I'm curious. What are your family practices for the whole Santa /Pere Noel / Father Christmas thing? I don't mean addressing the heart stopping question of the great mans existence (as if there is any question. sheesh.) but rather what percentage of the gift deluge does Santa bring to your house?
This has been a snag of contradiction I've unsuspectingly been caught on for more than one year now. And I never see it coming.
You see, in our house Father Christmas fills stocking for the children. Simple. That's the way it has always been, and I naively thought, was the way it just was. Oh, how innocently I skip toward the waiting jaws of 5 year old social networking.
'Mummy, Santa brings Billy LOADS of really big presents, not just in his stocking! How come he gets more than me??'
So I've asked around and found the following variations, just in J's class, in addition to our practice:
- Santa brings all Christmas gifts, regardless of expenses and sizes
- Parent (s) bring one smallish, meaningful gift, the rest from Santa
- A mix of 'under tree gifts' come from both family and Santa
- Santa fills stockings for adults and children alike
- Santa (or Pere Noel) brings gifts on Christmas eve, or even a day or two before.
- There is no Santa.
So what to do? Fess up about the imaginary nature of you-know-who? Not an option for us.
Change our gift giving practice? I don't think this is on the cards either. We are fairly committed to the idea that the boys know who is choosing and buying bigger / more meaningful gifts for them, and Santa only brings fun little novelty and useful items in their stocking. That said, I am open, as ever to your wisdom...
I mean, all this diversity is inevitable in a world that has at least 16 different names for the big man, and coutless stories from Folklore. And I am generally a big fan of this type of cultural variation, except when greeted by the incessent questioning of a very logical 5 year old.
So - in the spirit of being more prepared next year... what are your practices? What do you tell your children?