Thursday, 11 October 2012

What do to about Santa?

I remember I was about 12. We were at church on Christmas morning and I was met by a little, excited 6 yr old friend. I promptly asked her what Santa brought her for Christmas. She looked at me puzzled and then turned to her mum.
"Mum, what did I get from Santa?"
Her mother smiled at me, "Oh, Santa doesn't come to poor kids." And then she walked away.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. A friend was telling us that she told her toddler that if he didn't hurry up and listen to her, that Santa wasn't coming.
"I couldn't believe how effective it was!" She exclaimed.

We haven't really done Santa at our house before. It wasn't that I was against him, I had great memories of getting ready for Santa to come as a kid, I just hadn't quite settled on how we were going to go about it. And last year, when Tully was asked what he got from Santa, he gave me that same puzzled look I received from that poor little girl all those years ago. These two scenarios have burned in my mind how I don't want to 'do' Santa. I don't want my kids thinking the presents they receive are deserved, or are rewards for good behaviour. Especially when it really does have far more to do with wealth than 'naughty or nice'. They are gifts. I want Christmas to be about generosity and thankfulness.

And now it's come to that time of year again when the planning has begun, the junk mail is increasing, and my newsfeed on Facebook is filling with Christmas colours. And Tully is older and his circle of friends is wider.
Then two nights ago, while reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (My favourite author ever), we came to the part where the witch's wintery spell is breaking. Up until now in Narnia, it has been "always winter but never Christmas." And who should come and herald the ending of the witch's reign, but Father Christmas!
   "I've come at last," said he, "She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch's spell is weakening."

That's who I want Santa to be in our house. The one who gives generously to celebrate the breaking of a spell, to bring hope and joy, like the old St Nicholas, who used to give secretly to the poor.

So, I know it's not Christmas yet, but it's been on my mind to share with you while making these Christmas Pinnies. If there's anytime I feel uncomfortable selling my wares, it's at Christmas. I want you to know, for me, Christmas is not about buying more, or selling more. But I do want to celebrate it with all the joy and colour and creativity its message deserves. So I'll be sharing over the next couple of months, here and on my Facebook Page, the things I'm making, not because I want to add to the consumerist noise, but because it's my way of expressing what the holidays mean to me, and I want to share that with you. I'm looking forward to enjoying what you make too!

Yours excitedly!
Jodi. xx


  1. It's a tough one!

    We tend to 'big up' St Nicholas and tell his story, then "Santa" gives the stocking presents that include gold coins to link to Saint Nick, some fruit (can't remember the symbolism of that...) and some bits and pieces like Lego mini figures, bits from Smiggle etc. They all got cinema vouchers last year too. Why should Santa get the credit for all the good stuff?! When they've asked how other kids get xboxes from Santa, I just say I had a chat and didn't think they needed it or that we would cover it to let him get things for other kids. The 3 big boys are in on the scam now and love all the nudging and winking to keep it magical for the wee ones!

    We like to spend Advent going over a lovely couple of books that tell the Christmas Story and the story of all the traditions that people follow all over the world. I'm glad they all understand the real reason we celebrate Christmas, as it makes the emphasis more on giving than receiving.

    "Santa" probably needs to get cracking on things soon though!

    Sandra x

  2. What a wonderful post! We try to focus on the true Christmas story here in our house, while including the excitement of Santa. My big struggle is trying to keep the gift giving from sweet relatives down to a minimum; the kids get so overwhelmed with all the gifts. It's a hard balance to strike, especially with all of the consumer noise these days. Good for you for trying to find a good balance for your family!

  3. This is a beautiful post Jodi. Although my little girl is still too young to have much of an idea I too have given a lot of thought about how we want Christmas and other celebrations like Easter to be. What is important to us is the significance of ritual. I like the idea of having hand-made ornaments on the tree that are added to each year, the advent calender, of doing special little things each year that our child (and future ones) will enjoy and draw comfort from each year. Last year (our first Christmas) I decided that I would make a Sienna cake (panaforte) in honour of my girl's name as a Christmas ritual. I totally agree with you about celebrating life!

  4. I really liked hearing your thoughts on this! I have also been getting ready to stock a few things in my little online store for the holidays and I have been thinking a lot about what gifts mean, especially handmade. I agree that Christmas should be a celebration of generosity and thankfulness.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Jodi. I wasn't raised with Santa Claus, so it hasn't felt natural to share the story with my kids. But, we have learned about St. Nicholas, which helps me children understand the stories others share.

  6. I got goose bumps reading that quote from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Jodi!

    Love that idea of Father Christmas being "one who gives generously to celebrate the breaking of a spell, to bring hope and joy, like the old St Nicholas, who used to give secretly to the poor".

    Also appreciate your thoughts on avoiding that idea of kids "earning" presents through their behaviour - so very much the opposite of what Christmas actually celebrates (an UNdeserved gift)!


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx