Tag Archives: Santa

The Ghost of Christmas Past

16 Dec

Can I just say that I am shocked and appalled at the moment! After reading a recent comment thread on a post from an old high school friend of mine I was completely disheartened to find that there are so many modern parents who are skewing the notion of Santa and therefore depriving their children of a traditional childhood rite of passage.

The post started off innocent enough, just a curious mom wondering about what age her friends were when they stopped believing in Santa Claus; somehow it took a turn from there.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with logic and reality but at some point enough is enough.  Said friend admits that her daughter really doesn’t get the concept of Christmas yet (in all honestly she is probably still a little young to fully grasp it) but she also touched on another point for a different blog I have been working on so, Voila! The Girl in the Black Flip Flops brings you a twofer special today!a.aaa-The-Death-of-Santa-Claus

My friend also eludes that her daughters lack of Santa knowledge is possibly due to her own lack of care to decorate for the holiday finding it all “a hassle for short term fun”   Where have I heard this similar sentiment recently?  Oh! That’s right! A lovely little piece written by a one Hannah Bird of the Nauvoo Times, an LDS blog site featuring Ender’s Game author, Orson Scott Card.  In this blog, Ms. Bird speaks of the dangers of the recently found holiday tradition of the Elf on the Shelf.  Now, if Ms. Birds objections to this holiday past time were of a religious nature then I might be inclined to turn the other cheek; however, it seems that her chief complaint with the doll is that it adds even more pressure to keep up with the Jones to already over worked woman around the globe.  And here we have come full circle back to my friend who finds holiday decorating, “a hassle for short term fun.”

Oh, I am beginning to think that quiz I took the other day on Facebook to find my real age was right because I feel very old at the moment.  Maybe it’s because these women have this precious gift that I myself was denied in having children, and as luck would have it, small children.  Maybe it’s just that I have watched Fiddler on the Roof a few too many times and can hear Tevye singing Tradition in the back of my head but I can’t help but feel like somewhere along the way we have lost our sense of the wonder and mystery that is this time of year.  It is not just my friend and her lack of enthusiasm for adorning the Christmas tree, after all, I myself have opted for a small table top Charlie Brown tree my mom bought me as a gag gift a couple of years back for the last few years.  It’s that there are so many of the commenter’s that feel the same way.  When did we stop taking time to foster imagination in our children?  It shouldn’t be about how tired you are at the end of the day or how much you have left to do, it should be about seeing that look on your child’s face the next morning when she rushes though the house in search of what mischief your elf has been up to while she slept.  It should be about the excitement of your son as he races to the tree on Christmas morning in hopes of finding that one special gift he has had his heart set on for weeks now.  It’s the look of pure joy, innocence and adoration that make it worth it to me.  No matter how tired my parents were there was one thing I could always count on in my house and that was that Santa would come and eat the cookies I left for him and that even if everything in the world was going wrong, come December, I would always remember that I had a family that loved me and I had a place to always call home.  I could only tell you a handful of the things I ever got for Christmas, only the most memorable stick out in my head to this day, but as I have gotten older it is those warm and fuzzy feelings that I cling to.  To this day, I have yet to miss the local NBC news on Christmas Eve (even though we only watch FOX or ABC the rest of the year) to see Santa on the radar.  There has only been one or two Christmas Eve’s that I have missed driving through the neighborhood looking at the Christmas lights.  We still only open one gift on Christmas Eve (Usually the PJ’s that mom has stashed for us somewhere) and there are still Christmas cookies for Santa and the reindeer, even if Santa is in Heaven now.

Having children is about sacrifice.  When you have them, your life is no longer really about you anymore.  Those children become your world.  What I would give to have that opportunity that so many seem ready to squander away.  It’s not even really a matter of Jesus vs. Santa either; we always knew the reason for the season and Mom was always there to remind us what we were really celebrating, but without that magical wonder that my parents cultivated in me and my brother, I don’t really think that we would be the caring, sensitive people that we are today.  Maybe if we taught our children how to dream and believe in magic again this world wouldn’t be such a cold and callous place to live anymore.