I shared this last year and it went remarkably well so I wanted to share it again- this time with more time to plan ahead for those who want to do the same in their homes. I've blogged on several occassions about my concerns about the Santa Claus thing- I believe that lying to my kids isn't a good idea and I also believe that Santa Claus has become to focused on what we get and not on where Santa came from- Saint Nicholas. St. Nick is all about giving to others- even when we aren't "supposed to" give. So I invented this new way of doing Santa- I want my kids to have the magic of Santa and Christmas but also want them to learn compassionate giving. Reposting- original post Dec 22, 2009 (slightly updated for 2010) As I was typing up last week's entry on Saint Nicholas and the Veggie Tales movie and all that... I had the idea to have Santa leave a bag of food for Teagan to take to the food pantry for him. I had a lot of favorable responses from other moms that want to do the same. But I've changed what I'm going to do and thought it only fair to share that change here! Teagan, Zach and I will go shopping for food before Christmas. We will have a bag or box filled with food and leave a note on it that will ask Santa to please take the food and give it to a family he knows needs it. After all, St Nicholas was all about giving to those in need and doing it secretly. This really carries on that tradition.
Since I will be heading to church for the 11:00 service, I can take the food with me and leave it at the missions table (will actually give it to Pastor jennifer who will put it in her trunk and give it to her dad who works at the food pantry). So when the kids wake up, the food will be gone. And Santa will leave an empty box and a note... Asking the kids to please fill the box with toys that they don't play with anymore that we can then donate to Goodwill or some other group. That will make room for their new toys and will also help out other mommies and daddies and kids. I think that should pretty well cover us on the giving side of Christmas. I think the lesson will be powerful and will be a great tradition that we can easily carry on year after year.