Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Now that I've had my pity party, lets move on to something else!!

Disclaimer: Please know that these are *my* thoughts about our own family. I fully support whatever your family decides to do regarding Santa.

As Christmas has been approaching, something Justin and I have talked a lot about is Santa and whether he will be part of our family's Christmas. This is something I struggled with a lot more than Justin did. Justin was really fine either way. He tends to be the much more level-headed, easy-going one around here! Oh, you're not surprised?? ;)

What really concerned me the most was making Jesus first and foremost in our child(ren)'s minds during Christmastime. I feel like Christmas can easily turn into Santa, gifts, me, me, me, and that's not what we want. After *much* talking, thinking, praying, crying (yes, I cried over this as I was worried I was depriving my children of something) we decided that Santa is not going to bring gifts to our house.

There are a couple of reasons we came to this conclusion:

  • The main, BIGGEST reason: we want Christmas morning to be more about Jesus being born and celebrating that, rather than what Santa brought and what gifts we get.
  • I really hate the idea of threatening my children that if they're not good they won't get gifts on Christmas morning - does anyone really not give their kids gifts from Santa because they were bad? I tend to kinda be OCD about following through on my word.
  • I don't really like the idea of lying to my children. So many people compare it to other "farirytales", and therefore render it harmless, but I really don't think it's the same. I don't tell Chloe that Barney or Elmo are actually REAL and shimmy their way down our chimney.
So, here's what we have decided our ChristmasEve/morning will look like. On Christmas Eve we will bake and decorate a birthday cake for Jesus. On Christmas morning, the kids (yes, this is assuming we will have more than one!!) will wake up to JESUS IN THE MANGER!! (we will have had him out of the nativity set until Christmas morning). We will then eat birthday cake and read about Jesus' birthday. After that the kids will each have 3 gifts to open, just like Jesus had!

When she gets a little older we will talk about St. Nicholas and the godly man that he was. She can still sit on Santa's lap and be excited about seeing him (just like she gets excited about seeing someone dressed up as Elmo). He just won't be visiting our house and leaving gifts.

I'm so excited to make this our little family tradition!!

What are your thoughts? Its okay, you can be honest :)

What does your Christmas look like?


BG said...

Yeah, this one is a hard one, Ash. I've had my own tears over this. I think you've got some great ideas, though...esp baby Jesus coming out on Christmas. :)

We're still in the early stages of deciding our Christmas traditions. We are planning for Santa to visit but we are limiting Santa's gifts to 3. Mom and Dad may give 1 gift in addition, we're still trying to decide. Santa will also fill our children's stockings. We aren't opposed to Santa or the magic of thinking there is a kind being out there who gives good gifts (we see it even as an analogy of who God is). But we are opposed to the consumerism of Christmas. So, limiting the gifts is very important for us.

I like the idea of putting our shoes out for St. Nicholas (December 6). Although, do we really need another day to get gifts? We may have St. Nick put a gift in our kids shoes to be given to another child in need.

Speaking of that, we would like to start picking a name from the Angel tree early in the month so we can talk about, pray for and buy gifts for a child in need.

Also, we like to celebrate Advent. We have an advent calendar and open the door each day. But we also light a candle and sing songs each Sunday of Advent.

Those are just some of our ideas. I love how intentional you are! Merry Christmas!!

Jo Ann said...

Hi Ashleigh,
I think what makes this decision a great one is that you and Justin agree on it and dont let the world lead you in a direction that you dont want to go!! Everyone sees your love for Chloe and knows that you all just want the very best for her. I just sent all of the family a song titled "Where is the line to see Jesus" and it is a great one for this day and time and your decision. Jesus is the reason for the season and so many have forgotten that.
Continue in your beliefs, decisions and love for Christ.
We love you all,
Grandma and Grandpa Bateman ><>

Amber said...

Ashleigh, I think it's great! Good for you!!! Everyone has their own traditions, and I think that's a great one!