For the past week or so, I've been reading Clement Clarke Moore's Twas Night Before Christmas to my 3 and half year old son (a gift from his Grandma). He loves it and asks me a hundred questions about everything having to do with Santa and the old phrases in the book (Mommy what's a sugarplum? What does it mean to fly away like the down of a thistle? Ahhhhh, sweetie, let's just keep reading about Santa and the toys he's bringing the good girls and boys!).
Although I've loved these moments with him, I've also been somewhat conflicted by the idea of taking him to this make believe place. In some ways, I feel like I'm lying to him and when he figures out that there is no such thing as Santa Claus, he'll look at me with a broken heart and say "mommy, why did you say all that stuff when you knew it wasn't true?" Aren't I the one that should always tell him the truth? Aren't I misleading him knowing that he will eventually be disappointed?
You see, I didn't grow up with Santa. I'm the oldest child of immigrant parents and was always treated like an adult even when I probably should have been treated like the little girl that I was and protected from the harsh realities of life. I never remember feeling like a carefree child.
I think that's why I love Christmas so much (ergo my Christmas Rocks series I and II). It's a time where the spirit of love, joy and wonderment is in the air and everyone can participate in it. I love being able to create that spirit for my children. And that's why I've decided that I would tell my son all about Santa! I want him to believe in the miracles and magic of the season and to experience that innocent wonderment and pure joy that Santa can bring.
So in addition to reading him the stories about Santa, I've also been talking to him about writing Santa a letter. I hadn't really thought through what we would do with the letter until I saw this great post by Deb from Missives from Suburbia.
It was like Deb had written the post just for me (thanks Deb!). As she outlines in her post (go over and take a look, she has a prize!), this year, at every Macy's across the county there will be a mailbox to collect letters for Santa Claus. When you bring your stamped letter to Macy's, addressed to Santa at the North Pole, and drop it into Santa's special letterbox, for each letter received, Macy's will donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation up to $1,000,000. Macy's will then deliver the letters to the post office.
How great is that!? So, even though I hate shopping malls (I do everything on-line, surprise surprise) and also hate mailing things (where are those damn stamps?), I will be going with my son to Macy's to mail his letter to Santa because it will be so fun for him and will help a great cause.
Now I just have to get him to wheedle his Christmas wish list to just one page! :)