Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa Thoughts

I was going to post this in the comments, but thought we could add it to the discussion as it's own post. I know I have written somewhere about Santa, but it's always a good conversation this holiday season. Here is a great article on how to explain Santa. It is how both Dawn and I explain it to our kids. In addition to the theological and accuracy discussions, here are a couple of other things to consider for our kids:

We do all we can to communicate to our kids that our home is safe and that they are protected. We never wanted a traumatized kid thinking a huge man in a red suit is going to sneak into our house. Usually Daddy would attack some guy that tried to get into our home, but not on Christmas. Christmas is a free for all. If they give you treats, it's okay. :-l

We also have clear boundaries with our kids. Strangers receive a high five or wave. Santa is a stranger. In no way shape or form was it "safe" emotionally for my children to be sitting on the lap of a stranger. It was inconsistent, awkward and unsafe to do this for Santa. Especially a stranger that then claims to know their inner thoughts and behaviors. Crreeeeepppppy!!!

Last and probably most importantly, Santa doesn't show up to orphanages. IF--and a huge unlikely if---there was any Christmas celebration in your child's orphanage, it didn't include stockings and tons of gifts. "He doesn't care if your rich or poor cause he loves us all the same." Really? No, that is a lie. Especially if your kids have memories from their home country or foster home, what are we communicating by saying "now that you're in America, Santa will come. He loves the kids in America. He goes all over the world giving children gifts, just not to you/your friends??" Not to mention this is so far from the story of St. Nicholas who did help the poor.

Just some things to think about as we set traditions and help traumatized children heal, accept the good and learn to trust the authorities God has placed over them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I don't know about you, but this first week of advent has been filled with D-R-A-M-A!!! Too much excitement, too many activities, & too much sugar. Most of all, way tooooo many emotions. Sad over empty past Christmases, sad over deep losses, feeling unworthy of the showering of love and gifts, hating all the attention on Jesus.

I love the sweetness of the holidays but I hate what the sugar and dyes to do my little one. So I've resolved to add a little silliness to each day. Something to add giggles and snuggles and connection. Silliness and fun are deeply important for all days with our kids, but it seems much more so today.

One idea we did this week:
I let the kids pretend that they believed in Santa. We were at the mall and I let them go sit with him and tell them what they wanted for Christmas. They thought they were so funny saying their wishes with straight faces. They walked away and burst out laughing. It was a good connecting moment for us, too, because I praised them for their excellent acting skills with hugs and kisses. Just silly. Goofy. A little way to lighten the mood that seems so intense and dark for some of our kids.