Sunday, 30 December 2012

Keeping It Real At Christmas

Let us let the little children have the fairies and the rest;
Let them keep the glad illusions of the years that are the best;
Let them know the joyous fancies of the mystic fairyland,
And the wonderful enchantments only they can understand-
For the years are coming to them when they’ll sigh, and softly grieve
That they left the realm of childhood and the Land of Make-Believe.

The Land of Make-Believe and Other Christmas Poems, Wilbur Nesbit

It seems the end of the world did not come about as predicted, so we forged ahead with the Holiday Season this year. I feel like even though every effort is made to to keep things a low key affair, without spending too much money on gifts and food and all the trimmings, the general energy leading up to Christmas Day is rushed and frenetic and stressed. Then all of a sudden, come Christmas Eve, everything just drops – the buzz quietens down as people get on with cooking and festivities, friends and family. And welcoming Santa Claus. 

For me Christmas is really all about the kids, and this one was the time that we had to lie outright to our 14 month old and start the whole 'Santa is real thing'. I was conflicted – just be straight from the start and tell him like it is? Treat him as an adult early on so he can mature to face the world around him? Or allow his imagination to be free to believe in the extraordinary, things not of this world? I figure the boy is only young and he will have plenty of time to deal with reality when his buddies break it to him in the school yard, or when he sees the gift we bought him and gets it in his stocking the next morning. I had taken him to sit on Santa's lap and he cried his eyes out. He will work it out in his own time that Santa is just some strange old man who gets paid to put on a smelly suit. Let him believe in the make-believe until that time comes.