Speaking Point: Our economy is at one of its lowest points since the great depression and parents are finding themselves in a real quandary here at Christmas time. Not only are families having to tighten their belts... so, (I’m afraid), must Santa Claus! But what do Parents tell their children?
Speaking Point: You see, kids live in the same family culture as their parents do. They hear the daily stress and struggle of making ends meet and the rising of prices as their family budget shrinks. What is the only logical conclusion from this dilemma for any bright-eyed little Santa believer? "If my parents can’t afford it, I will put it on my list for Santa Claus. He always gets me everything I ask for!" Uh Oh! Now What?
Speaking Point: In an Augusta Journal article, Gary Casey, founder of the Santa Academy in Atlanta, an organization that has trained more than 5,000 Santas (you know, the ones you visit in the malls), speaks to this issue. As the economy has crumbled and the requests from little ones have gone from Barbie’s to X Box, over the years, he trains every one of his Santas to NEVER promise a toy. He teaches his troops to redirect the child to the spirit of Christmas and the need to be happy with whatever shows up under their tree.
Speaking Point: Parents understand the pressure they have put themselves under by possibly over-indulging their children when times were fruitful. Somehow, whatever was on the list, made its way down the chimney and under the tree. Parents are at a crossroads. Is this a value issue of wanting your children to enjoy the Christmas spirit and minimize the materialism of the day? Or is this a budgetary issue that children need to accept while times are tough? Perhaps if parents approach this as a value they wish to teach their child in the family culture they have created, Christmas would become "economy proof"! So parents, it’s time to decide what Christmas means to you and your family!
Speaking Point: It’s time to teach your children about the excitement and anticipation of this very important family ritual. It’s time to coach your kids that Santa brings presents, not based on getting everything you ask for, but getting "something special" from that list. It’s time to guide your child that being a family on this holiday is so much more important than being entitled to the "motherload." This isn’t about what you as parents can or cannot afford.
Speaking Point: It’s about the balance between the "spirit" of the day, the values you want to teach, and the excitement of receiving something "special". So every child that believes in Santa, should continue believing because Santa doesn’t have to let them down. They should make their list and wait to see if Santa checked to see if they have been naughty or nice. Santa is and has always been "economy proof!" It’s the parents that have to understand that if you create these rituals in their family culture with the balance you believe in, every holiday becomes "economy proof."