The “rules” regarding Santa

Taelin was ready to go trick or treating again a couple of days after Halloween.  It has been a little tough trying to explain that we only get dressed up in our costumes once a year to go begging for candy. (We wear Halloween costumes year-round in this house, but the begging for candy thing only happens once a year.)  Her requests have become a little more urgent as she is seeing her bag of candy loot becoming more empty as the days pass.  And as I try to reassure her that there will be trick or treating again in her life but just not for awhile, I hadn’t really considered how tough it was going to be to explain some of these things that we just “know” about.

My prior post shows that I definitely have Christmas on the brain, but I was not planning on talking about anything Christmas-like with Taelin until it was a little closer.   My plan was thwarted, however, by any retail store who has already set up their Christmas displays and by her daycare/preschool who is having a Christmas concert on December 14th.  It will be cute as heck and I am looking forward to it BUT that means that pretty much the day after Halloween they started practicing Christmas songs.

The song that she has been singing the most isn’t one I have heard before.  It is to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?” and it is as follows:

Where is Santa?
No more peeking.
Or I’ll tell…
Or I’ll tell…
Santa Claus is coming,
Santa Claus is coming.
Hear his bells.
Hear his bells.     
(And yes, in case you were wondering, I had to sing it to make sure that I got the lyrics correct.)

The singing of this song has led to some questions that I was not quite ready for.  Actually, the initial questions I was ready for…it was the follow up ones that are giving me some trouble.

The answer to “Why is Santa coming?” was pretty easy.  Santa comes to the houses of people that are kind and are good listeners. (Can you tell what we might be working on right now in the Crowe house?)  He comes to bring them toys.  (HUGE eyes while processing that tidbit of information that resulted in a big smile.)

Follow up question: “What will he bring me?”  Here is where I made my amateur mistake.  Parents of multiple children will roll their eyes when they read my reply…”Well, you can ask Santa for something and then, if you are kind and a good listener, he will bring it to you on Christmas Eve.”  Her response,  “Really?”

At this point, I tried to back pedal but it was too late.  I tried to talk about how it is usually something really special and that sometimes Santa brings it and sometimes he doesn’t but to be honest she wasn’t really interested in the details.  And the whole understanding of time thing? Not so much.

So far, just today after lunch but before nap time, she has decided that Santa is going to bring her: more milk, sticky tape to fix her broken paper scarecrow, more trick or treating (good problem solving to be honest), some art projects, little circle crackers, and another Dora the Explorer episode.  My response to all of those “Well, maybe, but not until Christmas.”  Actually, to the trick or treating one I said, “We don’t wear costumes for Christmas, just Halloween.” My 2 1/2 year old daughter’s response, “Santa wears a red costume and a hat.” Um…..crap.

Clearly, I am stumped.  I already felt a little guilty about the whole “Santa brings toys to kind people and good listeners.” thing and now I have no idea how to explain the rest of it.  I know that Christmas is not just about Santa and when we get to the birds and bees conversations, this is going to seem like a breeze BUT I have never thought about how complicated this whole thing is!

I guess I will figure it out as we go and be lucky enough that she is still 2 and won’t necessarily remember every conversation we have about Santa and Christmas.  There is a spirit of Christmas that is really hard to explain to a 2 year old and to be honest, when you are two would be pretty much impossible to really understand.

It makes me realize, once again, how amazing it is going to be to experience another part of life through Taelin’s eyes.  And it reminds me how incredibly lucky I am.  And it reminds me that Peg Bracken had it right when she said that “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”  What a great reminder for me as I am self-imposing Christmas expectations already.  I guess Santa does come before Christmas after all….

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