Christmas

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone people are focusing on Christmas. I have a strange relationship with Christmas. In South Korea when I was born there was no Christmas. That was a western holiday. My first Christmas was scary. Look at it from my eyes. . . Hey little girl who has never heard of Christmas, let me tell you this “magical” story about an old man who knows more than he should and sneaks into your house in the middle of the night through a chimney and then judges your entire year of existence. IF you have been “good” he will give you gifts that you didn’t even ask for and if you have been “bad” you can get anything from a switch, coal or nothing. Good night, sleep tight. WTbloodyF? WHO came up with this idea? It is absolutely horrifying! Then the Christians chime in with their ideas (I grew up in a mostly Buddhist household) and you find out about this poor unwed couple who delivers a baby in a manger after they are denied help over and over. I know – I know – there is much more to Christmas but this was my FIRST impression. As I got older I detested the pressures of the PERFECT Christmas gift, crowded stores, traveling in the snow, people grumbling about when the huge dinner was, etc. I told myself that when I had children Christmas would be different. When I met my perfect match and told him about my feelings about this sacred holiday I could tell he was a bit puzzled. Because he loved me he was willing to forego the Santa Claus thing if I could deal with having a decorated tree. Deal. We get married, we have kids, (Spoiler alert!) they know Santa is not real, we decorate the tree for fun and Christmas is about love and sharing time with each other without making anyone feel guilty. We do not attend church. Because we respect everyone’s beliefs our children were always taught to be respectful if they were asked about Santa or if their friends talked about Santa or the Christ child story. We did not ask them to lie but we did say that they should not be spoilers of other people’s fun. I am proud to say that they have never spilled the beans and have been kind. My eldest did however have a funny encounter. At my husband’s workplace they had a “Santa” that would do the whole creepy “sit on my lap and whisper in my ear thing” (shudder). My kids were mostly unconcerned and disinterested in it. One day, she says to me, “I want to talk to that Santa guy”. Wanting to always have her be open minded I put her in line and waited to see what would happen. When he reached down to pick her up (I think she was 6 or 7?) she said “No thank you, I would rather stand”. He smiled kindly and asked what he should bring her for Christmas. She thought for a few minutes, looked him in the eyes and said, “Surprise me”. He laughed, handed her a candy cane and she walked away. As she approached me I said, what did you think? She replied, “I knew he was fake I just wanted a candy cane. His fake beard is really obvious he should get a better costume.” So there you go. I do not wish to take away anyone’s love of Christmas. The heart of it is a good sentiment and I know most people mean well but our family is happy with our simple traditions. Do you have different traditions? Comment below and tell us about them!

Published by bridgey1967

53. Funny. Non complacent. Loving but not a sucker.

3 thoughts on “Christmas

  1. Another funny story about Bridgette’s eldest and Santa Claus. Once when I was visiting, and she was very young (her sister hadn’t been born yet) she crept into my room in the morning to see if I was awake. She was a pretty quiet kid, so I was thrilled that she was in there, and talking to me.
    So, her Dad likes Pez candy. He really doesn’t care about the dispensers, he just likes to eat the candy. But because people know that he likes it, of course he gets lots of dispensers, too.
    Anyway, there was a pile of Pez dispensers in the room, and she started playing with them. I asked if she could tell me who they were, and she nodded.
    “This is Chewbacca. This is Darth Vader. This is Han Solo. This is Princess Leia. And this is…” She paused, holding Santa Claus in her hand. I could see those wheels spinning in her head. And then she proudly announced “the Christmas man.”

    I knew that Bridgette was doing a good job raising her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My traditions how always centered on decorating, especially lights! I like to make things as cheerful and bright as I can when it gets dark, cold and gloomy outside!! I am not religious, but I enjoy putting Angels, Santa images and stockings around to complement all the lights!!!

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  3. JoAnne and our family had a weird Christmas season every year until our father left. Our dad was cold and distant to us all year long. Except Christmas. Then he was suddenly jolly. Christmas lights on the house placed so perfectly he always entered our home into contests. A really perfect live tree. Always identical every year with tinsel strands all hanging down straight. No throwing tinsel allowed. Each strand deliberately placed in its position. Every year in January when we would return to school, kids would ask each other what everyone got. And year after a weird feeling would emerge. Why did my siblings and I get SO much stuff? Like seriously way more than other kids. Totally unbalanced.

    Every year Dad would take us to Playworld or Clarks toy store. And “leave” us. One year Bobby told us to be careful what we pick up because Santa often gives us what we look at. Soon I realized that dad was spying on us to know what to give us. If we looked and picked up something we got it. It didn’t matter if we didn’t want it after all. He didn’t know us well enough to pick out the right gifts. So he bought them all. I believe he used Christmas as the time to make up for the rest of the year being a bad dad. And buying tons, even under the guise of Santa Claus, appeased his guilt.

    Eventually we got good at this and would only pick up the items we really wanted. And we would go back to each item several times to make sure he saw it (in case he was watching another sibling right then). The one really good thing that he did was to buy a family game each year. There was the air hockey table, the fooseball table, etc.

    And we grew up believing Santa doesn’t wrap gifts, only family and friends wrap presents. I think that came about because it would be enormously time consuming to wrap the tons and tons of gifts that Santa brought us.

    The point of this story is that you can’t fool your kids forever. They see through it.

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