Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Bah humbug part 2

On a more serious note, there is the Santa Claus quandry.

You see Busy goes to family day care where the carer who we love is really into Christmas and does talk about Santa to the kids so she knows who he is but she still hasn't worked out the bit about getting presents from him- which we aren't really promoting here at Chez chunkychooky.... but what do yo do?

Not tell her about Santa and let her miss out on all those magic feelings of waking up on Christmas morning and feeling like magic has happened?

...And the excitement of going to bed on Christmas Eve! I still rememebr the first words I heard every Christmas morning was my sister saying" wake up wake up its Christmas - Santa has been!!!" and the pure delight and excitement when Santa left a note under the tree saying to look in the back yard and when we did there was a tramploine!!!!

Can I really deny her this joy? Having her feel different to the other kids who are all excited about Santa?

And then on the flip side me feeling like I am lying to her about it and feeling bad?And I feel like the whole Santa things is just teaching her Christmas is all about getting presents and asking for more more more. That the whole focus will be "what am I going to get?"

I remember personally I was so embarrassed  I still believed when my sister, who is older, worked it out way before me and was kind of in on "the scam". I felt really so confused for a  long time trying to work out if it really was mum and dad... I just couldn't get my head around it.

A quick survey of friends revealed the following when they found out about the Santa scam:

" I remember it as a horrible part of my childhood- I couldn't understand why they lied to me"

"I was so devastated -not that mum and dad had lied to me but that there wasn't a person that kind n the world" ( what a sensitive little girl she must have been)

I know other bloggers feel the same and we have emailed each other about what to do. So this is what we have kind of decided :

Yes, we are telling her there is Santa and he comes and brings presents but only little ones because he has a lot to carry.

There is no way ON EARTH I will be forcing her to do a photo on Santas knee. She is scared of getting to close to him and we have done a lot of work about protective behaviours with her and not touching strangers  or sitting on anyones knee that she doesn't want to etc etc so I am hardly going to force her for the sake of a (usually ugly) photo!

there will also be not threats of " if you are not good santa won't come"

We have done one of these for her which she loved - as she wants to talk to Santa but she is scared of him so this was perfect, thankyou to Sally at georgielove who blogged about it.

Later as she gets older she can make more presents for others.

She can donate some of the toys she never plays with anymore to charity shops before Christmas so others can snaffle a bargain.

Christmas will be about spending time with our friends and family and enjoying good food.

and probably lots of other stuff and traditions that we are still working on.
Its a work in progress...

meanwhile - aren't there are some shonky looking santas around.?

There will be a slight variation on this weeks softie giveaway due to time constraints. Chef has broken a couple of ribs falling off a ladder whilst installing a solar light on the toilet - he also managed to half land on a very scary cactus  (see picture of toilet to see what I mean ) and has some serious spikes in him. Poor Chef. 

So this weeks giveaway is going to be a present for you!!!!  Hooray!!!


  1. You have to follow your own instincts with this one. We have santa but the gift giving is very low key and then we stay home from people house's so that my kids don't think that santa wasn't as generous!! I can remember being told that santa wasn't true and mum sitting down explaining it and then I understood the magic behind the myth. I was cool with it because I felt OLDER than the little kids and it was my roll to then keep the magic going for them. It can still be fun, just stick to your gut and maybe handle it a little different to your parents.

  2. You absolutely have to create your own family traditions. And only you two can decide about the Santa situation. For what it is worth I used to look after a little girl(E,age4) whose family did NOT have Santa ,rather they expounded the virtues of caring individuals doing generous acts for others. This made things a little tricky around the other 4 yo girl I had in my care at that time. E and I had several discussions about people having different beliefs and not also about why it was important to allow someone their own ideas and views. Perhaps addressing the societal norms with your child as she grows older are worth factoring in to your decision.

    Thus endeth the lesson for today

  3. As we've talked about, it's the lying that I am having trouble with. And I know that I survived and lots of others did... and that the flip side is the magical part of it. I too have great memories of Christmas morning with my sisters and I all running out to see if Santa had drank the beer (not surprisingly, always yes!) and if Rudolph had eaten the carrot. The other thing is we never got presents from Mum & Dad, only from Santa - so they got no thanks from us. Like you, in our house Santa will leave small treats and the kids will be given presents from us. Christmas, presents, Santa, conforming, believing, deciding, lying.... lots to think about but I guess we all have to do what we feel comfortable with and what suits our families.

  4. I'm not really into Christmas, and with the whole santa issue, I've told my kids I have never actually met Santa. They just feel its magic and I will leave them with that.

  5. My friend, who's a single mum, has been trying to figure this out recently. One of her issues was with the idea of tellnig her daughter that a strange man was going to come through the roof!

    We really play it down here too, but it's so difficult - people are constantly asking Ivy 'Have you told Santa what you want yet?' and 'Have you written your list?'...drives me crazy. I hate that idea of kids crying on Christmas morning becuase they got the wrong Bratz doll...ugh.

  6. All those comments and not a word to poor chef, well that just sums it for me.. Poor Santa could fall off the roof onto said cactus, couldn't he?

  7. Santa's no big deal in our house, and I don't think my kids are missing out on any magic. I haven't really built him up to be anything special or magical and they tend to just think of him as something that goes along with Christmas like trees and baubles and decorated shopping centres. I prefer to create magical childhood memories that DON'T contain made-up stuff (although I am partial to the tooth fairy).

    My kids still wake up to some presents under the doesn't particularly concern them who put them there!

    We don't really make that big a deal about Christmas....we're a bit more of a birthday family!

  8. I don't remember when I figured out about Santa but I do remember every Xmas sorting through all of my toys & the ones I didn't want went to the Dr Barnardos charity which I was more than happy to do every year.

  9. hmm. Everyone obviously has very different and strong opinions on this one! I just allow the magic that children naturally have to be there. I answer questions as honestly as I can, and to be honest I have no more trouble answering father christmas questions than some of the other corkers my boy comes up with. Hope the joy finds you all this year. I still feel the magic and don't find a lie amongst it all. My parents must ahve done a great job as I still glow in the joy of Christmas - not the comercialism - the joy.

  10. The Santa issue is a problematic one that is for sure. We try to avoid the issue as much as we can but I've already spun a few lies... such as - the real Santa will never tell you that that is who he is and that he always speaks in rhymes (because I'm freaked out that my son will just walk off with some perve dressed in red claiming to be Santa).
    Both of our children have HUGE Santa sacks that could easily double as sleeping bags. They are filled almost entirely with red and green balloons which then spill out to fill our loungeroom on Christmas day. To date the balloons have always been more popular than the couple of presents also found in the sacks.
    We don't put the Christmas tree up until after the children have gone to bed on Christmas Eve - so it comes as a bit of shock to wake up to a tree in the middle of the lounge room. The tree is removed before the cricket starts on boxing day...
    we're baaa humbug here too!!!

  11. great post! the Santa question is a big one...i think the letter "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" is nice to read since it essentially talks about the GIVING spirit which is usually named 'Santa' at this time of year, but goes under the name 'Charity' for the rest of the year...(hmmm, i may have to write about that on my blog - i'll be sure to link back here!)

    and it is sad to see how someone was so disappointed to learn that there was NO ONE so nice and giving as 'Santa' =-(

  12. I remember loving that feeling of excitement that Santa was coming Christmas night. The logistics of him getting to every child did have me stumped though! I never thought I would "do" the Santa thing with my children... it really just evolved. I don't think of it as lying (same with the tooth fairy)... rather a fictional story that is fun. We emphasise donating to those in need and all presents are either baked or second hand ( Santas gift consists of chocolate only which gets me off the hook for enabling!) My 10 year old daughter realised last year it was all a story about Santa, and just as I did as a child laughed and wanted to know how we did it all "You mean the cake and milk was eaten by you and Dad that night?...Did you eat the reindeers carrot?" She now enjoys "talking "about Santa with her younger brother but it really is not the big focus of Christmas for us. To be honest it would seem more a big deal to avoid the story. The world is lacking myths and if I can hijack coke a colas creation so be it! Mind you we never do the Santa sit on knee shopping centre thing. More creepy than mythy! Good luck with it all.

  13. i realy understand you. see, im from israel but i was born in the stats and i lived in the stats again between the ages of 18- 20.
    i dont connect to the jewish holidays or israely mentalety- thats the price of not being born here.
    and on the other hand looking from the out side on many things that people do on christmas or for other holidays looks kind of....;-)
    i meen, people going almost crazy becues of some kind of a holiday... and it happens here in israel to. in pass over people are buing food worth over 1000$- just going nuts! and i ask my self, whats the deal? spending tons of money on crap and playing of as if "they dont need to save money cues they have alot of it..."- ya right! and then needing to work real hard in the kitchen and make masive amounts of food for what? to empress everyone?
    thats why, my husbend and i keep things simple. it does feel during the holidays that we are a bit isolated from society. but on the other hand i feel kind of strong cues i dont get carried away very easly. and i dont do what every one does becues of the fact that its "tradition"
    i think that tradetions can be broken. and thats the price that people like us pay- people that often look at the world and think and doubt before imitating every thing that every one does...
    so when i read what you write it looks like you feel kind of the same, am i right?

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