Our boys are at the ages now where they should be questioning all sorts of people who visit them when they lose a tooth, when they put out their baskets, or a plate of cookies and milk.
But we haven't had this conversation in our house yet and I'm OK with it.
I'm not sure it's necessary for us to sit them down and have a serious discussion.
Because I want them to continue believing in the magic of the season for as long as they want to.
This is complicated by the fact that our 11 year old is naive and gets wrapped up in the traditions, the family time, the excitement, and never thinks to question things. His 9 year old brother is always going to be way ahead of the game in terms of reality.
And sure, the 11 year old is in 6th grade now and I'm sure they all talk about it in school, don't they?
Maybe he is savvy but still believes in the magic. And that would be fine with me.
The worst thing I ever heard (ok, maybe I exaggerate) is the phrase "If you don't believe, then you don't receive". Meaning - once you question your parents to death about it, then you no longer get a Santa gift for Christmas. What the?! No way. The magic of Christmas is real.
I think this is part of what prompted me to get a "Blitzen in the Kitchen" (Thomas's name for him). We can still enjoy the magic and have a ball with our traditions, even if some of it seems slightly implausible :)
Last month on facebook I participated in the very informal "Thankful Month" daily status updates - what I was thankful for each day. It was a good reminder to myself each day of what the Thanksgiving season is all about.
This month Thomas, Brennan, and I are participating in the "20 Days of Giving" program that a lot of people are talking about in the real world, and in the blog world. I thought I'd share a few of the things we're doing this month. It's been important to reinforce that while our own Wish Lists are important, this is really a season for Giving.
December 1st - Mitten Tree. We donated new gloves and hats to the 5th/6th grade Sunday School class mission project. They set up a Christmas tree at the church and are asking families to decorate it with donated gloves, hats, mittens, and scarves. The items will be taken to the local food bank after the holidays.
December 2nd - Cheer Fund. Thomas and Brennan went through their toy box and donated 3 grocery bags full of toys to the Firemen's Cheer Fund in town. They fix up the toys and deliver them to families on December 23rd.
December 3rd - Preschool Donation. I am the chairperson of our church's preschool Board of Directors. We joined our church because of their preschool. They are collecting items for a family in need. The four year old son has Autism and is only asking for Matchbox cars for Christmas. We have a slew of them that the boys wanted to donate to the little boy.
December 4th - Coats for Kids. We donated coats to the preschool's collection drive.
December 5th - School Hat Tree. The boys' school has a large Christmas tree in the lobby. (It's gorgeous to look into the glass entrance, especially at night.) They are collecting mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves for local families in need. They get to hang their items on the tree tomorrow.
December 6th - Salvation Army Kettles. We went shopping and stopped at 3 stores where Salvation Army volunteers were ringing their bells. We never miss a chance to drop change in a kettle.
December 7th - Book Drive. The United Way asked for gently used holiday books that they could share with the local Domestic Violence Shelter, Transition Shelter, and with area children who are learning English as a second language. We took a bag of books yesterday. It is hard for the boys to part with books, so remembering why we're collecting is important.
December 8th - Poinsettias. We ordered two poinsettias through our church in memory of my father-in-law, Don, and my grandmother, who both passed away in 2011. They'll be displayed throughout the holidays and will then be delivered to elderly church members on the 25th to have in their homes.
I wondered at first how we were going to come up with 20 different ways to Give this month, but the needs are great, especially this time of year.
I hope you're enjoying the Magic of the Christmas Season!