I wrote about the Great Santa Debate last year. We've been trying to focus more on the giving and the story of Saint Nicholas. I've been looking at children's books and such, trying to find things to have in the home that will reinforce this idea... that we are remembering the example of giving that Saint Nicholas gave us and that Santa Claus is the spirit of that giving. As I started my search this year- a bit later than last year- I came across a new Veggie Tales DVD that may say exactly what I've been wanting to teach!
I've talked with Teagan about Saint Nicholas and she seems to really like the idea and has taken to it quickly. She talks about Saint Nicholas and that he gave things to people. After reading the reviews on Amazon, I'm very hopeful that the movie will fall right in line with what I've been wanting to teach my kids.
I also think I might have Santa leave a bag of groceries for Teagan, with a note asking her to take them to the food pantry for him because he doesn't have time to drop them off but he knows she's a great helper and giver. And, like last year, we will work together to go through toys and decide what we can donate to Goodwill. Make room for the new things the kids are getting and also have a teachable moment about charity and giving.
Last year, her environments were still pretty controlled when it came to Santa exposure. This year, she is in school and there is a lot more talk about Santa and traditions. I love that they've been learning about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Christmas. I love that they've made "reindeer food" and other fun things. I love that she is learning lots of Christmas songs. I just hope that I am being effective and that our church is coming through loud and clear with messages about the reason that we celebrate this season.
Santa and jingle bells and reindeer and Frosty and all that is fine... I enjoy celebrating those things, too. I just want all of it to be balanced. She will learn from the example I set, I know. And, hopefully, I will be involved with teaching music to the kids at church at this time next year so she will be singing Christmas hymns just as easily as she sings Rudolph this year.