Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and all that – it’s amazing the controversy one person can cause! Then again, look at Jesus…!! Well, Kiki believes, and it’s not even my doing [fault] …lol. See, her first Christmas, she was only 4 months old, so obviously it wasn’t an issue. But, it made me think. Think that I needed a plan on the whole "Santa" bit. So I did a little research on all those parenting websites I belonged to then (I’ve given them up – I’ll just mess her up on my own now, thanks; being the perfect mom was too much effort!!) I was surprised at the heated arguments on both sides of the "do you or don’t you teach ’em about Santa" issue!! Some will tell you to not jump full-on into the Santa Belief is to deny your child any happiness and joy whatsoever connected to Christmas, because without Santa there is no magic. Others will say that it’s mean to teach them about Santa because of the shock and grief they themselves felt when some kid at school gave them the "truth", only to go home and have their own parents say, yeah, that kid’s right, we just made it up. Some people, apparently, have never gotten over that. And I’m not even going to comment on that. Then you have the group that says if you "lie" about Santa, then one day your child finds out and suddenly they’ll decide you lied about God as well, so any Good Christian Parent would never do the Santa deal. Wow. So that was all helpful info. As if. Alan and I decided to err on the side of truth. I’ve always been completely honest with Kiki, so I figured that was my best route. When the issue came up, we told her the story of the original Saint Nicholas, and his life, and his legend, and how giving gifts was started on the very first Christmas when the wisemen gave things to Jesus…. And that was all cool with Kiki. However – you have to understand that my sweet girl is very imaginative, and loves make-believe… so, as soon as she was old enough to ask, she wondered if I would please make some of her gifts "from Santa". So, sure, why not?
I guess at this point, I should tell you my own "Santa History". I don’t remember my parents making a big deal about it, but "Santa" always filled our stockings, and we left milk and cookies for him, and there was always one special gift that was wrapped in special Santa paper that no other gifts were wrapped in, and the tag read "from Santa". I guess, for me, the realization came gradually, that most of those special gifts were made by my dad out in his own workshop, and strangely enough, Santa had the exact same handwriting as mom…. and my sisters and I just kept going along with it because it was fun. And guess what – even when I knew for a hard fact that Santa was my parents, it never took any of the magic or fun away from Christmas. I still feel that "Holiday Magic"!!
So – Kiki starts to get gifts from Santa – I am very careful to buy special paper to just wrap those things in, and I type up the tag on the computer so she can’t recognize my handwriting, and it’s all good. She makes Wish Lists for me, and one for Santa – with different stuff on them. And it’s like, she knows, but she also believes…. and it’s very sweet. I think she really, really wants to Believe, and so she does. She wants very much to believe in fairies as well, and was thrilled when she found another little girl at school who ‘believes’, so they made fairy houses at school one day! Then, I think it was two years ago, the most magical thing of all happened! She received, in the mail, a letter from Santa. It was very official looking, and very personal, and at the time – thank goodness – I had no idea who had sent it! So I could, in complete honesty, tell her "No, sweetie, I had nothing to do with that. I have no idea – maybe it’s really from Santa." She still talks about that letter. She still wanted to go see Santa at the mall this year, although she knows it’s not the "Real" Santa ("After all, mom, he’d be way too busy this time of year to hang out at the mall… these guys are all his helpers and pass the info along to Santa.") She is starting to feel a little funny about the fact that she is by far the biggest kid in line to visit Santa; the oldest kid to attend the Santa Breakfast. Not funny enough to not do it, though – that’s one thing I find particularly great about Kiki – if she wants to do something, she will – even if it might be a little uncomfortable. She is secure in her own skin. I think, maybe, the belief is wavering a little – or, maybe, fading is a better word. She is, after all, 11 years old. It’s bound to happen – in fact, I’d be worried if it didn’t! I would bet, though, that we will always have our Santa tradition, because we are all about the joy and the magic in this time of gifts and love as we celebrate the day that our precious Lord and Savior gave up His throne to join us here on Earth.