It’s the Winter Holiday Season, or Christmahanakwaanzakkah as some might call it!
And on goes the perennial debate about whether or not to tell kids “the truth” about Santa!
In response to the many questions that fly thick and fast in our direction at this time of year, from well-intentioned friends, family and acquaintances, here’s our answer to this thorny problem:
We told our twin girls (age 4.5 yrs old) that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, and we have a cake and party for that and explain that because Jesus loves little children so much, He wants them to have presents at His party too!
So that’s why all the people who love them, Mommy and Daddy, their grandparents, uncles/aunties/etc… get the presents for the girls, and Santa and the Chanukkah Fairy collect them all and transport them to our house in time for Christmas.
Jesus is too busy helping and loving people to do present delivery, so He outsources. (The presents are labeled “From: relative’s name, To: kid’s name”)
Santa’s elves and the Chanukkah sprites who usually wrap the presents were overwhelmed this year, so they outsourced the wrapping labor to the mommies and daddies – after the kids are asleep (just in case a kid wanders out in the middle of the wrap session, and it gets the girls to bed quicker the few nights before Christmas Eve.)
And the Santas in the mall or ringing bells are Santa’s helpers – but they are still strangers since we don’t actually know them personally.
It’s worked so far 🙂 The kids don’t take the presents for granted, they feel loved by Jesus and their relatives, they don’t think that “Santa” has a million bucks and can give things at the drop of a hat, and the girls understand that the guest of honor is Jesus.
We have a menorah (Jesus is a ‘nice Jewish boy’, after all!), a homemade Christmas tree/Chanukkah bush made with loving care by their Bubbe (no killing trees or artificial, chemical and lead-filled trees), stockings, and a homemade creche scene.
The girls don’t feel out of place with their classmates, they get to have the fun of Santa, but don’t get overwhelmed by greed, over-commercialism or consumerism, and Jesus as the reason for the season is preserved.
They also learn it is entirely reasonable to mesh their Jewish and Christian faiths – just like Jesus did! (although He didn’t have Santa back in the day).
And a very good time was had by all!
Happy and safe holidays to you and yours!