The Top 4 Reasons We Don’t *Do* Santa

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Santa Claus: (Getty Images/Stockphoto)

I hesitated to write this post, because it has been written over a dozen times, at least. I was also afraid of the common things said in response to articles like this one by the pro-Santa crowd.

“Oh come on, it’s just a white lie. It’s fun!” or “I love the magic of Santa,” or “Geez you’re such a scrooge. What’s wrong with Santa Claus? Your poor kids are so left out,” etc, etc, etc….

So before I begin with why we decided (actually it was never even a thing we had to sit down to discuss and decide on. It’s more like the natural result of our personalities and personal values) to not tell our son that Santa is a real person who comes down the chimney at night to brings him gifts if he’s been a “good boy,” I want to emphasize this:

THIS IS NOT ME TELLING YOU THAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO SANTA AND BE THE SAME AS ME. Do I like to make people think and show them alternatives to the status quo? Yes. Do I hope that people find what I have to say useful? Sure. Do I need you to change your relationship to Santa Claus in order for me to be happy or even for me to like you? No. Ok, cool. Now that that is out of the way, here are the top 4 best reasons I could think of for why we don’t tell our son the tale of Santa Claus in a way that would lead him to believe it’s real:

  1. It’s a lie, and I don’t feel good telling a lie.

    This seems to be the most popular reason for parents choosing to opt out of telling their kids that Santa is real. And while yes, I think it’s a great reason and I don’t condone lying to our kids, it goes a little beyond this for me. While I don’t want to lie to my son, I also can’t lie to my son. In the same way I can’t lie to my partner and tell him something is real only to know that one day he is going to find out it’s not. I can’t do that. Not only am I not a good liar, I feel fake and slightly mean doing it. As some may know, I have done a lot of personal work and programs that focus on honing in on the sensations in the body, authentic communication, and vulnerability. Telling someone I feel a deep limbic connection with (my child) a lie goes against everything my body is wanting me to do. In my own opinion, one of the biggest reasons so many people are able to tell their children about Santa and feel okay with it, is because we’re disconnected from our bodies in terms of how it feels when we treat our children as less than human beings because they’re children. It’s why we have a hard time meeting so many of their wants and needs.  We have been successfully able to not feel and listen to them when they are crying alone to sleep, telling us they aren’t happy at school, and screaming at us that they don’t want to wear their shoes. We can’t feel them so we force them and we’ve sold ourselves the story that it’s our job to coerce little people because we are the big people. I don’t believe in, “because I’m the parent and I said so.” This doesn’t mean I don’t enforce boundaries, it just means I don’t say no for the sake of saying no. Like I mentioned above, I feel really connected to my son and building trust with him is very important to me. Telling him the lie of Santa Claus seems to run the chances of potentially breaking that trust. Some kids take it really hard when they find out Santa is not real and I don’t want to chance my son being one of them. I also don’t think telling kids that Santa Claus is real is a “white lie” as so many people claim in defense. It’s actually a very big lie. If SC is a white lie, then what’s a big lie? Making our children believe that there is a man that lives in the North Pole with elves who make toys for all the children and one night out of the year he gets on his sleigh with 8 reindeer and goes to every house and down every chimney and leaves you presents is a huge, well thought-out lie if I have ever heard one.

2.) Santa Claus doesn’t want kids to cry.

Sing it with me: “You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town….”

Yea, I don’t like Santa Claus for this reason. Why does he not want kids to cry? What’s wrong with crying? This song implies that crying is wrong or that if you cry you’ve been “naughty” and you better watch it because Santa Claus is coming and you won’t get any gifts if you’ve been “naughty,” AKA crying. No thanks Santa Claus, your services won’t be needed in our house. Our son cries and we don’t take issue with that, rather we try to embrace his big emotions. Over here we think crying is healthy and the way young children express their needs and tough feelings. Stopping, controlling, and punishing children for crying leads to adults who suppress their feelings and who can’t trust their own emotional state. Trust me on this one. This song and the idea of Santa Claus watching over kids to see if they’ve been “naughty” (refer to the rest of the song) perpetuates another tragic idea in our culture that crying is something that needs to be controlled and that a “good” baby/child doesn’t cry. It’s not true and it’s a shame that so many people believe this. It also goes back to my first point about our lack of being in touch with our own bodies. We mistake the discomfort in our bodies when our child cries to mean that there is something wrong when they cry. Our reaction to their cries isn’t because it’s “bad,” it’s because we can’t handle the big sensations we’re experiencing and getting upset at them rather than being vulnerable is the only way we know how to dissipate those feelings. So let me say it one more time: There is nothing wrong when kids cry and everything wrong with how we treat them when they are crying. Again, it’s our unconscious idea that because they’re little they deserve less respect. The next time you’re having a reaction about your child crying (no matter the reason) ask yourself if you would say or do this to your best friend, sister, or spouse if they were crying.

3.) I want to model living in the present moment (no pun intended).

I see way too many people living for weekends and holidays. People are chomping at the bit to put up their Christmas tree at Halloween. I’m not saying that these things aren’t fun and special, but it’s when they’re the only special thing you have to the point that you’re only looking forward to that one thing, then it becomes borderline worrisome. I often hear people comment that Santa is magical and they want their kids to have that magical feeling of Christmas. I even had one person tell me, “Our world is shitty and the least I can do for them is give them this one magical time of the year.” It’s sad really, because the most magical moments for me is when I am so seeped in and consumed by the present moment. In nature, looking in my sons eyes, climbing a rock, in deep conversation with a friend, traveling and meeting new people, looking up at the sky, these are magical moments that are accessible everyday of the year. Not only on weekends and holidays. I want to grant my child the ability to find joy and magic wherever he finds himself and not limit it to one time of year with one jolly man. Which is where I still see many adults, waiting for that next holiday.

4.) We are pretty minimalistic.

Many people would describe me as simple or a minimalist. While I don’t live in a tiny home, I also don’t have much stuff, I don’t go to shopping malls, and I don’t really fall into the stereotypical idea of someone in consumer culture. Santa Claus is that person. Santa Claus represents chain store America and consumerism. He is all about things things and more things. He is highly profitable for companies like Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, and Coco-Cola. I don’t shop at these places or buy these products and while sure, I can make my own gifts or shop locally, it’s the story of Santa Claus that keeps big greedy America, well…big and greedy. The Santa Claus tale emphasizes more gifts, presents, things, and piles of stuff and less about connection and experiences together, which I value. I am not saying that people who *do* Santa don’t have connection and good experiences, but just that Santa is another distraction from all that in an already highly distracted world. Maybe some people are skilled enough to have the attention for both, but for me, as someone who has a hard enough time being present and pushing my edges around connecting with people, the Santa Claus story is the last thing I need to worry about upholding during the holiday season.

So there you have it. Why do you or don’t you tell your kids that Santa Claus is real? Tell me below, and happy holidays 🙂

Redefining Beauty.

 

“There are no cures- nature returns to normal when enervating habits are given up.”

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We tend to look at our health and beauty as something that is going to be given to us in the form of a magic pill or product in a bottle. Oh, if only we have the best shampoo, the latest skin technology cream, the right make-up, the best weight loss system, the right medication for X issue then we can have our health and/or be beautiful. We approach our health and beauty completely backwards. The way I see it is that we were given beautiful hair, soft, flawless skin, sweet body odor, and a healthy, thriving body by nature–so long as we live in accordance to its laws. The problem is that we typically don’t, so what all these “beauty” and “health” products are actually doing is masking flaws and ailments that are created because of an imbalance in the body and our insistence to dominate nature rather than live in accordance to her laws (because we are nature). Health cannot be treated topically or from the outside in. For example, If you have cystic acne no amount of face wash is going to cure it, because the cause is coming from inside of you. Remove the cause, and your acne will be cured. I can remember trying hundreds of dollars worth of cleansers, toners, and moisturizers during a time in my life when I had acne on my forehead and often around my jaw line. In the last 4-5 years the only thing that touches my face is water, and my skin has NEVER looked so good. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember the last time I had even one pimple. Natural Hygiene is a philosophy that basically states that when the human body is left alone, and only consumes that which it requires, without excess and toxins (some examples of excess would be like deodorants, hair products, vaccines, alcohol, animal dairy, pharmaceutical drugs, synthetic drugs, processed foods, shampoo, creams, etc) then the organism functions optimally, as it was intended to, and imbalances and disease does not, or rarely occurs. When we stop putting toxicity and non optimal foods in our bodies, and when we stop suffocating our largest organ (our skin) with synthetic chemicals we don’t come across issues like greasy hair, smelly odor, skin issues (all across the board), fowl breath, pain, sickness, chronic disease, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, digestion issues, ear wax, congestion, thyroid problems, asthma, I could literally go on and on and on and on. Think of it this way: Put chemicals and non optimal foods/substances in and on our bodies= get health out?? This makes no sense. You can’t put in unhealthy, non optimal substances and expect to get a healthy, properly functioning human body out of it. Or does this make more sense?: Put health and that which is made for humans in, stay out of the body’s way, so it can work as it was intended to= get a healthy, properly functioning body. That makes the most sense to me. Simply put, non health and toxic chemicals does not give you health and beauty. Nature gave you health and beauty. Your body was made healthy. Leave it alone. (Note* Unfortunately, as children, we don’t have a say as to what our caregivers are feeding us, putting on us, and injecting us with. But when we know better, we can start to do better for ourselves, and then for our own children. That is how the cycle changes).

I also want to mention that when I am talking about health and specifically beauty, I am not talking about any societal definition of it. Not only does it physically come from the inside, but it does emotionally, too. Meaning, if you feel like you feel good and you think that you look good, then you do.

“We expect to see the sun rise and set, a seed to sprout and grow, water to run downhill, chemical reactions to take place, all in accord with exact law. We do not expect to gather grapes from rose bushes nor figs from thistles. Is there less reason to expect that man should obey the laws of his being? Shall we not expect him to have health in precise ratio to his obedience?”

I have often heard the saying that is some version of, “Beauty is Pain(ful).” I want to put an end to this mindset. If anything that you do for the idea of beauty or health causes you physical pain or something you just plain don’t enjoy then please do yourself a favor and stop. If high heels hurt your feet, don’t wear them. If waxing burns your skin, don’t do it, if applying a bunch of make-up day after day feels like a chore then rethink your strategy.

Just to be clear I am not suggesting that everyone go all natural and stop shaving, and wearing make-up and deodorant. Hey, I love a little mascara! That’s just what ended up happening to me when I got out of my body’s way, but I did it because it felt good. Not because of an idea or persona I was trying to fit into. While I love the natural way, I also love art and for some people, wearing make-up and the like is fun and a way they express their artistic side. What I am suggesting is that Feel > Formula. If we can get out of our own way enough to actually feel what feels good and not run off of the ideas around beauty and health that are sold to us through our culture, media, and advertising then we can have a version of health and beauty that feels good to us because we say it does, not because someone else promised it would.

When I significantly changed my diet and lifestyle to see what actually worked and felt good for my body I found that I looked better and felt better without many of the common products you might think of when you imagine a woman’s bathroom and/or kitchen. Here is a list of things I no longer use and as a result feel healthier and happier without it on (in) my body or consuming chunks of my time:

-Shampoo
-Conditioner
-Deodorant
-Q tips
-soap
-body lotion
-face cleanser
-face toner
-face moisturizer
-blow dryers
-hair straighteners
-make-up (with the exception of a single tube of mascara that sits at the bottom of my bag)
-razors
-shaving cream
-sunscreen
-meat
-dairy
-eggs
-tanning memberships
-perfume
-toxic household cleaners
-pain killers/over the counter meds (Advil, Tylenol, Midol)
-tampons
-vitamins/supplements
-trash bags
-ointments/creams
-Doctors visits/exams
-prescription drugs

Another advantage to all of this is the money I imagine I save now from not buying this stuff anymore. As a teenager and into my early 20’s my morning routine went something like this: Get in the shower, shampoo, condition, lather up with a special soap for the body and then a special soap for my vagina, shaving cream on my legs and shave, get out, brush my teeth, lather my body with lotion, put on cream base, then powder, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, blow dry the hair, straighten the hair, and throw on some lip gloss. Whew. Personally, I loathed this everyday. But I thought I needed it. My personal care and health stash looks more like this now:

  • Coconut oil (for cuts, nics, burns, rash, dryness, etc.)
  • Baking soda
  • Essential oils
  • An occasional bottle of Dr. Bronner’s (sometimes for the body, sometimes for the hands, sometimes for the laundry).
  • Natural, fluoride free toothpaste and a toothbrush
  • Tea Tree dental floss
  • Cloth menstrual pads (there is also the Cup, I just have a personal preference for pads).
  • Plant based foods

“Health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.”

Don’t be sold healthy and beauty. Embody it from the inside out. Try it out and see what happens when you change your mindset around health and beauty. How will you change when you uncomplicate it and toss your formulas and concoctions out the window? Tell me your thoughts below!