Friday, December 7, 2012

St. Nick vs. Santa Claus

Love Birds 2011
I was inspired by the following comment over on one of my favorite blogs to write today's post:

The commercialization of Christmas astounds me. There are no other religious sects whose holidays get abused, misused, and trampled over. No one ever says “I’m going to give Hanukkah but I’m not Jewish”… When was the last time you’ve seen a store have a Ramadan Extravaganza?!

Reading that last line made me realize I had never thought of it that way, but it really is a valid point. Then I got to thinking about Easter. I know with the Christian calendar these holidays have historically aligned with pagan holidays. You can do your own research if you want to learn more about why that is, but what's powerful for me is ultimately what the holidays symbolize. 

At some point, yes, Lil Love Bird will surely figure out who Santa Claus is but I'm very wary of going down the path of commercialization. Part of this is brought on by seeing how she responds to commercials. Thankfully since cutting the cable cord, we recently purchased a Roku which allows us to stream most programs so we miss out on commercials, but so far watching some of the Christmas specials on network TV she goes berserk over the commercials often angrily demanding the things she sees in them ("I WAAANNNT PIZZA!" was her latest after seeing a Papa John's commercial O_o). 

My parents took me to see Santa when I was a kid, but they also took me to see our city's life-size nativity scene that went up each year and I have fond memories of both. I was discussing this with my mom the other night and she gave me some great advice:

Just teach Nia that St. Nick was a good man. 

Simple as that! Why couldn't I have thought of that? I've been over-complicating it. However, I do have to admit mine and Mr. Love Bird's biggest apprehension has been the notion that it's Santa who brings Christmas gifts. Mr. Love Bird said he works way too hard for Nia to think that some old stranger is actually the one bringing her toys! I get it. 

So this weekend I'd like to take Nia to Macy's Santaland (we might ask for the special Santa again!) and am considering bypassing the actual visit to Santa and simply just letting her see the surrounding displays like she did last year. Otherwise I know I'd be that mom asking the assisting elf to tell Santa not to ask what Nia wants him to bring her but rather, "What do you want for Christmas?"

Yes, yes, I know I'm overthinking it!

Anyway, have a great weekend, and please share what Christmas activities you'll be doing this weekend! 


P.S. This was usually the time I'd be getting ready for my annual holiday cookie exchange so I'm in a bit of mourning right now - we can't have it because we live so far from our friends in the city and our apartment layout can't handle a crowd =(