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seeing Santa

I’ve realized lately that there are a lot of families who don’t do the Santa thing with their kids. They celebrate Christmas, just not emphasizing that a Big Guy Dressed In Red brings you presents, so YOU’D BETTER BE GOOD. The reasons are varied- not wanting to lie to the kids, the idea that good behavior is rewarded with material things and bad behavior leads to punishment from some strange, made-up character who lives at the North Pole.

And you know what? I totally get it and respect it. It’s a very personal thing, deciding how your family will ‘do’ Christmas and what traditions you’ll have. I honestly never gave much thought to it when Maggie became old enough to understand what was happening at Christmastime, so we just went ahead with the ruse of Santa and the reindeer and even the Elf On The Shelf.

Sam.

Look who showed up!

And I’m happy that we did- I love it. We don’t really use Santa and the threat of ‘No presents! Coal in your stocking!’ as a behavior modification tool (though I’ll admit, we DID employ it a little bit last year because OMG WE WERE DESPERATE AND THREE YEAR OLDS ARE INSANE, DUDE.) Santa really just adds a little bit of magic to their Christmas, something I remember fondly from when I was a kid. We ‘do Santa’ right along with teaching Maggie about the birth of Jesus and what Christmas is really about. At this point a lot of that is over Maggie’s head but she loves playing with the ceramic dolls in the little house!

All I heard all day: "Mommy when can we play with the Jesus stuff??!"

In past years, we’ve gotten kind of into Playing Santa. One year, Dan even nibbled a carrot and left it behind, pretending he was a reindeer.

Santa & his reindeer were here!

We are dorks.

The first time we took Maggie to see Santa at the mall, she was almost two years old and petrified. I can’t blame her. She cried, but I was able to sit next to her and we got a cute picture.

Maggie and Santa

The next year went much better- she wouldn’t do it alone, but she was all smiles.

Santa picture FTW!

Last year, she was finally brave enough to sit on his lap by herself!

all by herself

This year was the first time Audrey was added into the mix. I was 100% sure I would be in the picture too, so I got all dolled up in my red sweater and red earrings and put on my best I Love Santa Smile. And then… Audrey sat there next to her big sister, totally fine.

Smiling! Kinda!

(There was also train-riding. Because DUH.)

train!

train!

So it was a success, all around. Seeing both of my girls together, and watching Maggie practically GLOWING with excitement… yeah, I’m pretty happy we do the Santa thing.

SO EXCITED SQUEEE!

oooh!

my FIFTEEN YEAR OLD FOUR YEAR OLD.

14 Comments

  1. HereWeGoAJen
    @herewegoajen

    Aw, those are such sweet pictures! I love it!

    Dec 4 4:04 pm


  2. Jesabes
    @jesabesblog

    I love pictures with Santa! We don’t really “do” Santa, but we do get pictures every year – just like going to Disney and getting pictures with Mickey Mouse. He may not be a real guy (or mouse) who actually comes to our house, but he IS a fun character!

    Dec 4 4:35 pm


  3. What amazing pictures! Beautiful girls!! And you have a great Santa, too.

    Quite honestly, it never occurred to me NOT to do Santa. It’s what I grew up with, I didn’t even know so many people chose not to participate. I understand the choice but it wasn’t an option for us.

    Dec 4 8:14 pm


  4. You take such great pictures! I had never heard of Elf on a Shelf until recently.

    Dec 4 8:21 pm


  5. Those pictures with Santa are darling! And he’s a good Santa. I much prefer the real beard :)

    Dec 4 10:19 pm


  6. Tara
    @mrsdangelo

    Your elf is SNEAKY, hiding in the light fixture? :) Even though we are not going to do Santa, I love seeing the ways other families get into it. Love the carrot eating reindeer! When I was little we had hay we spread on the front walk for the reindeer to fly down and eat while Santa was inside. :)

    Dec 4 10:40 pm


  7. SO CUTE, the pictures. we’re doing santa for sure, if for no other reason than because i remember how magical it was as a kid. those memories are so treasured and made christmas seem so… fun. elf on the shelf freaks me out, just because he’s a creepy watcher. (BUT on the other hand and i could go on forever, i also really feel the “don’t use santa as a behavior tool” crowd. what can i say, i’m a complicated lady…)

    Dec 5 9:36 am


  8. Michelle
    @notraisingbrats

    How fun! We do the Santa thing and have elf on the shelf but haven’t really followed through with the elf. We do have an advent calendar that we put something small in every day for Peanut to have. Gizmo still is too young to understand.
    I, however, haven’t done the sitting on Santa’s lap. I was that kid who was petrified and I’m just not ready for it yet. Whenever we do see Santa, Peanut clings to us like she is about to be kidnapped so I haven’t pushed it. She will let us know when she wants to.

    Dec 5 11:57 am


  9. Andrea
    @ajh_rigs

    Where did you visit that Santa!?!? He’s so legit! :)

    Dec 5 1:19 pm


    • Jen
      @jayesel

      Pittsburgh Mills Mall! We go there every year, very nice Santa setup!

      Dec 6 2:23 pm


  10. TwoAdults
    @twoadults

    Dan gnawing on a carrot cracked me up. Way to take one for the team!

    And Maggie’s face in those last three pictures is beyond words.

    Dec 5 2:55 pm


  11. You must go to portablenorthpole.com and send Maggie a video from Santa…It looks so so real. Dalton got his last night and wanted to watch it over and over again. So cool!

    Dec 6 9:51 am


    • Jen
      @jayesel

      We’ve done that the past two years and Maggie LOOOOVES IT. I have it in my inbox right now to do one of these nights :)

      Dec 6 2:24 pm


  12. keli
    @kelihoskins

    so cute :) emma hates santa so much that I don’t think we can do elf on the shelf or anything like that for fear or making her more scared of santa, lol. but i wish we could use it to get some less attitude out of her!! ;)

    Dec 7 9:32 pm