Friday, November 26, 2010

Believe It Or Not

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. I love the smells, music, lights, family. I just love all of the Christmas cheer. It warms my heart. However, I am determined to make Christmas (and all holidays for that matter) about Jesus. I don't want my kids to think that Christmas is about a tree, some fun music and loads of presents. Charlie and I want Christmas to be about the birth of our savior. We want our children to understand that it is about giving and not receiving. We want our family to appreciate what God as provided for us. Lula Mae is already learning in school that Christmas is a day when we celebrate for Jesus. She understands that it is His birthday. She is even starting to understand that we give gifts on Christmas because God gave Jesus to us as a gift. She is connecting all the pieces. I am so proud of her and very glad that Christmas is already meaning something deeper to her. With all this knowledge comes a big decision.

Santa or no Santa?

When people ask Lula Mae about Santa she is very confused. She has no idea who he is and what he is all about. Charlie and I both grew up believing in Santa. We both agree that it was fun and harmless. We have still not come to a decision as to if we will have Santa or not. Personally I am leaning more towards no, but I don't know about Charlie. In the end, will it matter? Probably not. My main goal is to make sure each holidays, especially Christmas, is focused on God. Now this might be selfish, but I want my kids to understand that I got them their gifts.... not some made up man. I want them to know I got them gifts because I love them. I want it all to click, if you know what I mean. Lula Mae is excited to give her cousins the gifts she picked out for them. She has a few friends that she has mentioned buying a gift for and I can't wait to take her to the store to pick something out. I love seeing her excited about giving and thinking of others.

Our gift strategy is simple.... I buy each child one toy, Charlie buys each child one toy, then we both get them one more joint toy. So each child will receive 3 gifts each Christmas. We stick to a small budget and try very hard not to go over the top (although this is really hard because I show love by giving gifts so I have to hold back!)

We may decide not to do Santa and we may not get our kids a million presents but we will still have a great Christmas. Our Christmas will be full of time together with family. It will be full of celebration. It will be full of love! I just love Christmas!!!! Although I do adore Christmas music and a live tree with beautiful lights and decorations too :-) All those things help make Christmas extra enjoyable!

So do you have Santa in your house? Do you have any special traditions that make Christmas extra special? I would love to know! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Rachel said...

Ahh, that dilemma of whether or not Santa should be part of your Christmas celebration!

I don't feel like "cheating" Itty Bit out of the experience, but in our home, I've told him that Santa was really a person long ago who gave gifts to children who didn't have any. So we make Santa about giving - and also ensure that Itty Bit knows that even Santa celebrates Jesus' birthday!

And our Elf on the Shelf? He reports to Jesus! :)

Emi Brade said...

I think it's so great that LuLa May already loves giving gifts! No matter what you choose on the santa issue if you instill a sense of giving in your children you've already taught them what the holidays really mean!

LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

We have the Veggie Tales movie about Saint Nick and it reveals a little about the man who gave to the needy who we call Santa. She likes that.

We chose not to do Santa with our Princess. She actually loves the Christmas cartoons about Santa this year, but she believes he is pretend and that is okay with us.

We want her to know it is us giving her gifts. I don't think she will be missing out.

Plus, I don't feel like lying to her. She will find out he is not real, and be sad. So, no Santa here. Just a pretend cartoon character :)

But we are already reading all month about Jesus' birth and the real meaning of Christmas.

Yes, not going overboard is very difficult! We only have her, and I have too much already. We are giving a few things to the Toys for Tots that were originally intended for her. Shhh...

Brandi said...

First and foremost, the kiddos know we're celebrating Jesus. But, we totally do Santa. I didn't get Santa or Jesus when I was a kid, so mine get both.

We take the boys shopping and let them get each other a gift (and it is hilarious to watch them try and keep it a secret - we have to take them on xmas eve or they'd never make it), we leave a couple items unwrapped under the tree that are from Santa, and then the rest are from us. We also have an Elf.

I'm not bothered by the kids thinking Santa brought a few of the gifts. One day they'll know it was us. :)

We always do something for people who are less fortunate as well. Last year we went to Sam's and bought a bunch of stuff for a local Christian mission. The boys went with us to deliver the food. This year we did shoe boxes and the kids went with me to pick out stuff for their box.

We try to teach them to give and also receive graciously.

Emmy said...

Growing up we would get a present from Santa, a present from my parents and a present from one sibling (there was six of us-so we would draw names and get presents for that one person) and Christmas was still great and wonderful