Last December, I wrote about my dislike about the secularization of Christmas. I’m Jewish, and I grew up with friends who were not, and I did some Christmas partying with them. But it wasn’t my family (we did the cliche “Eat Chinese and see a movie” on Christmas). 

My step kids celebrate Hanukah with us, and Christmas with their mom. They love Santa and love that he knows to bring their presents early if they are with us over Christmas. 

Abraham is only almost 1, but he loves Santa too. We see him everywhere. At the used book store we frequent, there is a small statue of Santa and Mrs. Claus by the register. He reached for it and whined a bit. I told him who they were and that they bring presents to kids who celebrate Christmas. He may or may not have understood anything, but I like talking to him. 

When I was a girl, my parents were straightforward with me about Santa – he didn’t come to our house, I shouldn’t talk about my knowledge of him with my friends. When Santa came to my school in Kindergarten (public school, in the south), I told him I was Jewish, but I wanted a wagon. Because that is what you are supposed to ask for, right?

I also remember that the local news gave a Santa report on Christmas Eve. In maybe 4th grade, I watched the report, looked out the front window and made a deal with Santa. If he brought me presents, I would believe in him. You can guess how that turned out. 

I’m not sure what to tell Abraham about Santa when the time comes. I don’t want to lie to him (I remember discovering the truth about the tooth fairy because my quarters had gum all over them, just like the ones in my mom’s purse). I also don’t want to give him information that he can’t carry. I don’t want him to be the kid who ruins Christmas for his friends (or siblings…). 

It isn’t urgent. Right now, he says “dog,” “duck,” and “truck” (all pronounced “Dah”) so spilling the Santa beans isn’t a big concern. But this time of year gets me thinking.





6 thoughts on “Santa

  1. Even as a Christian, Christmas celebrating mom it gets me thinking. How do I make sure that Isla June understands and enjoys the purpose of the season without Santa Claus becoming an idol for her? I don’t want to “lie” to her, but the magic of Christmas morning was also one of my favorite memories as a child. It’s a balance for us all. A friend of mine explained to her child that anyone can be santa because it means that you want to give gifts to others and have it be a bit of a secret of who’s giving the gift. I’m hoping we can focus more on Santa being the Spirit of Christmas instead of an actual person who comes into your house and leaves you presents if you’ve been good (which is an aspect I don’t like- be good and get gifts) So, there are different ways of approaching it I guess. Let me know when you figure it out!!

  2. Even though Ruby is only one and doesn’t really understand what is going on I’ve thought about this a lot this holiday. I have no idea what we will say about Santa, although I like Meagan’s thought on that, but at the very least I want to teach her that the holidays are not all about getting a ridiculous amount of presents.

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