To young children, eight days can seem forever! The Yule pace has picked up at home and just about everywhere else. Parents are shopping, gathering, decorating, cooking and on and on….busy. They may be distracted, preoccupied and a little testy too. There is the excitement…or even a little stress [depending on the age and personality of a child]… of Santa coming down the chimney. “Will he fit? Can I hear him”?. Ads on TV, school presentations and projects, decorating the tree and the house, all add to the anticipation. “What will he bring me? I can’t wait”!!
I have a little problem with some of the lyrics in ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’…ta da ta da…” “You better not cry, better not pout” [good luck with that in any given day or week] “ He sees you when you’re sleeping”. Children are prone to ‘magical thinking’ so it why add a little paranoia at bedtime? What’s with “He knows if you’ve been good or bad, so be good for goodness sake”. Santa, NO bad kids! This time of year is especially hard for model behavior. What if they have been cranky and naughty and get presents anyway? Now there’s a confusing double bind message. Young children are literal and believe what they see and hear…and sing. So, maybe pick another classic to teach them. There are so many … : -)
When possible, slow things down and share your child’s wonder and glee of the holiday. That’s the best gift of all. Happy holidays to you all !