What you talking about? Santa?

What you talking about? Santa?

I think as parents we live what we’ve learnt and parenting is no different. Growing up, we enjoyed Christmas, it was a fun time, but I don’t ever remember believing in Santa Clause nor do I ever recall being led to believe in him at any time. So, obviously now that I have my own kids I don’t see the point in having my kids believe in him either, right? *roll eyes* I actually wish it were THAT simple. Its not.

Growing up at my grandmother’s house we had a Christmas tree at some point, then after a few years we stopped putting it up. I don’t know why maybe if fell apart and we couldn’t afford to replace it, who knows? But, that didn’t make Christmas any less enjoyable for my sisters and my cousins and I. We had no gifts under the tree to unwrap and ohhh and ahhh at. We couldn’t afford that. That didn’t stop us from having fun on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. My aunt baked fruit cakes till way into the morning and the smell of the deliciousness fermented ever core of our house. We ate fruit cake well into January. My husband, had a nice tree and presents under it, and his memories were also great of Christmas past except the part where he believed that Santa brought him gifts.

Herein lies the debate, to believe or not to believe, he thinks there is no harm in letting our children believe in the magic of old Saint Nick, because Christmas is a cherished time of lovingness and giving and receiving presents. Children revel in the idea of Christmas when they think a mysterious jolly old man with a white beard brings them gifts on Christmas eve. They like the stories of Jolly Saint Nick and enjoy writing him requesting a long list of things they don’t have jobs to purchase themselves.

This same old man in red can also absolve parents of any potential blame for any heartbreak, melt downs and disappointments on Christmas morning when some kids don’t receive what they asked ‘Santa’ for. Santa sure gets a lot of blame around this time. I mean, there are benefits to using Santa as your front man. He see and hears all nice or naughtiness and acts accordingly, which clears parents of having to deal with disciplining kids atleast during Christmas time.The quickest way to get a kid to act right is to threaten a Santa strike and a lump of coal.

However, being the big pile of party pooper that I am I’m not sure I believe in lying to my children about someone that doesn’t exist. Also, I think I deserve some credit, Santa didn’t track down that Elsa doll by perusing twelve million websites. Where was he when I was pulling my hair out when sold out appeared beside every doll on each website. Where is my milk and cookies? How does Santa take credit for my hard work.

So, we are at a crosswords as Christmas draws nigh and the debate ensues. The Images of Santa Clause are so dominant, every five minutes on our TV, computer, everywhere! We are going to have to do something soon. I can’t even go to the supermarket without a giant sign reminding me how many days are left before Christmas. The pressure is too much, on one hand the commercialization of the season is nauseating, but on the other hand, its the season to don we now our gay apparel and traverse through snow, and if you don’t have snow then traverse through freshly fallen leaves. Everyone is sitting on Santa’s lap these days, should I deny them that? What will be next, the Tooth Fairy? the Easter Bunny? its a slippery slope you know…

Atleast I don’t have to worry about my one year old, he will unwrap a colander and play with the box it came in and be content until he poops. However, my three year old is quite precocious, she will unravel any lie with her famous twenty one questions. She is not easily fooled, she knows way too many words for her age. I don’t want to stamp on my kid’s childhood and ruin their potentially heartwarming memories by being the party pooper. I’m already quite notorious for restricting juice and candy, now I will surely earn the prison warden title my husband so lovingly bestowed on me. I cannot be the only mommy in this dilemma? I think I will just pretend that Santa does not exist and see if they notice him around town. Why bring it up huh? Ignorance is bliss, atleast for now, right?

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50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4

50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4

The British National Trust released a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4. Their aim is to get children outdoors exploring. What a great idea! How many children will collect all 50 experiences before they turn 12? They will certainly have fun trying!

How many did you do as a kid, and how many will your kids do before the summer is out?

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Climb a tree
1. Climb a tree

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Roll down a really big hill
2. Roll down a really big hill

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Camp out in the wild
3. Camp out in the wild

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Build a den
4. Build a den

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Skim stones
5. Skim a stone (or skipping stones, as we say in the States)

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Run around in the rain
6. Run around in the rain

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Fly a kite
7. Fly a kite

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Catch a fish with a net
8. Catch a fish with a net

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Eat an apple straight from a tree
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree

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Play conkers
10. Play conkers – Do people do this in the States? I teach kids in the UK, so I know what a conker is, but I always thought playing conkers meant gathering up a massive pile and then slugging them at a friend during recess. Turns out I was wrong. See the web link below.

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5. Skim a stone (or skipping stones, as we say in the States)

10. Play conkers: the how-to guide!

And the rest…

11. Throw some snow

12. Hunt for treasure on the beach

13. Make a mud pie

14. Dam a stream

15. Go sledging

16. Bury someone in the sand

17. Set up a snail race

18. Balance on a fallen tree

19. Swing on a rope swing

20. Make a mud slide

21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild

22. Take a look inside a tree

23. Visit an island

24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind

25. Make a grass trumpet

26. Hunt for fossils and bones

27. Watch the sun wake up

28. Climb a huge hill

29. Get behind a waterfall

30. Feed a bird from your hand

31. Hunt for bugs

32. Find some frogspawn

33. Catch a butterfly in a net

34. Track wild animals

35. Discover what’s in a pond

36. Call an owl

37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool

38. Bring up a butterfly

39. Catch a crab

40. Go on a nature walk at night

41. Plant it, grow it, eat it

42. Go wild swimming

43. Go rafting

44. Light a fire without matches

45. Find your way with a map and compass

46. Try bouldering

47. Cook on a campfire

48. Try abseiling

49. Find a geocache

50. Canoe down a river

You can read more from Stacie at Mama Lewis and the Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby.

Photo credits: (from Flickr, in order of appearance) tamckile, woodleywonderworks, jonny2love, OakleyOriginals, Thomas Guest, Scooter the Photographer, tom@hk | 湯米tomhk, eyeliam, slynndesign, seelensturm