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What is Christmas ?

Published on December 5, 2011 under Christmas

Today there has been a lot of discussion about  Christmas. The parade was last night and the kids are beginning to see decorations scattered around their homes and their town.  Most units we start off with a brainstorming session of ” what do you know about…. ?”  Today it was what do you know about Christmas.  Each child was given the opportunity to tell me what he or she knows about Christmas.  Most of them start with ” Santa brings…. ” Or ” I get ..” I had one child say it was Jesus birthday.   There has been some discussion on Facebook about families and how they celebrate this season.  Some families don’t acknowledge  Santa at all . Some make sure their child knows  that Santa is not real but still play the game, others are vehement that the Santa tradition is not to be tinkered with that Santa exist until the child is 18 and at that point it is underwear  for presents ! 🙂

I thought I would take time to tell you MY viewpoint as a mom and as a teacher. .

Debbie puts on her mom hat  –>>>  As a mom my children always had Santa.  They believed he was real much like the tooth fairy and a leprechaun at St Patricks day .  It was all in fun.   In our home we also put a strong emphasis on Christ birthday and celebrated that .  Our Santa activities were always on Christmas Eve after a church service  and on Christmas morning we baked a birthday cake for Jesus.

Debbie puts on her teacher hat —->>>>  As a teacher it is my job to respect and protect children . If a family choses to tell their child that Santa is real it is not my job to explain it is just a fairy tale.  If a family choses to tell their child that Santa is NOT real it is not my job to judge .  It gets a little tricky when those two worlds collide in the walls of school.  Protecting ” Santa” to some is almost as tricky as moms finding out that in middle school their daughters will watch a video tape on sex.  There are just some things that are best left in the hands of parents.  How do I handle children that believe or don’t and also protect the opposing view points ?  In preschool we are not taught to answer kids questions of this type directly anyway.  So if child A was to ask me is Santa real ,  I would reply with ” Tell me what you think about Santa…”  If a child tells another that Santa is not real and the child comes wailing upset that his world has crumbled  – I would calm him down by saying things like ” I know your friend doesn’t believe in Santa but what do you think? Tell me what you like about Santa.”

So what if  your child comes home and tells you that another child told them that Santa is not real. Would you be angry ? Would you want to say something to the parent of that child or even the child ?  Ah…. Deep breath.  Remember these guys are 3 and 4 years old. They don’t mean  to intentionally set out and destroy generations of tradition. Just this morning I heard a little girl say ”  I bought you a present. I can’t tell you what it is but…. ” I said ” No, please don’t tell… your mom wouldn’t want you to. ”  She didn’t. The Santa news, good or bad, is like a hungry secret begging to be told – not to hurt anyone. It is just lying there at the tip of the tongue ready to jump out.  So, if your child comes home saying someone told him Santa isn’t real but you want to keep that tradition alive, instead of getting angry and confirming what he said , why not challenge it with questions that makes him think on his own.  If your child comes home believing in Santa and that was the LAST thing you wanted  –  you can still make Christ the focus of your season.   AND.. if any of you feel so strongly about this that you STILL want to have words with the little Santa hater or his parents, please remember my job is still to protect children, so don’t try it here. 🙂 I . am. bigger. than, you.  🙂

This whole blog about this makes it sound like a huge problem huh ?  Yes, it has been in the past and this year I decided to nip it in the bud.  I love all children…. Children who believe in Santa and those that don’t.

If you are wondering if I still believe in Santa , of course I do , I like to pick out my own underwear.

3 Comments

  1. Bev

    So now I’m suddenly wondering how in 12 years in this business, this has never been an issue for me…hhhmmm. However, I’m pretty sure that my 10-year-old son is in the non-believer category this year. But he’s not letting me know, and I’m not letting him know my suspicions. He’s my baby…and I’m not quite ready to give up Santa coming to my house yet!

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