When I started having my own children I was sure I'd follow the same pattern, and to some extent I have. My kids are in no doubt that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, that he came to earth as a human in order to save the world.
But I don't actually mind if they enjoy a little of the Santa thing as well. They know he isn't the one buying their presents. There have been too many agonising shopping trips with me screeching: "Avert your eyes!!" as I cram certain items in to the back of the stroller, trying not get irritated (it is supposed to be the season of good cheer after all!) while ignoring the shining eyes, peeking, whispering and snorts of excitement!
For the past eight years the shopping centre Santa photo has caused me, if not always the kids, great joy. It is a precious moment in time when, at around the start of December every year I get an official SNAP of what the kids look like, how big they are, how many there are, who has teeth, who's lost teeth..
|Last year's photo - Archie arrived too late!|
Occasionally there are moments of confusion:
Who is Santa again Mum? He's a nice man who likes rewarding kids at Christmas time.
Why does he have a big white beard? To keep his face warm in winter.
What about in summer time?
He probably gets it trimmed.
How does he get all around the world in one night? Um, there are reindeers, and um, possibly a motorised sleigh...
|2011 Santa photo with all four children.|
|Lft: Our first Santa shot with baby Jesse (and my 2 nieces) in 2003; |
Rt: Our third Santa shot with Jesse and Eleanore in 2005 (I made it into this one!).