"So how did the boys visit to the jolly old fat man go this afternoon?"
 I laughed out loud when I received my mom's text. For yes, we did take our boys to see the merriest of men during this holiday season, we took them to see


Being faith believers this decision is ensconced in the realm of controversy normally dominated by
breast feeding,
 sleep training,
 So how did we arrive at this decision you might ask? Compromise.

Abbey was raised never believing in Santa. No, her parents aren't mean and awful, and she isn't scarred for life. Her parents were just of the strict conservative nature and held a much more straight-forward approach with their children. So there was never a tooth fairy, or an Easter bunny and yes, she was home-schooled, in case you wondering. So there wasn't a fear of her ruining the magic for anyone else. Kevin on the other hand was heart-broken when he realized that not only was Santa not real but

"What about the Easter Bunny? And the TOOTH FAIRY?
What about the tooth fairy?!?!"

as his tears fell and he entered the world of unbelief in all things magical. You can imagine then how our conversations went when we first found out we were pregnant and realized this was a bridge we now needed to cross. Well three years later and after many conversations and contemplations, we have arrived at a solution and here is how it goes:

We will honor the

 Legend of St. Nicholas,
the man, and his legacy of generosity.

Their stockings will come from St. Nick, but nothing else. Gifts will come from the giver and that will be that. There won't be any temptation to escape a tough parenting scenario during the craziness of the season by saying that

 "Santa is watching..."

The gifts they receive will be from a place of generosity and not a reward for being good or in light of their poor behavior. As such they can still see the heart of Christ who loves us so that He gave us  the best gift of all even when we struggle to
"be good".
 The story of the Nativity will be front and center during this season, but beautiful poems like "The Night Before Christmas" won't be forgotten or forbidden. With a focus on St. Nicholas' generosity and an encouragement to remember that giving during this season is so important our hope is that our boys will be inspired to emulate that heart.

In general we hope to just not make a mountain out of a mole hill and to use the tools surrounding this season to point back to the meaning of Christmas. While we know this will not be a popular decision it is our compromise and I might add that we are rather pleased with our solution.*grin*

  So yes, our boys sat on the

peppermint scented knee

 of a man so magical you waited to see if he would touch the side of his nose and nod. And in awe Baby Love asked about him. With a warm heart we told the tale of a man whose generous heart left a legacy that continues today. And when we returned home he sat down with his nativity set and began once again ordering the shepherds into position and showing me the gifts the magi brought, in their generosity, to Christ.
His little heart full.

Please share with us how you approach the Santa issue, we would love to hear!
 And as always, this is just our perspective, what worked for us. We truly love hearing what other people do to solve these types of difficult dilemmas.

*Right after finishing this piece a man I greatly respect blogged about the same topic you can read it here.
1 Response
  1. meganleiann Says:

    Perfect! You beautifully worded exactly how we are trying to teach the boys about Christmas. We really want them to be thankful for their gifts and not believe they received them just because they behaved. Not telling the story of St. Nicholas would be a shame because it embodies the love and generosity that we want to associate with Jesus' birth. Have you seen the VeggieTales St. Nicholas? It has been a really helpful tool with Aidan. Thanks for this beautiful story of compromise!

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