Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Christmas Conundrum

To "Ho Ho" or not to "Ho"?

That is the question. And it has nothing to do with the economy.

For years I have struggled alongside Hubbs for the answer to said question.

What does this all mean you ask? Where am I going with this? Well, for us, it is whether or not our children believe in a large man in a red suit. Whether or not a Santa Claus person comes to our house to deliver presents or not.

See, Hubbs grew up in the country of Brazil. Where he claims and I tend to believe him, that they don't techinically believe in Papai Noel. So, for him it has always been, "A fat man who I don't even know does not get credit for the presents "I" bought for my kids." Amen and amen.

While I understand his point and logic, this really, and I mean REALLY takes away all of the fun and magic. Somehow we have skittered around the issue the past few years. We don't "take" the kids to see Santa, if he is around then they will see him, but a special trip? Unheard of. Do I like it? No I don't. Does it make me scroogie? Of course it has over the years. Ug.

Then I got a call from my sweet friend Wendy, having the same dilemma of not wanting her child to be the one to break the news to all the Kindergartners that Santa isn't a real knowing my family, she called me up to ask me what to do. And people...people, I have the answer...which I will now share.

Upon reading in "A Christmas Treasury" a book by Lloyd and Karmel Newell, the answer came on the first day of December of the two thousand and ninth year of our Lord, in the form of these words:

"I want to emphasize that I have no quarrel with that well fed gentleman with
the red suit and white whiskers. He was very generous to me when I was a
boy, and we are looking forward with great anticipation to his visit at our
All of those things with reference to Christmas are appropriate and
good and all of them are for children, except, I suppose, the

--Elder Boyd K. Packer

So you see, without taking Elder Packer's words out of direct context, I will just say, that if he believes in a "well fed man in a red suit" well by all means so can my children. Point given to Hubbs and he has been informed not another word will be spoken about it.

As for the other problem when your kids get almost nothing and the neighbor kid gets a new iPod and game system...what do you tell your kids?

Thanks to Nakia, she gave me THE PERFECT ANSWER, the one she gives her kids:

"Jesus only got three gifts, what makes you better than Jesus?"

Again, I say...amen and amen.

Merry Christmas


Fostervision said...

LOVE it!

Katie said...

My parent's did exactly what I'm going to do. They gave us all but one of our gifts and "Santa" brought that one and filled our stockings. This was great because one, we knew my parents cared and gave us gifts, and two, we realized that there were other children that needed Santa to bring them gifts more than we did. My mom would just tell us that when we asked why Santa brought us only one gift. Anyway, just an idea.

Thanks for the quote from President Packer. He has a good sense of humor.

Arianne said...

you always put things in perspective! I love it! I also love what nakia said!! SOO GOOD!!! love you!

ec said...

well said, my dear. well said.

Mandee said...

I LOVE it! And you are welcome to borrow my black dress anytime.

Glowstars said...

The husband is Brasilian and until he met me he had no idea of what stockings (in the Christmas sense) were.
I say (and I'm still battling this one with the husband) let the kids believe if they want, but do very little to maintain that illusion. Under no circumstances tell them the truth outright, unless they ask for it, in which case they probably know themselves already.

Holly said...

This is an issue for us as well. I wasn't raised to believe in Santa since my family didn't do Christmas at all. I feel like such a big fat phonie telling my son about Santa. But..I've been warned on pain of death not to do otherwise since Hubbs has such fond memories of this magical aspect of Christmas.

Christal said...

love this post love it!! I'm totally using the three gifts thing! You are the best! Hope all is good and that you have an awesome christmas!! ttys

Amy said...

Is it sad that I still believe in Santa? I am quite happy to be sharing that bit of magic with my son. I remember being so young and positively giddy, staying up listening for Santa. Of course, the suspense was killing me and I would peek out my bedroom door to find my mom watching TV. I wanted her to hurry and go to sleep so Santa could come!

My grandmother's basement fireplace had a black footprint made out of soot that we just admired.

I love love love the idea of Santa.

Amy said...

John and I are planning for the day when our girls find out Santa isn't real! I think it comes down to the fact that St. Nick was a real person and did go around bringing gifts to people. (years ago of course) and so we'll just tell them the history of "Santa" and tell them that Santa is now another symbol on Christmas. And we'll incorporate the birth of Jesus Christ and how his birth and death was the greatest gift of all!

Hopefully it'll go over well!

Katie said...

Love it! I think it's great that an apostle took the time to address such an issue.
In our house Santa always brought one gift to each person and it was always a game left in our stocking. It was said that Santa was a nice man that wanted us to be happy & have fun together as a family and playing games made us happy so that's what we got. I loved it and do it now with our little family.

mrs. r said...


Brenley said...

So my SIL was telling me how her girls just figured out that there is no Santa, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy all at the same time. It started with the Tooth Fairy when one of my nieces lost a tooth and they decided not to tell their mom and dad. And they didnt get any money so then they went to their mom and told them that they think they they (mom & dad) were the tooth fairy, because they only get money for their lost teeth when they tell them about it. And thent they said, by the way we think that you are Santa and the Easter Bunny too. Mind you they are only 7 and 9 years old. Those smarty pants.

In our house I have been trying to figure out how to have Santa at both Grandparents house, not sure how that is going to work.

ls said...

i love the way you laid down the law :). i am SO with you on this one.

the word verification is "box ho." an appropriate reference to a fat man in a red suit who says "ho" and brings boxes. that or someone who sells her body for boxes :).

Barrett said...

My little sister had to convince me that Santa wasn't 'who I thought he was.' I thought that if I didn't believe in him, I didn't get presents so oh boy, I believed! In our house we are having Santa give one or two gifts and filling the stockings too. The rest will come from us. I let the kids think he's real because I figure, he is not a bad illusion to believe in. Helping others, being happy. I think there are a lot of Santas out there! We try to be one to at least someone each year. Even if it's not bringing a whole Christmas to a can be as small as giving gloves and blankets to homeless people or donating food to a shelter or toys to a child. Service. I think that's what makes Christmas great! The end!

Brenda said...

Love it Kim!!! We started the 3 gifts tradition this year and I am excited about it. I love this post!!!!

Lace said...

Growing up we always got one gift from Santa as well. It was always great with me. The only thing was Santa would come to our family party and give each of my cousin's a gift (provided by the parents) and my brothers and sisters and I would always get something small like lotion or something and some of the other kids would get major presents like a cd player~ Honestly we didn't care though, I don't know why we thought it was okay for Santa to spend $80 on the others and $5 on us, I guess we didn't really think about it. Maybe it's all part of the Santa magic!

Yeay for Santa!!!

Marie Green said...

We do Santa for our kids, but we also struggled with it when they were too young to know. I'm glad we chose to "believe" in Santa b/c it's so fun! I loved believing when I was a kid, and I loved how magical it was.

We give our children each 3 gifts (we have always done that, and I love have such simple parameters when shopping), and Santa fills their stockings and brings 1 present.

Manda Jane Clawson said...

That is a tough decision!! I think kids need a little bit of magic around Christmas... and I think my folks loved using the "naughty list" as black mail sometimes too!!

LoveYaMissYa said...

I love it. That is the perfect answer! Thanks for sharing, and have a great Christmas!

me said...

Love this! LOVE LOVE LOVES IT!!!

marisa said...

Great quote!!! I don't feel so guilty about the whole Santa thing anymore.

Anna said...

Well said Kim!

mikelle said...

I love that quote from Elder Packer! I might just have to steal it for my blog! And what a great response for kids who don't get as much as for Christmas as their neighbor friends.


Carrie said...

I love classic Santa pictures! Ok, I'm emailing you a GREAT poem about Santa! I read it every year to my kids. We pound it into their heads that Christmas is NOT about Santa and toys. It's about Jesus. Santa is just one of his helpers who helps to spread love and joy around the world! Anyways, it's a way cute poem! I know what you mean though about the conflict! I just couldn't not do Santa!

nicrogers said...

My kids asked when they were quite young why we always bought gifts for poor kids, from the church giving tree, and also why I made them purge old toys each fall in prep for Christmas(giving used but still perfectly good toys to poor kids so they will have presents too). They just didn't understand why santa only brings toys to non-poor families. That is when the elaborate story began. Well, maybe not terribly elaborate but a little more info than some families tell their kids. We have always told our kids that santa brings each child one gift. Just one. And no electronics. (we added this when they started asking for xbox 360 and ipods, etc.) We explained that the stuff we donate to poor kids is so that they too will receive more than one gift. We also told them that since Santa doesnt bring electronics and american eagle clothing, they need to understand that our budget is limited so when they make their list, they need to check it twice because we cant afford everything their hearts desire. They get it. My oldest two honestly believed in santa until around 6th grade. My youngest is in 4th grade and he still mostly believes but other kids are telling him santa is not real so we did talk to him about St. Nicholas so now he knows the truth but he also knows not to tell other kids because once you know the truth about St. Nick, you are now a santa and you have the important job of keeping the santa magic alive for other kids.

R Allen said...

I tried the "Jesus only got three gifts" phrase, but the response I got was, "Then give me gold."