The Problem With Santa Part 2{Day 23 of 31 Posts}

If you haven’t read Part 1 of the Problem With Santa, you can find it here.

 

Lest I am misquoted, misunderstood or placed on dart board targets across the land, let me just clarify something. I watch the Tim Allen Santa Claus movies all the time. I love Elf. Who could possibly not want to see Will Ferrell every year yelling “SANTAAAAA” like a cat in heat? I giggle at National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and I even have a Vintage Coca-Cola poster with Santa as one of my prized possessions.

 

I do not think Santa is evil and I am not looking to ban Santa from our language or traditions. There are families who love this part of their holiday festivities and they are very conscious of making it a small part of their Christmas. However, the greater part of our population has made Santa THE most important part of Christmas. And those of us in Christ, who seek a redeemed Christmas, have let it happen, participated and over-indulged.

 

I like statistics. Here’s some to consider:

  • For the 2006/7 Christmas Season it was estimated that Americans spent $457 BILLION on gifts(avg of $800 per person)
  • For the 2005 fiscal year Americans gave approximately $250BILLION to charities

So~ let’s just get this straight: DOUBLE the amount of money spent on Christmas gifts for ONE day than was given over the entire year to world wide charities

  • after searching through several mommy/parenting blog sites I have found that parents buy anywhere from 1-4 gifts for each child from Santa
  • some parents say that Santa gives the majority of the gifts in their home
  • other parents say that Santa gives the major/large/expensive gifts and parents give the ” needed” or more personal gifts

 I think I’m actually in shock.  I had no idea.

You see, we never got gifts from Santa. We didn’t even know who Santa was. When we were very little and in town for lunch one December day, my older sister stood up on the bench seat and yelled ” hey look at all the Eskimos”  (she was pointing to decals and window decorations on the windows of the restaurant. At the time she was probably 3 years old).  She had no idea who Santa was.  My mom said some of the patrons looked on in horror that a little child had no idea who the red-felted fellow was.

My kids don’t get ” Santa”  gifts either.

Here’s some of our reasons why:

  1. He isn’t real.

  2. If I’m giving my kids a gift, then it is from ME and my husband, not Santa. Why should he get all the glory, praise and thanks for what my husband has earned and worked so hard to provide?

  3. The fairy tales are fun for movies and stories but when they invade the personal space of family , I’ve come to believe that is overstepping big time.

  4. We like to open our gifts on Christmas Eve which doesn’t really fit with the story of Santa.

  5. If a parent is poor(as we have been) and can barely provide one gift for their child(ren), do they forfeit the privilege of giving to their child to keep the ” secret of  Santa”  alive?  Or do they scrounge to give one small gift and leave the child feeling they must be bad because Santa didn’t give them anything? OR does Santa give them a cheap toy while their friends get something really fantastic?

I just really don’t understand how all of these things line up and work out.  No wonder parents are stressed and miserable about shopping for their kids!  And what does all of this teach our kids about Christmas and giving anyway? I really wish someone would enlighten me because it makes absolutely no sense.

Getting back to the spending…..what if Santa didn’t exist?  What if there were no parents buying gifts ” from Santa” ? How would that affect the retail spending at Christmas?  Would it? Maybe it would, and maybe parents would just spend more from themselves to their kids.  However, marketing would change.  Consider Christmas commercials that appeal to your inner elf.  You want to help Santa don’t you?  You want Santa to bring you the BEST gift, right? You want to be on the nice list?   Retailers have you pinned against a wall and wrapped around every little finger they can manufacture.  You are being lied to, schmoozed, tempted, bribed and pandered to. You’ve been had.  The retailers are banking on YOU buying more than you can afford, more than your kids need, and they are helping you do it with credit cards, layaways and creative marketing.

Santa is a multi-billion dollar business.  Santa is fake but he is rich and he is getting richer.

Perhaps part of redeeming Christmas for many of us would be to take the money we would normally spend on “Santa” gifts and put it into redeeming LIFE for others: water , food, medication , shelter…..that is a Redeemed Christmas! (if even a small percentage of the people buying Santa gifts for their kids put it into helping “the least of these”  it could translate to literally billions of dollars…BILLIONS!)

For all of my posts on Redeeming Christmas, click the link at the top of this page.

And if you’d like to see some of the other bloggers who are blogging for 31days straight in October, go over here to THE NESTER and check some of them out. Such a plethora of topics!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “The Problem With Santa Part 2{Day 23 of 31 Posts}

  1. Pingback: The Problem with Santa Part 3{Day 26} « Little Juan on the Prairie

  2. Hey Rene! I too love stockings and Christmas trees. Funny thing~we had stockings but no Santa. We had to old style grey wool socks with a few bits of candy and an orange and never, not once did I associate that with Santa. I knew my parents did it and for us…warm wool socks were a Christmas/winter essential. I think there are many fun traditions that can be enjoyed, guilt free while still keeping CHRIST in Christmas. Will there be a part 3? Working on it. 🙂

    • I agree..I love stockings and they have never been associated with Santa. They were always the smaller items from mom and dad. Candy, etc…now my stocking is usually filled with a g/c to a bookstore or grocery store. 🙂

  3. Awesome post! I’m kinda hoping there will be a part 3. Husband and I don’t yet have kids but we’ve discussed Santa a little bit and I’ve said that I don’t mind teaching my children what santa is but I don’t want them getting gifts from santa. As a child I didn’t care for santa breaking into our house to bring us gifts. It didn’t make sense to me how him coming in wasn’t breaking in but if someone else did it it was wrong… Anyways, we want the focus to be on the reason for holiday to begin with – Christ. With just us two santa isn’t a part of our celebration. We’ll just have to figure out how to not get caught up in the santa ness once the little ones come along…
    I can’t lie though – I truly enjoy stocking stuffers and trees! In fact I’m just waiting for the day after Thanksgiving (now that’s an interesting holiday) To put up my tree and our stockings 🙂 And to figure out what little things he would love to have in his stocking!

  4. I feel as though my parents did it right for my brothers and I. We never received gifts from Santa, just mom and dad and we read the story of Jesus’ birth on Christmas eve and that was always the focus. They did tell us about why Santa was important to some but I never felt like I missed anything by not including him strongly in our Christmas. We too watch the fun santa Christmas movies, etc but he’s always remained the legendary story but not what was important during Christmas.

    • Exactly Vanessa! That’s pretty much how I was raised too. I never once have felt like we missed out. And my kids feel the same way too. In fact, I think it has taught my kids a level of gratefulness that they may have missed~when we get them something that they have wanted but were sure they weren’t getting, they are so surprised, delighted and thankful…and they realize how much we love them. The fact that we as parents have chosen to give our kids the things that make them happy sends a strong message to them. I’m not sure what message kids are getting when they receive a most treasured item from someone they don’t know; someone who doesn’t even exist.

  5. Pingback: The Problem with Santa{Day 22 of 31 Days to Redeeming Christmas} « Little Juan on the Prairie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s