Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas, Santa Claus and non-Christians.

I don't believe that there's a god, let alone a god who had a son born in a manger to a virgin, but I really hate to influence children (including my own) by stating that aloud.  So far, I don't think that any of my children are Christian, although that could change and I wouldn't care at all if it did.  Belief systems, in my opinion, are personal.  I don't want to sway you from yours and I sure don't want you to sway me from mine.

Christmas and the gift-giving tradition born out of it, however, presents a dilemma for non-believers who don't want to engage in the hypocrisy associated with so many Christians.   Children are too new to the world to deal with belief/non-belief systems out of the norm, and as No. 1 has reminded me too many times to count as I asked her how she always seemed to end up with Christian boyfriends, "The US is 85% Christian". 

So, when my kids were little way back in the day, I pretended that there was a Santa Claus.  BIG MISTAKE!  No. 1 would say things like, "Why would Santa think I would want something like this?"

As the years went by, I think the kids just enjoyed getting gifts and the fun associated with opening the gifts even if the gifts weren't what they wanted.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped pretending.  The kids were grown and aware of my non-belief, Em's a non-believer as well, and there were/are other venues for everyone.  Then came Astrid.

I fancy myself  her teacher in these early preschool years, although No. 1 and husband are doing an excellent job at ensuring appropriate development, as well.   It's my intent to teach her bible stories along with Aesop's fables and Greek/Roman mythologies.  She's a bit young for that now, IMO, but is totally smitten with Frosty the Snowman.  We watch a 3-minute Frosty video every visit THREE times.  So far, she's not asked about Santa (who appears at the end of the video with Frosty), but I suspect I'll suggest to her that Santa is "the spirit of Christmas" if (and ONLY if) it comes up. 


Anonymous said...

No. 1 I don't ever remember having a Christian boyfriend, only boyfriends with Christian families.I plan on presenting Santa as a myth when it does come up. None of Astrid's gifts will ever come from Santa (well at least not mine). I did tell her one was from Frosty the Snowman though. I do also tell her he is on the phone for her too. :)

Oldnovice said...

Yesterday, I bought some snowman/snowflake window clings that were JUST what I was looking for. In addition, I bought a Frosty The Snowman "sticker play scene" which is about the size of a greeting card unfolded with stickers on a sheet the size of the card folded.

No doubt her interest in Frosty will wane in a few weeks when she moves on to the next interest, but I consider it $1.50 well spent at a 70% off sale at Target.