“Santa Claus is going to come and bring me toys.”
Last week, my two-year old uttered these words. And I cringed.
We had barely even talked about the jolly old man yet. And I definitely have not mentioned anything about toys.
And now she talks about Santa all. the. time. How he’s going to visit us at Grandmom’s house. And she is going to save an orange for him. And the toys.
And this is not what I want her to know about Christmas.
I want her to know about the special holiday things that have nothing to do with chimneys or sacks of toys. I want her to know about a time to be thankful. And the importance of giving – not just to family but to those who need our generosity more. I want her to know how special it is to come together with family at Christmas. I want her to have fond memories of decorating our tree and baking cookies.
I also want her to experience the magic of Christmas. I want to fill our advent calendar with little treats, fill her shoes with goodies on the feast of St. Nicholas, move the Elf on the Shelf around each night, and see the excitement in her eyes when she comes down Christmas morning to find the things that Santa brought for her.
Is it possible to give a child the magic of Christmas wrapped in the messages of family and giving, and leave aside the Toys R Us catalogs and the begging for the latest toy? My December will be spent in pursuit of that balance.
How do you let the true meanings of the holidays shine through while still preserving the magic for your children?