Happy St Nick’s Day!

So in most married households, the common holiday debate is real or artificial?

In a few places, like ours, it’s Santa or no Santa?

I grew up without a strong belief in Santa and not to be all bum humbug about it, but I just think the emphasis we voluntarily put on him distracts from the real reason of Christmas and then we spend the whole holiday wondering when did Christmas get so commercialized, never seeing the role we play in it.

Anyway.

We’re gradually reaching a compromise and coming up with our own traditions and I have a feeling this will continue to evolve, especially as Marion is currently freaked the freak out about someone coming into our house at night. Maybe because her dad told her Cookie Monster came and got in our bed every night in an effort to keep her from coming in our bed at 3 a.m. every morning, but I digress.

One of the things we started this year was talking more and more about St Nick and how he’s the model for Santa Claus. So thanks to Wikipedia we had a little breakfast conversation about what he did and why it was so nice to give to others and not ask for anything for ourselves sometimes.

Wednesdays also happen to be mama & Marion days, so after dropping off Eliza at school, Big and I went to the mall to buy gifts for the cousins. She did really well understanding that they weren’t for her and picked out great gifts for all the boy cousins without asking for anything for herself.

A few weekends ago I did the big annual holiday toy purge and had a big box of old books and toys ready to take and donate. Thanks to some folks in my mom group, I found a great place called Casa Juan Diego that would take gently used toys and books. I have to be really careful with Marion because she’s so sensitive and emotional but we were able to talk a little bit about how not every child has as many toys and books as she does and that sometimes, when we don’t play with a toy a lot, it’s okay to give it to a kid that might want it and play with it more. She understood that and wasn’t too upset, so after the shopping, we went by CJD and dropped off the donations. They really are doing some work there that no one else is willing or able to do, working with the immigrant community and it was good to be able to help even in a very small way.

So that night, they were super happy and ready to go to bed

Shoes and happy smiles, after being reassured that mom and dad were just playing like we were St Nick and an old dead saint was not actually going to come into her room that night.

I just love Eliza’s choice of shoes

And look what happened!

Enjoying breakfast off her new St Nick dishes

I highly recommend introducing your kids to the real St Nick if you want to help keep them focused on the less commercial aspects of Christmas. It was a good reminder for this mama too.

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