morning.

Snowy wreath

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, in whatever way feels right to you, and a joyous winter season to all.


  1. Magic all the way from our side...
    Love Christmas and the twinkle in our girls eyes...
    Lovely and very real post!

  2. We are one of those families that doesn't 'do' santa. Much to the dismay of many extended family members, we made this choice together in an effort to keep the holidays mindful and true. We have found that most Santa happenings revolve around the receiving aspect (for the children) and not as much around the happiness of creating things to give--selflessly.
    I think many families, such as yours perhaps (I have merely stumbled upon you today!), are able to maintain that happiness and joy without the greediness or expectation of grandeur. For the children, the season grew incredibly more meaningful and simple. Their focus was on the activities and not on the story of a man and toys.

    I do hope my delivery was respectful. This is an issue that is important to us and I thank you for allowing a stranger to share her thoughts.


  3. I am visiting you from SouleMama. I love this question you have posed. Never mind that I am a bit late in the discussion. Magic. I love the magic. I love the beauty of wonder. How does he get in our house? How do his elves make all of these toys? How does he know what I want? Magic makes us all happy. I love the idea of fairies on our hikes, gnomes in our garden.....why can't it be real? Children should be allowed their childhood. The real world is hard and challenging, a little magic makes everything a little more manageable. Sorry for the rant, but thank you for the question.
    Happy New Year!

  4. btw, I'm counting my chickens too. love the blog name. mine has to do with bees. too bad i'm allergic, but that won't stop me. Have you read Farm City? It's lovely. in a weird way. she's brilliant, the author.