Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa Claus!


Jolly old Saint Nicholas,
Lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul
What I'm going to say;
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
Now, you dear old man,
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
Tell me if you can.
When the clock is striking twelve,
When I'm fast asleep,
Down the chimney broad and black,
With your pack you'll creep;
All the stockings you will find Hanging in a row;
Mine will be the shortest one,
You'll be sure to know.
Johnny wants a pair of skates;
Susy wants a dolly;
Nellie wants a story book;
She thinks dolls are folly;
As for me, my little brain
Isn't very bright;
Choose for me,
old Santa Claus,
What you think is right.
Santa Claus. Do you believe in Santa Claus? Or better yet, do your children believe in Santa Claus? This seems to be a touchy subject with some people. I love Santa Claus. St Nicholas. I love the whole idea of him and what he stands for. I love the joy. The fun. (I'm going to attempt to do paragraphs, let's see if Blogger will let me)
My best Christmas as a child was the year I "found out"! My cousin Terry told me. She was older and I guess she thought I should know. I remember going home after being at Grandma's and asking my mom. I remember the look of disappointment on my mom's face, like it happened yesterday. She sat down with me on the stairs and told me the truth. I think I was 1st or 2nd grade. SO, I was 6 or 7. I was shocked that my parents loved us that much to get us "extra" presents. I just felt SO loved. I couldn't wait to help with my brother's gifts, mom let me stay up late to set them out. This was different than the years before watching out the window for a possible sighting. Our Santa set everything out with our stocking, like my stuff would be on a chair, my brother's on the couch, unwrapped. Our Santa brought us a lot. Toys, coloring books, pajamas, clothes. We were blessed.
My brother and his wife have a different attitude towards Santa. When my brother "found out" he cried and cried, he ran upstairs and was mad at our parents. When his wife found out, she, too, was mad that her parents "lied" to her for all those years. SO they do not do Santa for their children. They don't want to lie to them.
Now why would they have such a contrasting view of Santa? What made them view it so differently than the way I understood it?
Now obviously, you've guessed it, we do Santa in our home. I love the pure, honest belief that the children have towards him. They know him as St Nicholas and call him by both names. They believe him to be in Heaven, not the North Pole, or maybe they actually believe the North Pole is part of Heaven for good old St Nick. Jedi, is 8 1/2 and has no questions. At all. He just believes. Ballerina Rosie, is the same way. They know that there is no "Mrs Claus" and he has no children. They know that is all just made up for movies and cuteness.
The other day, I said to Ballerina Rosie, that she'd better be good, or I was going to have to leave a note for Santa. Her response was "Santa lives in Heaven, he sees everything I do, he knows I'm good!" Pure trust. Pure belief.
Santa gets our children one present and stocking stuffers. I don't feel we over-do it. I hope and pray they feel the same way I did when I found out about Santa.
It's hard not to compare this belief in Santa with their pure belief in Jesus. I've heard that is a reason to not do Santa, but Santa is different. There is really a St Nicholas, and we parents just keep his spirit of giving and loving and sharing the love of Jesus alive. St Nicholas is in Heaven and is right there when we call upon him, as is Jesus.
My favorite Christmas decoration is a little 6 inch statue of St Nicholas dressed as Santa Claus kneeling down before Baby Jesus. One of my favorite Christmas books is "Country Angel Christmas" by Tomie de Paola. I think my children believe the real St Nicholas to be much like him, living in Heaven, spreading the love and joy of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, pausing to pray before Him.

7 comments:

  1. We started to celebrate St. Nicholas day on his feast day because it was something we (my husband and I and kids) could do at OUR home. We are usually visiting the grandparents on Christmas day; my in-laws and parents do stockings & one gift (this gift has most often been purchased by me) on Christmas morning.

    You explain your reasoning quite well, Jamie. We're still trying to figure it out! This year, we plan to do one BIG gift for the whole family from Santa. My hubbie & I may decide to do this every year, because it's something we can enjoy as a family.

    As for Santa figures & pictures, I've always preferred the European looking Santa's that resemble a bishop. I have some of both, though.

    I'd known about the reality of Santa for quite a while, and I helped my mom for years, too. After all, if you 'believe', Santa will continue to be generous!

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  2. I believe....I believe...I believe!!!!

    Have you seen the movie The Polar Express yet Jamie??? I like that one because it does show the innocense of children and how they have such trusting hearts they can hear the bells....once you no longer believe (like most adults) the sound is gone. I think that can happen to a lot of people and their faith. They no longer see Christ with pure hearts and no longer "wish to be good!"

    We love Santa, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny. I do not play them up too much. It is what it is. I do like St. Nick and we talk about him as being very real.

    Great post Jamie!!! Bah-humbug to you Santa Haters out there!!!!

    ps. Our kids get one gift from Santa and some stocking stuffers.

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  3. Oh my gosh, you're back! Why didn't you tell me?!

    Can I link to you again?

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  4. I love Santa. I did cry when I found out that a man did not actually come down the chimney, but my Dad explained that the spirit of St Nick comes into parents hearts at Christmas and in the hearts of children, so in fact yes Santa is real. I do let my children believe that an actual man delivers the presents, as they get older I bring in the truth that St. Nick is real, his spirit is real, and he helps us celebrate the birth of Christ and the spirit of Christmas.

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  5. In my family, we did not believe in Santa Claus because my parents felt it was a lie. In my husband's family, they did, and my husband has fond memories, even when he "found out". We didn't want to feel as though we had to lie to the kids, so we share with them the story of St. Nicholas, and that he is a friend of Jesus, and he helps us celebrate Christ's birthday by giving toys to others. My kids know that the Santa in the mall isn't real, but they like sitting in his lap nonetheless and telling them what they want. We read Country Angel Christmas too, and I feel this story portayed St. Nick as we want our kids to know him. He is a saint after all. :-) And I don't even know why I mentioned the Santa in the mall...we haven't been to a mall in years! LOL!

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  6. We celebrate St. Nicholas on his feast day. My kids were all born in Germany and it isn't tradition to celebrate Santa. The Christkind (Christ child) brings presents. This is hard to explain, but St. Nicholas (Santa) has nothing to do with the German Christmas tradition. When we moved to Canada, we just kept celebrating like we did in Germany. Our children know that we bring the presents, but also know that many children believe in Santa and keep it for themselves (hopefully)that there is no Santa. I believed in Santa as a child, but have mixed feelings. I am like some others and feel that I shouldn't lie to my kids. That is not my reason for not celebrating Santa. I was never sure how to connect it to the true meaning of Christmas. Jamie, I really like the way you celebrate it. Don't you just love the innocence of a child?

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  7. I am not sure my husband ever had any Christmas Traditions. If so, it died out long before I met him. My family grew up with no Santa or fairy tale characters. My mom didn't even let me have fun with St. Nick stockings. We only focused on Jesus. This was due to their love for God, their own personal experience with the "lies" of Santa, and in hopes to secure our faith in the unseen - to not question God in relation to Santa.

    After much nagging from my cousin, I felt it was my duty to let her know there was something more important than Santa going on!

    My kids are still young, so we're still making new traditions. We had been doing the St. Nick Dec 6th shoes outside event until this year I read that this is what the stockings are for.. so no more cold boots for us. We throw in chocolate gold coins and a toy. Then we visit St. Nick at church or wherever he may be. They are well aware that this is just a fun tradition, meant to carry on the Saint's giving spirit and his love for children because he now celebrates from Heaven.

    When Christmas Day rolls around, however, there is no Santa or St. Nick. We focus on Jesus' birthday with Mass, a cake, a Happy Birthday Song, and adding baby Jesus to the nativity manger. Then of course, followed by hours of family gatherings and all that entails!

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