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.


  1. We believe in Santa Claus at our house. We keep the magic alive as we tell the children that Santa is a symbol of Christ who gives to all and as we play the part in acting in behalf of Christ, Santa is also a part that must be acted out by someone. As the children grow older and in their own time they come to understand the full meaning of Santa as they also come to understand how we must act for Christ. My children never give a whole list to Santa because I have taught them not to be greedy and so they ask for one thing and maybe a back up and Santa usually brings them a few surprises too. Santa is a good guy and represents goodness, giving, hope, and love, all of which Christ taught us about. He comes in the night as did Christ when he was born. He wears red which is symbolic of the blood Christ sacrificed for us. He has white hair and a white beard which represents light and Christ is the light of the world. Santa rewards us for being good and we have to have faith that he will come on Christmas eve. Christ rewards us with eternity and we have to have faith that he will come again. Santa makes it possible to teach morals in our schools because we can't talk about God there anymore. Yes we love Santa Claus at our house and we love the part he plays for all of us and we love playing his part as well and our older children have thanked us for keeping the magic alive for them.

  2. I couldn't agree more, especially on your last statement. I can't come to lie to my kids about Santa. I think it is far more beautiful for them to know the presents come from loving parents.