BUT YOU ALSO DON’T have all that magic, all that precious time with family, you say with concern. True, true, we don’t. But we don’t do “magic” with our children any time of year, really. I’ve found reality to be enchanting enough. My children never say, “I’m bored” they’re so engaged with life and all there is to learn.
And they’re far too smart to be duped by Santa Claus and his elves. We’ve always told them the truth about most everything, so rhetorically: Why would I lie to them about the mythical intruder Santa Claus when I insist they can TRUST me?
We do miss out on family get-togethers, and sometimes that can be a little touchy. But we’re available ALL YEAR LONG for dinners, parties or just hanging out. Frankly, I often found some of the holiday “family time” to be incongruent anyway. Many families have very real, painful issues — so many families don’t even like each other — but they’re expected to suspend everything for a couple of hours and act happy for the sake of Christmas? I’m far too practical for that. No wonder people are suicidal.
BACK TO THE CHILDREN. They’re fine. They’re happy, healthy children. And I asked them what they thought. Christmas is no big deal to them, either.
They know most of their peers will wake up Dec. 25 to a boat load of presents under a twinkling tree. “That would be fun, Mommy,” my daughter said to me. “Sure it would,” I affirmed. Then I reminded her of all the gifts they get all the time — we definitely enjoy gift giving and receiving around here — and the fact that the Almighty sees to it we have delight in our lives. Try two sets of kittens in a year. No need for a puppy in a box under a tree.
We encourage our children to check into things for themselves and have reminded them they will be free to do as they choose when they’re mature. Then, if they want to celebrate Christmas or any other holidays, they certainly can. In the mean time, we continue to embrace the wonder that’s already in them — no need to “create” it annually. They’ll likely wonder at snowflakes and snow bunnies — we even sing “Jingle Bells” sometimes — and be no worse for not even knowing it’s Christmas.
Goshen News columnist Stephanie Price is a wife, mother, teacher, childbirth educator, midwife’s assistant and nursing student from Elkhart. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 269-641-7249 or on Facebook at the page “Whole Family Column by Steph Price.”