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m j . hollingshead

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I love Santa... as the spirit of fun
By m j . hollingshead
Last edited: Sunday, December 02, 2007
Posted: Sunday, December 02, 2007

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m j . hollingshead

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I love Christmas

Sinter Klaas jpg found at this site:

Santa Claus, Sinter Klaas, Father Christmas, La Befana, Papa Noel, Los Reyes, whatever the spirit of fun is called, I love the fun and excitement of Christmas.

Do I teach that any of these gift bearing personages are real? No. Not to my own children when they were tots, nor to the classes that I teach today.

Do I teach history regarding them? You betcha.

Below is a portion of an email I sent to a friend regarding how I personally regard Father Christmas, et al.

Personally, I never taught my own children that Santa Claus or Sinter Klaas was real. Part of our heritage is Dutch, on Dec 5 we did put our klompen by the door with a carrot for Sinter Klaas' horse, and we received a small toy and some chocolates.

Then we put up a tree and on Dec 24 we opened tree gifts... these were from family and friends.

In the morning, break of dawn, on Dec 25 we opened our stockings and our 'Santa' gift.

My boys always knew that Santa or whatever he/she is called in the country where we live is the fun of Christmas but is not a true living being.

I decided that as a young teacher before I had even married or had a child; that I would not teach my children that Santa is a real and living being.

This notion was formed when many little kids came to school and as they listened to the long list recounted regarding goodies received by others while they had received only one small gift; they were confused.

And, they came to me during recess to ask tearfully "teacher, why does Santa love xyz more than me. I have been a really good little boy/girl and all I got was a puzzle and he/she got lots and lots of toys and things."

I didn't have an answer for them, and I knew then I didn't want my own children to think that Santa picks and chooses whom to love the best.

My own kids picked out their -Santa- gift from a Sears and Roebuck catalogue, the gift was under the tree on Christmas morning, we called it then and now, -our Santa gift- and the unspoken is that mama bought it.

When son J was 3 years old we went to the shopping mall. -Santa- was there, kids lined up to visit with him and get their candy cane. He asked each child, 'and what do you want little boy/girl?'

J said I WANT MY LITTLE TRAIN. Santa looked at me, I nodded, Santa said brightly, 'yes little boy you may expect your train.

Speaking the primal scream of a tot; J said as only a 3 year old can:


It was a priceless moment! Poor Santa, what a look on his face.


In our family our tree was left up until 12th night. We began moving The Three Kings across the dining room, the mantle and to the creche set up on the far end of the mantle on Christmas day.

On 12th night The Kings arrived, down came the tree, my kids received a last little gift, sang Happy Birthday dear Jesus and we finished up the season eating the special 'Christmas ice cream balls we got from the store in California.'


For us; this was a plan that worked. My kids had fun for Christmas, did not have any illusion that Santa was a real entity nor did they feel that I had misled them.

As a young woman, I remember listening to a minister talking about Santa and the fact that children do come to an understanding that their parents have in reality been lying to them about Santa. The unspoken then becomes, 'and what else have you lied to me about?'

I didn't want my kids asking that question.

I didn't ask my own parents, but I do remember thinking, 'you lied to me, now what else do you lie about.'

I will say: My sisters' and I actually had greater fun with -Santa- when we three realized that he was not a real living person, and WE began buying one another -Santa- gifts, hid them in the stockings and waited for our siblings to find them.



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Reviewed by Julie Murphy (Reader) 1/1/2008
Thanks for an well-written and most interesting article, Molly. I must admit, your topic has been a concern of mine, in terms of what I tell my own 4-year-old daughter about Santa. (Coincidentally, she is also of Dutch heritage.) I have found your experiences very useful, and will be much better prepared for next Christmas! Thanks, and best wishes for 2008. Julie.
Reviewed by Mary Coe 12/18/2007
Excellent article. I have always let my children and grandchildren know that Santa is not real. Just a very fun part of Christmas. When I was very young and found out there wasn't any Santa Claus; I wondered what else about Christmas was fake. In a lot of homes; Santa and shopping take away from the real meaning of Christmas. I told my little ones that Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 12/11/2007
Sweet and timely, Molly. Thank you. Love and peace,

Reviewed by E T Waldron 12/5/2007
Molly, I love this message, and I wholeheartedly agree with you! We have to be honest,or pay the consequence. Santa was always a ghostly figure in our family,never real, but still there,in a nice fun way;-)
As for Christ this is a decision each person must make on their own, and act accordingly. I'm a christian who believes the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I make no bones about it, but I never expect anyone else to feel as I do, that's a personal decision to make.

Merry Christmas;-)
with love,
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 12/3/2007
Then again, in some countries, los Reyes Magos leave presents January 6, because their heard not of the impending birth of a jew king, but they came with present to one that was already born.(which will be more logical than coming at the same moment of birth)
But...thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 12/2/2007
Will go along with Mr Eddie on this one.......thanks!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 12/2/2007
being Dutch as well i remember some of the same--and i have and do much of the same as a teacher, parent and grandparent-i enjoyed the look into your traditions and the joy and love surrounding them
Reviewed by George Carroll 12/2/2007
The greatest gift on earth is Jesus Christ when we receive Him in our hearts on Christmas Day.
On 12th night The Kings arrived, down came the tree, my kids received a last little gift, sang Happy Birthday dear Jesus and we finished up the season eating the special 'Christmas ice cream balls we got from the store in California.'
We have to keep Christ in Christmas and forget the commercial and secular aspect that is so prevalent.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 12/2/2007
I think both the history of Santa Claus, and Christmas Customs Around the World, are truly fascinating topics.

And thanks for sharing that website, Molly.

Books by
m j . hollingshead

Palo Verde: The Wanted Poster

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The Inspector’s Wife

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The Agent: Murder By Design

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The Cats' Paw: Blue Death

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The Agent: Murder By Accident

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A Teaching Handbook for the Non Teacher ... or I must have been mad to think I wanted to teach

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Daddy's One Acre

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