Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 10-20-2002, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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My husband and I are attachment parenting our 10 month old son. We grew up with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus but now that we are parents we are wondering how do other Christian attachment parents celebrate the real meaning of Christmas and Easter and still enjoy Santa and the Easter Bunny without getting carried away?Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny Christian
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#2 of 9 Old 10-21-2002, 12:55 AM
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My dd is 6 months, I have been thinking of this issue lately also. My mother let me believe in Santa until I was about 4. But I think Christmas was just as fun when I knew the true meaning. I guess I have a while to think about how we will explain these things to her. I'm just going to be honest!
Sorry this doesn't really answer your question!
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#3 of 9 Old 10-21-2002, 01:12 AM
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Well, I had friends who had the whole...Jesus got 3 gifts so you only get 3 thing. Not to keen on that one. I liked how my parents did it. We had Santa. BUT when they started their family they were not in church in any sense of the word. Our sundays in my early childhood were spent in the Bowling Alley

What we are doing with Tracy holidays....We are teaching the real meanings. We will still have Santa that aren't out unti x-mas morning. The same with the Easter Bunny.

Does that make sense. We aren't sure of the logistics yet...still working on that part!!

BTW.....DH never believed in Santa.....I don't think he was taught it but I don't think he as taught he wasn't there either. I jsut don't think it was something addressed.

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#4 of 9 Old 10-21-2002, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the helpful insight.
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#5 of 9 Old 10-23-2002, 07:09 PM
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We talk about Santa but more like a story book character. I remember how heart broken I was whenI found out he wasn't real and how decieved I felt. Also I think it would be hard for her to distiguish between Jesus, who wants us to be good and do as he says, who we pray to, who we don't see but have to believe in and has great power and Santa who wants us to be good and do as our parents say, who we write letters to, who we don't see but should believe in, and has magical powers. I know most kids get it but I don't want to bank on it. She still has a lot of fun with the whole santa thing but doesn't get gifts from him (I have a 6, 2, and 28 year old, nothing goes under the tree untill Christmas morning ).

We don't do easter at all so she really doesn't have a clue about the easter bunny. We do Resurection Day (easter Sunday) which is a good celebration and they get may Baskets on may day Which is the equivelent of an Easter Basket but without any spiritual signifigance. We also do passover which adds up to a lot of celebrating and eating in the long run so we don't feel bad about it.

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#6 of 9 Old 10-23-2002, 08:18 PM
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Actually May Day, or Beltane, has great spiritual significance. Bel (Ba'al, in this case associated with the sun) on this day is married to the goddess, and empregnates her. The Maypole being enwrapped by ribbons represents the god being embraced by the goddess.

Flowers, being the sexual organs of plants, are gathered and given as gifts on this fertility festival. (Eggs gathered in baskets are gifts appropriate to Ostara, earlier in the season.)

To encourage healthy crops, early pagans would mate outdoors on the fields and in the forests on May Eve, then dance the maypole dance after being up all night.

Passing through a fire, jumping over a fire or a candle, or passing your herds between two fires, were done as purification and blessing.
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#7 of 9 Old 11-09-2002, 07:49 PM
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my intent was to have santa be like a storybook character

however, being at daycare took that away from me a bit

my dd (4) misses santa a lot

i'd like to try and bring it back a bit to fiction (without crushing her heart!!)

any suggestions??
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#8 of 9 Old 11-09-2002, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure how I would handle that one either LdybluNH! But I bet some clever mom will read this and have a suggestion.

However, my first thought would be to explain it to her in child-like terms and maybe she might understand. Best wishes!

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#9 of 9 Old 11-09-2002, 10:43 PM
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Who is Santa Claus?

Santa Claus has a variety of different names in different languages, but they all refer to the person of St. Nicholas who was born many centuries ago in the 4th century (born c 245 AD, and died c350 AD, various sources list various dates) in Lycia, Anatolia, a province on the southwest coast of Asia Minor (present day Turkey). He was born in Patara, a seaport, and traveled. St. Nicholas became a bishop of the church at Myra. Few documents exist which mention him, however legends of his generosity exist throughout most churches. Thousands of churches in the Middle Ages were dedicated to him.

St. Nicholas performed a number of miracles, all associated with gift giving. His feast day was December 6, so think of St. Nicholas on December 6th and December 25th.

In 1823, Clement C. Moore (see below) wrote "A Visit from St. Nicholas', which showed Santa Claus driving a sleight drawn by "eight tiny reindeer" and in doing so he created an image we all have today. Thomas Nast (see below) drew Santa Claus based on Moore's description cementing in this image.

The probable origins of various traditions which then spread around the world:

Gifts: St. Nicholas (gift giver) and the Magi (the three wise men/Persian Priests from Orient bringing gifts for Jesus) and from pagan (Roman) Saturnalia custom.
Reindeer: Reindeer are from the north (e.g. Finland) and they are cute, Santa needed transportation
Chimney: St. Nicholas legend (see below). Also, in England and the United states Santa comes secretly and so the entrance must be secret and easy to use without the help of adults. In Germany and Scandinavia often Santa comes through the door.
North Pole: America's Father Christmas dwells there, it is a winter festival, Santa Claus needed somewhere to live
Hat: Bishops mitre of St. Nicholas, the headgear of the Magi, and perhaps the Phrygian headgear of the French Revolution.
Beard: St. Nicholas, the Magi are bearded, white because of age.
Costume: Cloak from St. Nicholas, and perhaps the Magi. The fur probably added to fit the Northern legend.
Sock: Hung by the chimney to dry and they make a good repository for presents.
Candles (and now lights) symbolize or were part of: Paradise, end of the days getting shorter, warmth, summer, Jewish Hanukkah, festiveness, keeping the darkness at bay
Holly: Christ's crown of thorns and others
Gnomes: Pagan (some celebrations)
Straw: Stable and crib, readily available, pagan
Christmas Crib: Jesus' stable in Bethlehem. Legend says it was started by St. Franciscus of Assisi.
Red, Green, and White colors: Green came from evergreen trees (e.g. balsam, fir, holly etc.), red from holly berries, red and white also from the Bishop's mitre and cape worn in religious ceremonies by St. Nicholas, white from the snow seen on evergreen's during the holiday season, white from St. Nicholas's beard, and white from the light of the Star seen over the stable. Red may also have come from pagan ceremonies. [asked by Matt]
Cookies and milk being left out for Santa Claus: the modern Christmas tree tradition came from western Germany, from a medieval custom, as a paradise tree -- a tree decorated with apples, wafers and/or cookies. When the "paradise tree" merged with Christianity and became part of the Christmas celebration cookies and wafers were still part of the decorations. As time passed Santa would often snack on a decoration (to keep in shape!). Children (and perhaps parents) noticed that there were decorations that had been snacked on (although in old times the snacking was done by mice too) and so began leaving them out on plates by the fire -- partially to keep them close to Santa's entrance and partially to keep the mice away. Homes that did not use wafers or cookies thought it would be nice to leave out something for me to munch on too after hearing stories from other families about how much Santa enjoyed their cookies. Eventually fewer and fewer people decorated the tree with food but wanted to keep up the tradition of leaving something for Santa Claus. Eventually the origin was lost to common knowledge, but we have included it with the FAQ now. As for the milk, it was only natural that people would be considerate enough to leave milk with the cookies!
Why is Santa 'heavy'? Well, if you read the information about the cookies and milk above you'll see why Santa used to be shown as thinner than he is now -- not everyone used to leave out cookies for him!
What is a legend of St. Nicholas?

There are many legends of St. Nicholas, but this is the most famous legend and it includes elements of today's Santa:

A nobleman who lived with his three daughters had fallen on hard times. The daughters had no chance of marriage, since their father could not pay their dowries.

One night, St. Nicholas threw a sack of gold through a window of the nobleman's shabby castle, which was enough for one daughter's marriage. The next night, he tossed another sack of gold through the window for the second daughter.

But on the third night, the window was closed. So, St. Nicholas climbed onto the roof and dropped the sack down the chimney. The next morning, the daughters found the gold in the stockings they had hung to dry by the fireplace.

Hence leaving the stockings out for Santa Claus.

What other names is Santa Claus or Father Christmas known by?

Weihnachtsmann in Germany for "Christmas man"
Kris Kringle from the southern Germany Christkindle, meaning "Christ child." This mutated in some areas of the world into a name for Santa Claus.
Pere Noel in France
Papa Noel in many Spanish speaking countries
Sinter Claus (or Sinterklaas, Sinte Klaas) in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City)
Other variations of his name range from Sant Nikolaas to Sante Klaas
The Italian Befana is a similar figure as is Russia's grandmotherly Babouschka.
Denmark he's called "Julemanden" ("Christmas Man")
Joulupukki ("Yule Buck"), evolved from the "Christmas Goat" used to frighten children in Finland. Korvatunturi (Mount Ear, near Polar Circle) is often portrayed as his home. The children see Santa and he asks if they have been good.
Nicholas of Bari
Nicholas of Myra
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