Growing up in a christian home for me meant that doses of reality were gently shared with us but at the same time allowed to blossom into our own. Although i do remember going to Christmas events and Santa’s grotto etc….. Santa or Father Christmas was never a thing for me as it was never forced down my throat. However, according to my nursery and school teachers Father Christmas was the Old man from the north-pole who travelled the whole world in one night to supposedly deliver gifts to all children of the world (something i found very bizarre). Even as a child I could not be sold the idea of father Christmas, it just never grew on me. The “magic” of Christmas for me was and still is Jesus.
I still remember once reading a newspaper article about parents who were fuming that other children were telling their children there was no such thing as Santa. As a child I questioned why other children must succumb to other peoples beliefs and be forced into believing this fiction to suit their narratives of Christmas. Whilst i personally didn’t buy into the whole Santa thing, I made a conscious choice to not spoil it for other kids by not ruining their narrative of Christmas.
I made a promise that one day when I have my own child I would teach them the true essence of Christmas. Fast forward to today, ever since our little one was born we have tried to encourage (not force) these few principles about Christmas time.
1: We Tell our Daughter about Jesus and do Christmas bible activities to encourage learning. We are hoping to help her cultivate a personal relationship.
2: She told us a huge list of all the things she wants. However she is only getting a select few because we do not want to horn a materialist mentality where Christmas becomes about toys etc… Besides this will teach her to value what she has.
3: Out with the old. Yes we have taught her to give old toys away to charity to make room for new toys that are coming. She need to learn from a young age the importance of giving!
4: We also encourage her to give to family members from money shes saved in her piggy bank. We simply top up a little so that she is able to buy a few bits and bobs. This is harnessing the skill of saving in order to invest.
However, the other day my little pre-schooler came home and said mummy i cannot wait for Santa to bring me lots and lots of presents. I then proceeded to correct her and said you mean you cannot wait for Daddy and Mummy to buy you presents for Christmas. She then turned around and said “No Mummy I said Santa” they had been taught about Santa in pre-school. It was then i realised that the same way nothing was forced down my throat, I will let her grow this out. I am sure she will eventually figure it all out for herself as for the moment I will continue to encourage the above mentioned principals so that Christmas doesn’t become materialistic in her eyes but rather a celebration of Jesus.
I hope this was and will be helpful one way or another. Please share how you teach your children about the true essence of Christmas.
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