Traditionally Different

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately about Santa Clause and why various families choose alternative options for celebrating the holidays this time of year. A lot of those posts describe why families choose not to endorse Santa’s real life and it’s nice to not feel alone. It seems society agrees moms and parents in general are drowning in birthday parties, school activities, and life in general. So, why is there an expectation to maintain an elaborate scheme called Santa Clause?

My husband and I typically have the same end goals, but with wildly different ways of getting there. For example, his issues with Santa are different than mine. So, for this purpose I’m focusing on my thoughts and feelings for this post. Also, this may make me a terrible person, but I’m saying no. I’m saying no to Elf on the Shelf. I’m saying no to buying an overabundant amount of presents, and no to lying. I’m saying no for my sanity. I don’t have the energy to maintain Santa’s life. I’m sorry, but no.

I know it’s a great discipline tool for some, but Elf on the Shelf is not for me. I want to raise kids that respect rules and boundaries ALL of the time. I want my kids to do the right thing and help others ALL the time, not just when an elf is looking- or when the threat of presents is at stake. To me, that is not the Spirit of Christmas. For me it’s about generosity, showing others kindness, and doing something for someone else. (Yes, all aspects that apply year round.) There is a magic of Christmas- lights, decorations, festivities, but not Santa’s mischievous Elf on a Shelf. Again, if you use it at your house- power to you! I’m not judging the use of it, but I don’t want to be judged for not.

Full disclosure- I use to despise Christmas. It may not have looked like it on the outside, but I really disliked this time of year. The focus on cost of presents, amount of presents, and lists of presents was overwhelming. I didn’t grow up with money. I was the youngest of five kids, and somehow my parents made Christmas magical every year. Fast forward to having older siblings, and no job to pay for presents- I always felt horrible I never got enough, I never contributed enough. They may say it didn’t matter, but it mattered to me and it was uncomfortable. I’ve always been a firm believer it’s the thought that counts and the effort behind an action is what matters. That’s why my goal is to make everything this year. We’ll see how it works out.

At the end of the day, I am not ruining Christmas for my kids (despite what others may think). I am simply showing them an alternative way to celebrate this holiday (after Thanksgiving). I don’t hide Santa, we watch all the movies, and if someday they choose to believe he’s real, by all means I will support it- but I won’t make it up for them.

Recently, Social Media has increased it’s positive material (or at least on my News Feed) for letting moms be themselves, removing stress and anxiety induced activities that feel required by society, and setting stigma’s aside so we can raise happy healthy children however we can. Life is hard, parenting is hard, and in today’s society I’m not sure it will ever get any easier- we just adapt. I’m not saying our way is right, or someone else is wrong- this is simply a plea to stop judging others for how they celebrate their family traditions.

These two are my Christmas Spirit. Photo credit: my awesome sister.

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