Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What? No Santa??!!

'Tis the season and when you have kids, the inevitable question always asked is,"Are you ready for Santa Claus? Or, "What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?" When my boys were toddlers and preschoolers, they would just stare blankly and not say a word.  They were not sure how to respond.


 Why?  Well, at our house we do not "do" Santa Claus.  Now, I know that this may seem radical to most, some may be shaking their heads at me, or calling me a "party pooper" as others have. It was a personal choice that my husband and I made; we do not judge others that do not agree with our decision. In fact, we were both big Santa believers when we were children, and my oldest son, now nineteen, believed in Santa. But, we want the focus to be on our faith and belief that our Savior was born at Christmas. To bring Santa into the picture distracts our children. That is just our opinion, and please, please know that I in no way want to offend those of you that believe differently.

So, how do the youngest two boys respond now to the questions about Santa? They reply simply that our family celebrates Jesus' birthday at Christmas. End of discussion.


In spite of all of this, I go out of my way to make the anticipation of the holidays as fun as I can.  We watch Christmas movies with Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, and of course Elf.  We buy gifts for loved ones and those less fortunate than us. We decorate the Christmas tree. We read many Christmas stories, both Christian and secular. We bake cookies and listen to Christmas carols. But, the month of December is highlighted with our preparation and anticipation of Jesus' birthday.  This is called Advent.  

Graphics by Scrappin Doodles


 For Advent, we do a variety of activities.  One new tradition we started last year is to make a Christmas countdown chain.  I found this idea on one of my favorite websites (she has many free printable books for preschool and kindergarten!)- Hubbard's Cupboard.  The chain looks like an ordinary paper chain.

 
However, inside each link is a Bible verse to celebrate Advent.  We make twenty five links and take off a link each evening at dinner to read and discuss.  Then, the boys count how many links are left to see how many more days until Christmas.


You can find the directions to make the chain along with FREE printables of the Bible verses and suggested activities hereMy boys really enjoy this activity and get excited as the chain gets shorter and shorter!

This year, I wrote a little story for them since they are both reading well. Actually, I created an entire packet!

 
The packet includes a fourteen page printable book available both in color and black and white.  We read it at dinner the other night;  well, actually my seven year old read it to us!



 The packet also includes vocabulary cards and various other activities that can be used by Christian school teachers or Sunday school teachers.  Click the picture below to see the listing in my TpT store.



 I felt very called to write this post. I knew I was taking a risk, especially as a relatively new blogger with a small following.  My intention was to share a little bit about how our family celebrates Christmas and not at all to start a debate or to offend or judge. 

How do you celebrate Christmas?  Or, maybe you do not celebrate Christmas.  What are your favorite traditions?  I'd love for you to share them!

From my little family to you- Merry Christmas


8 comments:

  1. I love that you felt comfortable sharing your views. I've never known anyone to celebrate the holidays or season in this way, but it's nice to be educated on something that is so "different" from what I do. Thank you for sharing!

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees

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    1. Thanks, Sara. I don't know many others who celebrate this way either and I go to a church with 3000+ members and teach in a Christian school! I appreciate you having an open mind. I hope the rest of the comments will be as sweet as yours! Merry Christmas! Lauren

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  2. Awesome post! We don't do Santa either (have a 2-year-old and 8-month-old). They don't get it yet, anyway, but love that you provided resources and ideas on what to do instead!


    What i have learned

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! Something else we do for Christmas devotions is Family Life Today's "Adornaments". The kit has little ornaments with verses and names for God, etc. I got them years ago from our local Christian book store. They're also on Amazon, I think. Merry Christmas! :-) Lauren

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  3. Great post! My kids know Santa is a character just like Mickey Mouse and big bird. This does not take away any of the excitement! It does however avoid the "YOU LIED TO ME!!" When they are 10 or 11!

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    1. You are so right! I don't want my kids to transfer that to thinking Jesus or our faith is a lie either! Merry Christmas! :-) Lauren

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  4. Great post, Lauren! Like yours, my convictions have changed on this over the years. Our daughter and son-in-law are not "doing" Santa with their 3 little ones, and we are totally in support of their reasoning ... which is much like yours, Power Point Maniac! Why confuse them with legends when the true story of Christmas is so filled with beauty and love?

    Thanks for starting this conversation, Lauren!

    Linda

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  5. Hi,Linda! I appreciate your support! It's hard for others to understand my reasoning... we don't do Halloween, tooth fairy, or Easter bunny either. And my oldest son who is 19 turned out rather well. But I also respect those that choose to do otherwise. Thanks for stopping by! :-) Lauren

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