What sort of family traditions did you have growing up? I almost hesitate to admit what we’ve got planned for fear of the backlash. Then again, that’s rarely stopped me before, right?
So here goes.
In an effort to keep our focus on Christ during the holidays, our family (Brian, Bennett and I) will each receive three gifts in remembrance of the gold, frankincense and myrrh that Jesus received from the wise men when he was born.
I very much look forward to putting a limit on the number of gifts for a few reasons:
- Christmas isn’t about being greedy. Mommy Square Piece doesn’t want to raise a “me me me” child.
- Our house is small. We simply don’t have the room to hide and store rooms full of presents.
- By creating a numerical limit, we’ll then be able to teach future lessons in self-control and sacrifice. For instance, I imagine that one day I’ll sacrifice one of my “gold, frankincense and myrrh” to give Bennett that fourth gift. Hopefully that will help create a greater understanding of what it means to give of yourself for the sake of someone else, a lesson easier learned when we possess limits.
But… but… What about Santa?!
We live in a culture that celebrates St. Nicholas, don’t we?
I promise that I’ll never be able to sell Santa with a straight face. This girl is way too sensitive to be dishonest, even in the name of magic, wonder and holiday. Not only that, but the lie gets layered so thickly through the years that I know my frazzled brain won’t have the capacity to keep tabs on all of the various ways in which we’ve reconfirmed Santa’s ability to fit down our chimney.
So then what?
Well, we’re going to teach Bennett the “game” of Santa. He’ll know all about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus and Rudolf and the elves. He’ll know that parents play games of make-believe and pretend with their children, masquerading as this jolly giver. Bennett will be taught that Santa (A.K.A. Mommy & Daddy) will leave presents in his stocking, but that he has to pretend and play along with our Santa “game” or those stocking presents don’t get handed out.
My hope in this approach is to
- build his trust in us.
- enjoy the fun of Santa and his Christmastime stories.
- allow Bennett to assume that when parents and children are referencing Santa, they’re all participating in the great game of pretend, leaving no desire to clarify the particulars on the school playground.
While this might be unconventional, I’d like to get Bennett in the habit of giving to others in need at a very young age. Eventually he’ll end up asking why we’re giving toys to children instead of Santa. Square Piece ain’t gettin’ mixed up in all that. Nope, gonna keep it clean, light-hearted, silly, special, honest and wondrous.
What are your traditions?