Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

We recently attended a Christmas party for the Birth to 3 program. Sylas receive both physical and occupational therapy through Birth to 3.

Sy loves his therapists. Here he is with his occupational therapist, Mary Ann.


And his physical therapist, Heather.


As an added bonus, Santa and Mrs. Claus were at the party!!! This was Sy's first time sitting on Santa's lap and he was completely enamored.

Look at how GIGANTIC Santa's hands are! And his belt buckle is bigger than Ivy's head!

Sy couldn't take his eyes off of Jolly Old St. Nick.

This next phots is the only one we got of Sy {somewhat} looking at the camera. I love Mrs. Claus' face!

Ryan and I just started discussing how we're going to deal with the whole Santa issue. Of course our main focus during Christmas will always be on the birth of Jesus, but we don't have a problem with our children pretending that Santa is real. So much fairytale and imagination is being lost in our high tech, video game culture. And as our kids get older, we want to share the history of St. Nicholas. But when the time comes that they ask us point blank, "Is Santa real?," we will tell them the truth.

Do YOUR children believe in Santa?

14 comments:

  1. We were never taught to believe in Santa, or the tooth fairy, etc. as kids. My little bro. told all the kids that Santa was a fake during kindergarden ;-)
    I don't plan to teach my kids that they actually exist either, but I don't want them running around telling other kids that they are fake either.

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  2. My husband and I were both brought up with Santa bringing presents on Christmas day, and finding cookies eaten from the previous night. It didn't scar us at all once we found out he wasn't real. To us it's not a big deal to continue this tradition. We would probably tell them more about St. Nick rather than the commercialized "Santa Claus" but who knows. Neither of us have a problem continuing this tradition and it's a lot of fun for parents and kids alike to pretend. I know many Christians disagree, but many disagree with us on Halloween too. We were both brought us "celebrating" both holidays and neither us of have turned into crazy people...and we both love Jesus with all our hearts!! It's interesting to find out what people do, especially as Christians.

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  3. My husband and I were both brought up with Santa gifts on Christmas morning...and I have great memories of that as a child. I don't remember when I learned that Santa was not real, but I don't have any bad memories of that. We don't have any issues with continuing the Santa tradition in our house, but when the girls ask about it...we will tell them the truth. The most important part for me is the spirit of the season...believing in something and knowing that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday too...number 1 in this house too!

    Enjoy the season.

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  4. oh sylas and ivy are so cute!! i could eat them up!

    we basically do just what you said. focus on Jesus, but have fun pretending about Santa. we won't lie about it though. i'm thinking that our oldest (6) wants to know now, but hasn't asked. we're thinking of a way to tell her that makes it exciting to share in this "grown-up secret." that way, hopefully, she's not hurt AND she doesn't ruin it for all other children.

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  5. Have you talked to Noemi about the Santa issue or checked her blog? She just posted on it last week and got a ton of replies and advice. Go check it out.

    KS

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  6. We also try to keep the focus on Jesus, but in a world that makes kids grow up way too fast, I think the fantasy and fun of Santa is wonderful for children's imaginations. One way we've found to connect the two is for the children to receive three gifts from Santa... just as Jesus received from the Wisemen. It's also a great way to hold us accountable to focus on the true meaning of Christmas rather than the material aspect of lots of gifts. It has worked great for us!

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  7. That little guy is just my favorite!

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  8. If you can find the book "Santa's Prayer" by Tom Roberts buy it. He is a SD author so bookstores in the Sioux Falls,SD area will carry it. The book is a wonderful story written in a very easy rhyming verse that tells the story of 2 children observing Santa Claus stopping in a country church and praying about the true meaning of Christmas. He also has another book called "The Night Before Christ".

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  9. We are doing the Santa thing, but at age 2 Celia does not like Santa. We are trying to convince her that Santa is an okay guy. But we have expressed to her that on Christmas day, we are celebrating Jesus's birthday. This year, she is taking that more to heart. She goes to a Christian daycare and I really think they have helped with that. But I was somewhat pleased to know that the teachers there also play up Santa. It really adds so much fun to the holiday and I have so many fond memories of thinking about Santa. For this Christmas though we are baking a cake for Jesus's birthday (per Celia's request) and according to Celia, Jesus can deliver her gifts- not Santa. She told me tonight that Jesus is in her heart and she is hugging him. I don't exactly know what that meant, but it sounded so sweet.

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  10. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is what really made Aria ask about Santa or 'Father Christmas'. I've told her the story of St. Nicholas and how Santa is someone we imagine... she's really interested in the 'imagination' just now. So she imagines that what's in her stocking is from Santa and the 'under the tree' gifts are from us/others...
    I love how Sylas is so enamoured with Santa-- adorable!

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  11. Aidan knows we're just pretending. And he knows that some people like to pretend more than others! We have family that insist on saying that Santa is the "spirit of Christmas" and he "is real in our hearts". We have a big problem with that, because Aidan knows that Jesus lives in his heart and we know that He doesn't want to share that space with anyone! And the "spirit of Christmas" is NOT about Santa, although the story is rooted in giving, as God gave us His Son born in a manger. Aidan is pretending this year that Santa is going to fill our stockings on Christmas eve. But he is much more excited for the caramel roll birthday cake that we're making for the baby Jesus' birthday!

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  12. Brianna, first of all I love the photos! So cute!
    Growing up we were told that there was a St. Nick but that Santa was not real. My mom was afraid that if she told us about Santa and that we later found out that he was not real that we would question other things that she told us, like Jesus. To this day I still think about it and therefore I can't really bring myself to do the whole "Santa thing". We do stockings from us (the parents) and presents but there is nothing from Santa.
    A few years ago I received a book called Santa are you for Real? (you can get it at Norhtwestern Book Store or on Amazon) as a Secret Santa gift. It talks about how St. Nick loved Jesus so much he wanted to share with those who did not have. He did it in secret because he didn't want the glory.
    We have made that a part of our regular book reading sessions throughout the year.
    As the kids grow (this year they are only 21months and 1month old) we plan on doing a birthday party (complete with cake and ice cream) for Jesus.

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  13. There is nothing wrong in my book with children believing in Santa. It doesn't lessen the spirit of Jesus's birth at all. If it did, people are doing things right. And I argue with the comment that there isn't enough room in a kid's heart for Santa because Jesus is already there. So is there not enough room for any joy and wonder in a child's heart just because Jesus is there? That makes no sense. Sure, my son knows that Christmas is about Jesus - and that is what we are celebrating. Santa is completely separate and apart. And he knows that Santa is about giving and love - but that if Christmas didn't include gifts, he would be fine with that. Now, when he asks me if Santa is real? I will tell him that it is just something that we do to remind little children of the love we should all feel for one another at Christmas and every day. But he is 8 1/2 and he still believes. And I am okay with that!

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  14. My husband and I are in the process of adopting our first child, and we've spent a lot of time discussing how we'll handle the "santa issue." It sounds like we're pretty much where you guys are, and I like the say you say it -- pretending Santa is real. I think it's a lot of fun for kids and parents. Kids get to do lots of other "make believe" things, and I think Santa fits right in with those other things. We're not going to try to shield our children from the truth about Santa though, so when they hear things on tv or in movies or from friends about Santa not being real, we're not going to silent those influences in their lives just to keep up the Santa game. We'll just enjoy the Santa magic for the couple of years it lasts.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I love hearing from you.

P.S. I'm sorry for the word verification step, but oh, my. I'm getting lots of spam.