Monday, November 3, 2008

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Marketing

I happened to be in Wal-Mart night before last, and what do you think I heard over the in-store sound system?? Yup. Christmas music.

Now, ordinarily this wouldn’t bother me at all, I’ve enjoyed Christmas music, just for the pure joy of listening, not choral rehearsals, as early as late September or early October. But I see this as a marketing ploy from the big box store. “Wha-oh… is that Christmas music I hear???! Better get to spending…time is running out! Only two more billing cycles left!”

This will be our first Christmas sans Santa. I LOVE doing the surprises every year and seeing the "shock and awe" of the whole thing - but time is short and I want my kids to be clear about their beliefs and not confuse them any more. I've even toyed with the idea of quitting Christmas altogether. I know, I know... How does a woman that's been known to put up seven Christmas trees quit altogether? I LOVE the season and the baking and decorations, the music and the rest of it. Oh - and the presents... But, it’s not biblical... 'cept for what we've imposed upon it.

Now, I wonder why God didn't tell us the exact date that Jesus was born... (or died and rose again) Do you s’pose He thought we couldn't handle it??

I've "done Santa" (settle down, it's not that kind of blog...) a little different than some, perhaps. First – I’ve never allowed him to be on my main Christmas tree. Only if it was something else wearing his suit – like Snoopy or an alligator or flamingo for instance. I bought a book long before any of them were born called "The Real Santa Claus" and I read it to them every year. It goes back to the beginning of how the tradition of Santa got started (with the priest that wanted to bless his friends anon. and dropped gold down the hole in the roof that let the smoke out from the fire (the "chimbley" my Gramma would say...) and some fell into the socks belonging to the three daughters that were hanging there to dry. (The socks were hanging - not the daughters - I thought it easier to explain that rather than figure a re-write...) of this poor man.

In a nutshell, whenever anonymous gifts were left for poor folks, they all wondered who (or whom...I should phone a friend and ask...but I’m lazy) had left them. Until one day, this priest, Nicholas, (or maybe he was a bishop) passed away, and the gifts stopped coming.

Anyway - the bright people figured it out and started leaving secret gifts of their own; carrying on the tradition that Nicholas had started.

So I tell my kids this, but still have them write letters and leave out the very best cookies. (No ulterior motive there...) They're pretty bright kids, though, and they've got the whole thing worked out it in their minds. But now and then I hear one of them say, "well, it's OK if you can't afford it - I'll just ask Santa..."

OK. That's not worked out. How do you handle such a situation? Ditch the whole charade?

The way my parents did it (still - not that kind of blog...) was to bring me to the "other side" and let me be a part of the surprises and secrets. I got to help fill the stockings of others in the family and stay up late with one parent or the other creating the "magic". And then later, stay up late alone, and open all my presents and re-wrap them. But that’s another post…

So this year, when I'm out shopping with one child at a time, I might mention, "this would be good for So-n-so's stocking, don't you think?" And we've got our own little secrets going now. I think they’re really enjoying the “giving” side of the holiday rather than just the “getting” side.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll miss the old guy. But he won’t be gone completely. We’ll read the legend, keep our secrets, and still leave out the very best cookies… But the focus will be a lot more on Jesus. The real reason we overspend in December. (???)


  1. Mike was telling me Friday night that being at work that day was the very reason by the time Christmas rolls around every year he hates Christmas music with a passion.....cause of the never ending loop of it that starts this early. I think they ever have fall stuff out in July now LOL!
    Hugs, :) Heather S.

  2. I meant "even" instead of "ever" whoops ;)

  3. I bet keeping secrets and shopping with Mom for others will make up for the anticipation of Santa's visit. So glad we don't have to keep the secret for you anymore, but about that Tooth Fairy?!? LYS!

  4. Wow, when you finally post again, it's a doozy!!

    Great post.

    You might be interested in this:

    love ya!


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