Ho Ho Ho
The best santa I've ever seen is the one at ABC Home in NYC. I was shopping for xmas gifts one day and there was a santa behind me that I thought was part of the display because he looked so perfect. Then he gave me a little wink and a grin and I suddenly realized he was real. His costume was gorgeous as was his complexion, his long white hair and beard were genuine and he even had sparkly eyes. I suddenly felt like a kid again and the world seemed a bit more magical!
Everyone keeps asking me if I'm going to get Satchel's picture taken with Santa. Satchel is very cautious about strangers and does not like it when they get in his space. I think this is very wise in todays world and I try to honor his wishes. So, not this year, no.
I am always surprised by the number of people who persist in spite of Satchel's very clear message of, "No No". I've had to advocate on his behalf on more than one occasion stating, "Satchel is telling you 'no' because he does not want you to touch him...he doesn't like strangers to get in his space".
I've been struggling with the whole Santa tradition for the last two years. On the one hand it makes the world seem like magic for one day. On the other hand there is plenty of magic in the world that is genuine...like conception and birth...nature. I want to foster a healthy sense of wonder and imagination yet I worry about him feeling betrayed or tricked. As he gets a little older, I do plan to talk about how other countries celebrate...like the gift-giving gnomes of Norway etc.
I clearly remember the day my brother asked my mother about Santa...and I'll never forget how he broke down and cried. It was one of the saddest things to witness.
This article by Jan Hunt really gave me something to think about.
*Speaking in code here in case little ones are peeping over shoulders:
How do you feel about the tradition?
As a child, were you told by someone or did you figure it out?
How did you feel?
What was your child/s reaction to the realization?
*Addendum (2009): On the other hand, I this beautiful post brought tears to my eyes and I think may hold the key.