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Cautionary Tale About Santa Gifts

Friends, I have a cautionary tale about Santa gifts to share with you today. You may see this title and think, oh good, a gift guide to help me think of gifts for my hard to buy for kids. Alas friends, I do not have such a thing. Instead, I come with a piece of advice. 

This morning I was talking to my editor and friend. We were discussing upcoming content and what types of information might be helpful to our readers right now. Recently, we have been posting a lot about boundaries, self-care, permission to rest, and slowing down during the holidays. Today, we are going to veer off course a little and talk about the big man in the red suit. 

Father Christmas. The man who brings joy and happiness to kids all around the world. Or does he? 

My friend is a former educator who spent almost 20 years in a 3rd-grade classroom and she shared something with me that I hadn’t really thought of before. When the tinsel is cleared out and the last glittery pile is vacuumed, kids are usually asked one seemingly important question. “What did Santa bring you?” 

For some, it is the latest gadget, designer clothes, or high-priced toys. Others, it is a box of new crayons and perhaps some sugary treats. Perhaps, it is nothing. 

My friend spoke of how hard this situation can be for a young kiddo. Why did Santa bring my friend an X-Box and I got some Play-Dough? 

So her words of caution are this. Let your Santa gifts be simple and if you are buying bigger ticket items, let them be from you. 

Let your kid believe in the magic of Santa, spoil them if you want, but remember that not all children share that same privilege and it matters. It matters to our underprivileged children who deserve to believe that this magical, mythical man in the red suit treats all children fairly, no matter what their socioeconomic status. 

Moreover, if your kids are older I encourage you to engage in this conversation with them. Talk about privilege and empathy. Most importantly, listen to their questions and seize the moment to have dialogue. Consequently, you might feel moved to do a service project to lift others as part of your holiday season. In our home we remember that gifts don’t always come in boxes with pretty bows, they are also things like the gift of time, the gift of listening, the gift of service, the gift of presence, and the gift of gratitude.

May your holidays be extra special this year and your impact on those around you, tremendous. But please, remember my little cautionary tale about Santa gifts as you celebrate.