Recently, social media has been riddled with blogs and posts denouncing Santa Claus and all that comes with him. There have been various reasons behind the boycott of Jolly Old St. Nick including: parents don't want to lie to their children, Santa takes all the credit for Christmas and some feel that children can't separate God from Santa. I feel like I'm in the 2016 version of Miracle on 34th St.

First off, let me say that if you or your family falls into the "No Santa, Please" category, that is your business. You go for it! No judgements here. :)

But, I will publicly announce that Santa always has been and always will be welcome in our home. I am 30-something years old, and Kris Kringle still leaves gifts for me under the tree. I was brought up in a home that Santa visited each year and I can't count the wonderful memories of waiting, wishing and wondering. I was also brought up in a home where we recognize and celebrate the birth of Jesus. In fact, it was the most important part of our Christmas celebrations and still continues to be. And when I became of reasoning age, it was not hard for me to separate the difference between my spiritual life and our merriment traditions on Christmas.

I do remember though, how small I felt when every treated me like a little kid when I obviously knew... My entire (extended) family were just trying to be good sports but when you are that age, it feels kind of like everyone is patronizing you. When I read this today, I absolutely fell in love with it. How great would it have been if someone had thought to let me play along?!

For now, since my daughter is still small I explain to her about the real Saint Nicholas. He was so kind, he was known all over for his generosity and love for God. He was known as the friend and protector of all those in need - especially children. We talk about St. Nicholas' giving nature and why he was selected to honor God by blessing all the children of the world with gifts on Jesus' birthday. We also discuss our belief that Jesus and the salvation he offers is the greatest gift of all. I let her unlimited imagination fill in the blanks. That's just how we roll. I know other families are different and that's okay too! Again, no judgement here!

As a parent, it has become quite evident to me that every small choice you make molds your children into who they are and who they will become. You also have the opportunity to use each occasion to teach, guide and help your child flourish. I thank my parents for holding back all year and allowing me the unbridled ecstasy of Christmas morning. I thank them for allowing Santa to visit our home and allowing me the joy that comes with believing in someone so generous. I'll keep this in my back pocket for the day that my daughter will too become Santa.

Wikipedia commons, first published in the New York Sun.
Wikipedia commons, first published in the New York Sun.

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