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!