The Most of Christmas Past

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It’s hard to believe that “Bless Your Heart” has    been…well, hopefully, blessing now for over 3 years. This is largely due to the valiant efforts of Jennifer Benavides, tech lady extraordinaire, and you, the readers. Thanks so much for encouraging me and for telling others about the site. For those who are veteran “Bless Your Heart” readers, perhaps you will remember this “vintage” edition from the 2009 Christmas season. May His richest blessings be yours as you hang your stockings…or not.

Q and A: Do You Hang up your Stockings?

Cindy,
I wanted to ask your opinion on something. Christmas is coming, and I want to make believe with Lorelei about Santa Claus. However, I’ve had some people tell me that they didn’t because it is all a big lie. Did you do Santa with your kids when they were younger? My family did but I never saw it as a lie. I just wasn’t sure how I should go about doing it without making it a lie. I have a big imagination myself, and figured that Lorelei would probably have one herself soon. However, I do not want to ever lie to my new daughter : )
I hope you’re all doing well and had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Take care!

~ Kayla

Dear Kayla,

We did, we still do and we will always believe in Santa! It’s one of the healthiest, most fun family traditions we have. My kids have never, ever viewed this as a lie. They are very grateful that I let them believe in this good fantasy. You should really talk to Caleb if you want to know all the ways he thinks this has been helpful to him. He’s actually done a lot of reflecting on this very subject. I read my children all sorts of fantastic, moral-building stories like Cinderella, Snow White, Pete’s Dragon, etc. But I never felt like I had to stop in the middle of the story and say, “But I want you to know that the fairy godmother is just something someone made up and this pumpkin will never be anything but a pumpkin.” I just think it is a creativity stifler if I have to stop and always explain the difference between reality and the amazing innocent world of “pretend.” What if every time my daughter was playing house, I felt the need to stop and say, “This is not really real because you don’t have a husband and this doll is just a bunch of plastic and stuffing, and you’re not really paying any bills”? Well, I’m taking it to the extreme, but, while I respect the view of parents who have a conscience problem with  pretending this way, I personally think we can let our kids believe without inflicting any harm and without lying.I should say this is less a defense of Santa and more a plea for parents to be very cautious about accusing other parents of lying. I believe this holiday decision about fantasy should be viewed as one that is within the realm of parental judgment and the judgment calls should be respected.
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