We’re not doing a whole lot of gifts this year. It feels like we’re getting back to our holiday roots, which is nice. But with the holidays comes the discussion about Santa. Do we lie to our kids? Do we tell them the truth?
Originally I didn’t really want to do Santa. I just went with it because it’s what you do. Everyone I know does Santa. Some families go all out with it, putting tons of toys under the tree. Some set a dollar amount per child. Others still do this something they need, want, to wear, to read, which I only heard about a couple years back. It seemed like a complicated subject, but I still went with it.
Not wanting to fill the house with tons of stuff, the kids were each given three gifts from the family, one from me, one from their dad, and one Santa gift. It worked out pretty well. Later we tried having Santa bring one big thing to share and a game for each of them. That worked out okay. The past few years it’s been a bit out of control. We got donations from various charities so we had a bunch of stuff attributed to Santa. It just spiraled into this out of control thing.
This year we’re going back to the way I want things to be. We’re not going to be asking the kids what Santa brought. We’re simply going to be giving gifts with no label. There isn’t going to be a whole pile for each kid either, but a couple things for each of them. We’re also going to start having an emphasis on picking things the kids can do together, not just toys that the kids get bored with anyway. If Santa were real, I’d like to think his goal would be to bring families closer together anyway, not filling the house with tons of stuff, pushing the consumer aspect of the holiday.
This year is going to be very different from the past. There will be no emphasis on Santa. It won’t be about a lot of stuff. It will be about spending time together. Isn’t that what the holiday should really be about?