When I became pregnant with Christopher, Anthony and I had a lot of decisions to make. Cloth vs. disposable. Pampers vs. Luvs. Similac vs. Enfamil. Natural vs. C-section. And Santa vs. no Santa.
It was quite a dilemma. Of course, some decisions were easier than others. But to Santa or not to Santa... that was the question. I had been raised believing in Santa. And I have no gripes about that. But being the legalist that I can sometimes be... I had a hard time thinking about deceiving my child into believing in a nice jolly fellow who would make all his dreams come true... and then one day admit that I had been lying the whole time.
So, after Christopher was born Santa didn't visit our house. And Christopher didn't notice... considering being an only child... he had plenty of gifts beneath the tree. We would visit Santa at the mall. Christopher would receive gifts from Santa when he visited relatives. When asked by Christopher, "Mommy, do you believe in Santa?" I would respond with a gentle prodding question, "What do you think?" He still wondered... and being considerate of other parents... we never denied Santa's existence.
I later found that the choice to not have Santa visit our home was a huge benefit. Christopher never asked for large presents... he was appreciative for what he received... and I could even admit that I was Christmas shopping for him or wrapping his gifts. It was also to our benefit because when we would travel at Christmas to other homes, Christopher would not be concerned with whether or not Santa would find him on Christmas Eve... having opened his gifts in his own home days earlier.
But then something happened. And I truly don't know what to think.
It was just this past Christmas Eve as we were driving from one relative's home to another. Every store was closed. There was an occasional convenience store open, but Best Buy and Toys R Us and Macys and Target... were closed. And they would be closed on December 25th. Christmas Day.
I began to realize that I was able to celebrate Christmas Day with my family... and have the day off... because Santa only comes one evening a year. And to keep the dream of Santa alive... stores needed to close... and parents needed to be home... and children needed to be in bed.
Was it true? Didn't Christmas Day have to do with the birth of Christ? And yes, it does. But I could celebrate the birth of Christ on any day... and actually... every day. But not Santa. Just one night... just one day... that we all agree upon.
So all along I was thinking that I should keep Santa out of Christmas... and what if I succeeded in that? I mean truly succeeded in Christmas not having to do anything with Santa at all? What if we all got together and rid Christmas of Santa all together? I have a feeling that our "right" to have Christmas Day off and spend with our families... would disappear... and we would realize that it wasn't a "right" all along... but a privilege. And I sure would miss it.
Sometimes... I just wish Christmas was simple, don't you? I guess I have about 350 more days to ponder it...