My son wanted to write a letter to Santa this week. So, he gathered some paper and a pencil and wrote it. He then gave the letter to me and asked me to mail it. Naturally I needed to read it to see what he was asking for and this is what I found:
I would like to ask for a new PS4 because mine is getting old. Also, I would like Lego Incredibles and Lego Ninjago for the PS4.
Nathan Hightree, your friend’s son.
I had to immediately laugh because I told Nathan a couple of weeks ago that Santa was my friend. I was talking about the Santa that sets up shop in our town but he thought I was talking about Santa from the North Pole so it made me laugh that he remembered what I told him, and was sure to include it in his letter. I made a mental note of the video games he wanted, and proceeded to put the letter in my purse to “mail” it.
I know Christmas isn’t supposed to be all about the gifts. But let’s be real, as a child it is all about the gifts. Society has trained us to feel that way. I spend hours thinking of the perfect gift for someone, and then searching for it either online or at a store. I love the act of giving and I love watching them open up the gift I spent so much time and effort on. I am fulfilled knowing that I got them just what they wanted or needed but I need everyone to take a step back, and look at the big picture. The big-ticket items need to come from Mom and Dad.
Here’s why my son will not be receiving a PlayStation 4 from Santa: Santa shouldn’t play favorites with children. How would it be fair if Nathan received a PS4 from Santa but little Johnny in his class only received a coloring book and crayons? We can’t allow children to feel like Santa doesn’t like them as much as he likes other children. I can’t in good conscience let my son go to school bragging about the expensive gift Santa got him, and making a child feel bad about what they received.
Santa is a fun tradition that not everyone agrees with or participates in. I personally love the idea of Santa. At 37 years old I still believe the magic of Santa exists. Although it might not be one particular person who lives in the North Pole and delivers gifts to each child with a magic sleigh and reindeer, I believe everyone has a little bit of the spirit of Christmas inside of them. My daughter believed in Santa until she was 12. My 11-year-old son still believes. So I make it my mission every year to make sure the Christmas season is filled with love, laughter, traditions, and a little bit of that Christmas magic I keep mentioning.
The idea that Santa and his elves make toys in their workshop has always been fun to me. I envision books, toy trucks, and teddy bears, but times change and kids want more expensive items. But Santa shouldn’t be responsible for the iPads, PS4s, cellphones or $200 toys. Parents should take credit for those items. We worked hard to earn the money to buy them after all. Why are we giving all the credit to Santa? What can we do to change this? Doing something as small as changing the name on the gift is literally the least we can do.
Now one can argue that the whole Santa process is causing you more harm than good. But I disagree. I feel like the world needs more hope, and if telling your child a story about a man in the sky who makes toys for all of the children brings a little hope to your world, then go for it. But just remember when you’re wrapping your gifts this year that the big-ticket items need to come from Mom and Dad, and leave the little stuff to Santa.
Steph Hightree is a hot mess mom who is fueled by stress and too much caffeine. She is a Three Rivers native who talks about the good, the bad, and well, everything else about parenthood.
Any views or opinions expressed in “#MomLife” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.