Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Building Traditions Part I: The Man in Red

We are thrilled to be in our own home this Christmas. In the past we usually camped out at our respective parent's homes on their corresponding years. That was fine and good for a while, but now that we have our own little 'elf' at home we are excited to start our own family's Christmas traditions.

Bizarrely enough, one of the first major arguments that Ben and I had while dating was concerning whether or not our children would 'do Santa Claus.' Please note: we were probably 19 and 20 at the time- we didn't waste time getting to the 'big issues,' you know about things like Santa and our future kids' names. Things that all 19 year-olds think about. Anyways, I was on the pro- Santa side being that I did the whole Santa thing growing up.My parents always told the kids in our family that they had to write out a check to Santa for the cost of all of our toys. This tactic kept us from becoming greedy little gremlins who thought that we could ask Santa for a pony and receive it without any financial repercussions. To me Santa was just a glorified toy-maker who somehow squeezed down our chimney to deliver the goods. On the other side of the spectrum, Ben's family never really 'did Santa.' Rather in Norwegian fashion Ben's family would open all of their presents from each other on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning they would receive their stockings filled with chocolate and goodies. There was always an understanding that the gifts came from Ben's parents not a jolly fat guy in red velour.

Fast forward to 2009, we have a 19 month old and the age old argument is hanging around in the back of our minds. At this point we have decided to compromise and combine our traditions. This year Lil will be receiving gifts from her Mom and Dad (have not yet duked it out over whether that will be on 'Eve' or 'Day') and a stocking from Santa. This way she will not be the odd Debbie Downer in her elementary school class, crushing little children's hopes and dreams by declaring that 'Santa is not real.' Yet, she will also recognize that Santa is not a huge deal and focus on the fact the merry man should not be the reason that most of the world is having a giant party on the 25th. Victory on both accounts! Now we just have to put this plan in motion. We figure that we still have a couple of years to change our minds- if things don't work with the compromise their won't be any serious damage done to our child's naive little presuppositions.

P.S. If you are loving the sketchy Santa pic at the top of the page you might want to check out this fabulous holiday blog . It will definitely bring you a little yuletide cheer.