SPOILER ALERT!

I don’t really care about Christmas. One might call a person like me a Scrooge or Grinch and that’s fine.

I can appreciate the cheer when people smile and say, “Merry Christmas!"; I’ll even smile and say it back. But I’m one of those people who wonder, “Would you happily speak to me at any other time of the year?” Yeah, I’m one of those people.

I do respect the religious aspect of the day. Sure, no one really knows when Jesus was born, but I’ve always been a big fan of birthdays.

Of course, this indifference stems from my childhood.

When I was about 9, my younger brother’s teacher explained the dangers of allowing real trees to dry out. My brother, in turn, warned the family against the fire hazard.  Wait, I need to tell you about my brother: He’s ALWAYS been SUPER cautious. When Mom told him if he played in the street he could get hit by a car and never see her again he took it to heart. A few days later when we tried to cross the street a neighbor 8 houses started his car – my brother absolutely would not cross the street.  He absolutely would not do it.  Yes, he took warnings seriously, the fire hazard warning did not fall on deaf ears.

That Christmas morning the family headed to the living room to open gifts and saw the tree had fallen onto the presents. Believe me when I tell you my brother FLIPPED OUT! Somewhere in his hysterics he said he did not want another Christmas tree – EVER! My folks were more than happy to step away from Christmas hype.  My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were VERY into Santa sharing the stage with Jesus but it simply stopped being a big deal in our house.

My husband wasn't eager to spread the Santa rumor, either. So when our sons expressed their excitement about a man slipping into the house at night to eat food and, yes, leave gifts we let them be excited. We were agnostic about Santa Claus. We just let them learn about him in school (is that part of the lesson plan?), on television, and from other kin.  When they spoke of ‘the jolly ol’ elf’ we remind the boys of our love for them and the gifts they received all year long. Again, we never said he doesn’t exist.  No one wants their child to be ‘that kid’; the one in the playground breaking hearts as he deconstructs the Santa myth.

We do give wrapped gifts but, again, I like birthdays and maintain witnessing a child’s joy of opening a gift doesn’t have to be tied to anything specific.  I mean, who doesn’t like unwrapping a gift?

And while our 12 ½ year old is onto the Santa flies to every household that believes, the 10 year still isn’t sure. But a few days ago he did say,  “Well, if there is a Santa Claus, I would leave him some SlimFast.”

OK, I don’t know if practical reasoning is supposed to be paired with this whole season – but there ya’ go.

Merry Christmas

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