Thursday, December 9, 2010
Gardeners and Santa
A friend of mine told the truth about Santa to his kids a couple of days ago. This admission received a wide chorus of 'how could yous' with a few, quiet 'at-a-boys'. The 'how could you' crowd seemed to focus on how this friend was robbing his children of some 'vital experience' for growing up healthy.
My wife and I have never taught our child that Santa is a real guy flying around the world with reindeer and a red suit. She knows the stories, but she knows them in context of reality. And honestly, I think she knows them deeper than many of her friends.
Many of those friends spend horrific amounts of time putting together long lists of what they want Santa to bring them. The larger the family tradition of Santa is, the longer the lists seem and the more time the kids spend making them.
My daughter, on the other hand is much more likely to ask what work she can do to earn money to give a well thought out gift. Yes, she has a wish list. But it never makes it to paper unless she is asked. And while she has fun opening her presents, she is more excited to see the reaction to the ones she is giving.
Somehow I don't think she has missed that 'vital experience'. She has, however, gained several key traits for a gardener. Humility, a realization that one must give, and deep caring about others.
After all, where would our gardens be if we didn't put so much into them? If we didn't realize that we are subject to the greater power of the elements? And that our vegetable and fruit gardening always leads to helping someone else?
And aren't all these traits the same ones that make all civilizations work?
No, I am sure that teaching the truth about Santa will lead to much more magic in the lives of my friend's children.