In our house, the Husband and I made the decision to embrace mythical figures. We were raised believing in them, and we were never traumatized when we learned of their true nature. In our opinion, Little Miss M undergoes far too much reality from the medical and educational world. If these mythical figures help her embrace being a child, and inspire her to be kind -- I see nothing wrong with them. I'll admit, we don't push these fabled characters down her throat, and she has begun to question how a large bunny really brings baskets at Easter time. However, she has not questioned Santa once. She believes in the magic of the North Pole and that our Shelf Elf really does report her behaviors back to the big guy in red. She also seems to understand that Santa doesn't have to bring you gifts, but that he rewards good boys and girls with presents. She's even decided to make Santa a thank-you gift this year (thank you Barney).
In examining Little Miss M's fascination with mythical figures like Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy; it is fair to say she adores them. She waits all year for the holidays, and she likes to enjoy as much time as possible decorating and preparing. She asks to buy and wrap presents for others, to bake cookies that she cannot eat, and to go caroling. I believe it is the rituals associated with all these figures that she truly clings to instead of the figures themselves. We have a certain order we do things for each holiday, but we do them every year -- as a family.
So, yes I still believe in Santa Claus. Logically, I know there isn't a big man in a red suit who watches us all year and flies around the world in one night delivering presents. However, to me Santa represents the innocence of childhood, the unwavering faith in right and wrong and the true spirit of giving. I've seen Santa throughout the year in my children's eyes and reactions, but it truly comes to life in November and December. The girls bubble over with the spirit of giving and celebrating togetherness. I love Christmas. I love the movies, the music, the smells, the lights and the family traditions. I used to plod restlessly through Christmas Eve festivities to go to sleep so Santa would come. These days it means even more. For us, most Christmases have allowed Little Miss M to forget everything else and just be a kid. On the years she's feeling good, she is able to forget about hospitals and doctors, therapies and medicines and just be a child. It is a magical holiday.
I am all for letting your children believe in something that is magical for as long as possible. I do not see it as lying to my girls, but instead as providing them an amazing story line to be starring characters in. One day when the truth must be told, I hope they understand why we passed on the amazing tradition of Santa to them. I hope they can see that we did it because we loved them more then anything and wanted them to enjoy the full extent of the magic of the holidays.
Opinions on this subject will most likely vary, but we'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share your experiences or thoughts in the comment section below.
Amanda loves the holiday season, and secretly starts watching Christmas movies on November 1st!