With the following post I may lose a couple of friends or at the very least disappoint some, but blogs are supposed to be controversial, right? Right. So…
I don’t believe in Santa Claus. It’s true. I don’t believe in his chimney forays or his over-indulgent cookie-eating or his magic reindeer. Now you know more about me then you’d ever want to. Like finding out that I’m a chain smoker. I am the bad guy in every Christmas special. I’m the one that needs to find “Christmas in my heart.” I’m the one who makes saving Christmas a necessity. (In my opinion, anything that needs saving that frequently is pretty lame to begin with. Is Christmas just too big too fail?)
In your mind, I am now one of the following fictional characters:
Professor Hinkle from Frosty the Snowman: (So selfish…He only believed in the magic that could benefit him. Kind of how I feel about couponing. It’s stupid unless I remember to do it and get a really good deal on cereal.) I’m more than happy to record these shows for my kids and even watch them myself, but I can’t get into the “Santa’s bringing presents to good little girls and boys…”
I can’t think of many creepier things than having this in my house:
There’s also the subterfuge required to keep the Santa ruse going. You’re constantly checking everything you say about Christmas gifting. And if they ask a question that you can’t answer (like: “But we don’t have a chimney?”) you have to practice some creative lying. How exhausting!
We tell kids all the time that Christmas isn’t about presents. We tell them it’s about spending time with your loved ones and general good will toward men. But what’s the first comment out of everyone’s mouth when they’ve seen my kids since Christmas Day? “Did Santa visit you? What did you get? Were you naughty or nice this year?” Kids are smart but mixed messages abound. “Please” is not really a magic word, green vegetables won’t actually put hair on your chest, and they won’t actually receive an appropriate amount of toys compared to the preceeding year’s behavior. They’ll get an amount equivalent to their siblings’–no more, no less.
I’m not proposing a Christmas Coup d’état. I think the big guy has a lot of value. I’m just saying that if I choose to skip over some of the Santa stuff like putting out cookies but you pay a fat actor in a red suit to “ho, ho, ho” your child awake on Christmas morning, we can still be friends. I mean, we don’t look down on the Dutch just because they put out wooden shoes instead of stockings, right?
Look, this is the one time every year that you can walk into a store and hear a song straight from the gospel blaring over the PA system. It’s the time when people are looking for ways to give to the less fortunate. It’s the time when you hug every friend and speak kindnesses to every stranger. I want to revel in that. I don’t want to water down the birth of the greatest man to ever walk this earth with a story about a fictional character. There’s just no comparison. I love traditions. I love Christmas. I promise to try to find Christmas in my heart and keep it there even after I take down the tree.