Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jumped Right On The Wagon

and it wasn't nearly as painful as I had imagined.

I have mentioned a few times in the last few weeks that I just don't get into the whole "SANTA" thing. It isn't that I am against him, or that I worry about lying to Sugar, or even that I think it is silly. It is simply that I haven't really given him a second thought.

I have few few memories that surround the idea of Santa as a child. I hardly remember believing in him, and I certainly don't remember finding out he wasn't real. There is just no vivid memory of him at all. My parents played the whole Santa gig, but I don't recall them going over the top or anything. It was simple. Santa came, he brought presents, THE END.

As a parent, I have done little to nothing to encourage my daughters belief in the big guy. I haven't even discussed the whole, "naughty or nice" thing. I am not sure I'll ever play that card, but that doesn't mean I think those that do are wrong. Sugar has seen a few movies this year, and we have been reading a few books, so she has a vague idea of this man in the red suit, but honestly, I haven't even told her how it all works. She thinks Christmas is NOW. All the decorations are Christmas. If we drive by a house that is fully lit up, she calls out, "Look Mom, it's Christmas!"

Somehow I feel like I am just fumbling my way through the holiday trying to create magic, but mostly trying not to ruin it. I know I am not the only one. I have seen a few blog post of parents confused about this crazy holiday season, and what to teach their children. It can be so complicated. I don't want this doubt and indecision to ruin the magic that surrounds this time of year. I so much want Sugar to find the wonder of the season. I want her eyes to light up, and her heart to warm as she is surrounded by all that is Christmas.

This is Sugar Bear's third Christmas and she had yet to meet Mr. Claus. To be honest, it just didn't feel like a priority. It never really occurred to me to even try. Sugar has always been a little apprehensive towards strangers, and especially men. I figured it would never work, and since I could really care less, I just didn't try. Last week, hubby asked me why I had never taken dear Sugar to see Santa. After explaining it all to him, he just said, "Well that is a shame. I was scared of Santa as well, but it sure is some vivid memories for me. I can't imagine growing up without sitting on Santa's lap!" Well.....wow....that sort of struck a nerve. Was I depriving Miss Sugar based on my lackadaisical feelings for Santa? Bad Mama!

So....today, we took little Sugar to see Santa for the very first time. When we were standing in the short line (thank you lord), I was explaining how she would go up and sit on his lap, and tell him what she wanted for Christmas, she clung to my leg and hissed, "But I am SHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I replied with, "Yes, I know you are shy, but Mama will go with you, then I will step back so we can get a fun picture of you and Santa, then mama will come get you. It will be fine, I'm sure! Plus there might be a treat involved!" Like any good nearly three year old she perked up at the mention of "treat!"

Her turn came quickly, and I walked her right up. She stuck her nervous fingers in her mouth as she always does when unsure. She wouldn't talk to Mr. Claus, but didn't cry. That was a relief. I stepped back, and the photographer snapped 2 serious shots, until I said, "say cheese Sugar!" and she joyously obliged and we got this.......



Not bad...not bad at all. And like I said, it was relatively painless. So far she has proudly announced that she sat on Santa's lap to both Grandma and Auntie. The only real change I see in her, is that she is insisting that Christmas is tomorrow. I think seeing Santa has her in the Christmas spirit for sure. Oh and I am sure the candy cane treat might have something to do with it.

This year, I am just trying to not mess up. I am saying very little, and just going with the flow, but I vow that I will be more prepared next year. I will know what Christmas traditions I want to start, and how I want them to play out. I will know WHY I am doing those things, and will feel confident in my efforts to bring Christmas joy to our home.

16 Live It or Love It:

Anonymous said...

Just have fun, and don't be afraid about messing up! Despite finding out when I was five that Santa isn't actually a real man and being peeved about it, that didn't ruin the magic of the season for me. We don't push Santa on our kids at all - they've never sat on Santa's lap for a formal picture, but they have spoken to him at the tree farm to say what they would like. I think a person could drive herself crazy trying to do the "right" thing? What is "right" anyway? You do what feels nice for your family. Celebrate how you want. Enjoy it!

Lis Garrett
http://www.MelissaGarrett.wordpress.com

Julie said...

What a wonderful picture of Sugar Bear and Santa! I'll bet that smile brightens your day! :)

Mama Zen said...

Baby Puppy is four, and she's just now getting into the whole Santa thing. Just do what feels right to you!

Laura said...

Wow, what a great picture! I love it! And as always, I love the thoughtful way that you approach all of your parenting decisions. You're constantly helping me reexamine mine as well. :)

Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas said...

We have done Santa every year, but that's bc I have such fond memories of him. I believe until I was 12yo. I guess it was part of the magic for me. Xander is very into Santa this year. He saw him a few weeks ago and didn't understand why he didn't give him a Diego camera right then and there. But, now he tells everyone he sees that Santa is bringing him a Diego camera. I can't wait to see his face when he actually gets it!

Autumn said...

Oh cute picture of Sugar with Santa. I agree with you about just going with the flow. That usually is what works out best. She will have great memories of Christmas.. because she has a great mommy.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Oh, how CUTE!! She is such the pro at posing for magnificent shots!

We haven't done Santa pics either because I am confident D will just FLIP OUT. I'm not up for it. I love the magic of Santa and all that, but we aren't playing it up either.

holly said...

i really only enjoy christmas because of the time m1 and i spend together doing stuff. we never get all the cards made, or all the ornaments finished, but i don't really care, because it's something we're doing together.

such a cute pic of sugar and santa!!!

Michelle said...

oh she's adorable in that photo! and how great she wasn't afraid since that was her first experience!

WorksForMom said...

That shot of her and Santa couldn't be ANY better unless, of course, you yourself shot it.

Adorable Corey!

Nap Warden said...

Great picture! I need to take a page from your book. I feel like I'm blowin' it this year. With a mid December move, it's been really tough to do Christmas...

Childlife said...

Such a cute picture - she sure has one fabulous smile : )

Joeprah said...

I struggle with the Santa thing, with three it seems like a lie compounding three fold...we are in deep in other words. I don't go Santa crazy or anything, but we do the lap thing...just weird to me, I mean that dude in the picture looks freakin nuts if you ask me. I mean you have to be a little strange to dress like that right? I dunno, I think society (US society) has pushed us in this direction through so many channels and most are corporate, Santa makes me a little angry overall since I am more religious than commercial...cool post and you are the only jaded one ;)

bellevelma said...

I love how big her smile is! This is where it really starts to get fun, and the kids start to get excited about Christmas and Santa. Enjoy!

Rachel said...

Absolutely adorable!
Santa pictures are wonderful, but good for you for not pushing it :-)
We don't have one this year, the kids just weren't feeling it and I'm not pushing it!!

Jennifer Powell said...

Hi Corey, My parents didn't overly push Santa either. My first picture with Santa was when I was 19. Santa brought presents and that was it. No big push, no big lies. I think I always knew that my parents put out the presents, but it didn't matter to me. It was all in fun. It is good to be thoughtful and to know the why. For me also, I am more religious than commercial(as a previous commenter also put). Not sure if that is a concern for you. There is a great book called, "A Special Place for Santa" that talks about Santa's religious origins. It is a great book and helps me sort of accept the big guy. Christmas is a wonderful time and should be celebrated in all forms.
Thanks for sharing that awesome picture. Truly a wonderful memory.
Take care, Jenny

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