So the missus pointed out an article she had read on a well followed Facebook page today, and the comments that followed and it got me thinking….
The basis of the article was basically asking for parents to buy minimal presents from ‘Santa’ as once children return to school; if they were to discuss what Santa had gifted them then those who are from say less affluent backgrounds would feel inferior to those who had been gifted many expensive gifts. Even going as far to say that these children from deprived social backgrounds would believe they were somehow on Santas naughty list because they did not recieve as many or as expensive gifts as their peers.
Now im all for everyone feeling valued and especially having their own views but i was somewhat shocked that we go this far!
The comments varied widely which i expected – from those that agreed. Choosing to tell their children that only one small inexpensive present was from Santa and whatever else they purchased was therefore from them as they did not want Santa to get all the glory. To those that were dismayed that such a discussion was published – everyone chooses to parent differently and those from more affluent backgrounds should not be made to feel that they have to rain in their spending to spare other childrens feelings.
What do you tell your children at Christmas? Are the presents from you as a parent? Or are they all from Santa? Stocking from Santa and the rest from parents?
Back when i was younger the requests on my christmas list were a lot less in value admittedly and probably a lot fewer. I came from a single mother working class background – but i never felt that i did not get the same as the kid next door. I remember the christmas spirit being magical but most importantly it was about spending time with family and about celebrating the story of christ. I was brought up as a good catholic boy by my Gran and was taught that christmas was not all about the presents we recieved.
Now in our house – presents are always from Santa – we as parents take no praise for the presents that arrive on Christmas Eve and that is how it will remain. We both come from homes that followed this tradition and to be honest up until today this was the only way i thought all parents played it?
Why would i want to take the limelight away from the magic that is Santa? Watching children become excited in the lead up to Christmas – writing christmas lists, meeting Santa and completing all the Christmas Eve traditions (more on that in a later post) is something I love to see.
Personally it annoys me that we are made to feel guilty for how we all carry out Christmas. Yes some can’t afford all the latest technology and each year save from January to still be only able to purchase a couple of presents but does that mean that that we need to ruin the Christmas spirit for all children and have Santa forgotten as a gone by tradition?
That is not to say that we do not teach Z the value of the gifts he recieves and that others may not be as fortunate as him as he grows up. We live a comfortable life and frankly have never worried about how we will afford Christmas each year – I am well aware how lucky we are by this and i hope we never have to experience hardship. However i will also never rain in what we work hard for to buy and the experiences we give our children.
I hope that any child never feels under valued or inferior – but unfortunately in todays society i feel its is inevitable. Especially in an age where people source food parcel outlets on the latest smartphone?