The Elusive Santa Claus

December 8, 2011

I've recently noticed a new trend. 

There are a lot of parents not telling their kids about Santa. You may be thinking, "Oh but she has no kids, what does she know?" Well allow me to tell you this...I teach kids. I spend more time with them during the day than most of their parents do. 

I honestly don't have a problem with parents not doing the whole Santa Claus tradition. I understand that they feel they are lying to their children and that their kids will one day resent them. I don't know any, but I can see their point, kinda. However, they are forgetting one important thing.

No matter what your family traditions are, another families will do it different. As a parent you should teach your children to be respectful of other family's traditions. If you don't believe in Santa that is all fine and dandy, but make sure your child doesn't come to school and blow it for the whole group. Most of your child's time is spent in the company of people who do not live in your house. When making traditions it is easy to think about your family, but time should also be spent addressing how to deal with other's beliefs. 

Over the years I have been very accommodating with students who didn't celebrate Halloween and other holidays. For instance this year I had some kids opt out of the usual Halloween poem and decide to write about Fall, no biggie, it didn't hurt their grade. But all this time I spend accommodating the unbelievers of things I never once see the unbelievers making accommodations for the believers. 

Recently the Elf on the Shelf has gotten quite popular.  I've thought for a long time that it was sort of bogus, but not once did I tell some kid who believed in it that it was fake. This year I have been able to experience something as a teacher I have never who believe in Santa. All but 2 of my children really believe, those 2 sure do question it though. I happend to overhear a conversation between a few of my kiddos about the Elf stalking them and they thought it was "beat up" that they didn't even have privacy in their own home from Santa! Ha! With that new information out, I just had to do something with it.

So I got an Elf. She was pretty low key day one, but yesterday she decided to play jokes on the kids and turn off our Christmas music a couple times. I honestly didn't turn it off myself, just so happens when my screen saver turns to hibernate it turns off the music! They totally believed it and were literally freaking out. Today it got better. I just so happened to sit Jingle ( that is what the kids named her) by the window, and right before recess someone noticed Santa sneaking between the portable building behind my room. No one saw a full shot, just your run of the mill Big Foot sightings. It was priceless. And honestly, nothing in the world could have made me happier.

However, I have also come to realize nothing makes me more irritated than a non-Santa-believing kid telling a Santa-believing kid that Santa isn't real. Yes, by a certain age you should realize the hoax. You only have a few short years as a child, and a few as an adult (through the experiences of a child) to get to live Christmas magic, and it should not be taken away by you by some random Grinch-kid. 

For several years I have not cared much about Christmas, but through the experiences of my class I have relived my childhood and rediscovered its meaning. I've read stories. I was even ecstatic to see Santa snoop past our room. I still remember being in 1st grade and seeing the Easter bunny sneak by. 

So please for the love of Christmas and all my happy Elf on the Shelf believing babies quit ruining Christmas. Teach your children to respect other family's traditions by telling them that "Other children might believe this and it is not your job to tell them otherwise." 

It would make this teacher very happy if you did. 

This also got me thinking that as adults we experience this in a different way. As Christians we are expected to accomodate the non-believers so as to not make them uncomfortable. I know I've tip toed around Atheists before. But when will the secular world be accommodating towards Christians? If I use the word God in a sentence it is not a personal attack on you. But don't make jokes about my beliefs, just as I do not make jokes about your's.

I'll step off my soap box now. I just think we should be considerate of others.