Alert-Santa Spoiler!

Santa is not really about Christmas. He’s about shopping. That’s why I haven’t really pushed the whole Santa thing with my kids. I’d rather not deceive them with something that encourages consumerism.Those who say Santa is about giving?   You can teach a child to give and share and love people without Santa. They can do it all year long. I never  flat-out banned Santa in our house. I just didn’t encourage him.  When they were old enough to ask about him, I just told them the truth. I’d rather focus the holiday on the Savior, on family, and on friends. Sure, you can fashion Santa into a hero who teaches about the “Christmas Spirit.” I just choose to do that without the Bowl full of Jelly.   (FYI-for the same reasons, the Easter Bunny doesn’t visit us, and we have the Tooth Daddy.)

This year we decided to spend Christmas with Andy’s family, in Cache Valley. Woo Hoo!  On the way there we stopped in Boulder, dropped off the dog, and did a little skiing. I had forgotten how much I like skiing. I hope we end up some place where there is snow, and mountains.  (like Germany!)

We went to Preston first.  It was fun staying with Andy’s mom and siblings and meeting Liz’s new pet, Penny the bunny. She was a lot of fun for the boys, despite the shedding, and so soft.  Andy tried to teach the family some Tae Kwon Do moves. We went to Kings, Bob’s Mart, watched a Preston High School basketball game in the new gym (hilarious!), went sledding at the farm and spent a day in Logan shopping.  Andy was able to go with his friend Boone and chase cougars.

We spent Christmas Eve and Day with Andy’s dad in Logan. On Sunday morning we went to church with his dad. After being introduced, the  nice lady sitting in the pew in front of us turned to the boys and asked them if Santa had come and brought them any presents.  Bryce said, in a very solemn and serious voice, “No. My mom put a flame thrower up the chimney.”  Neither of the boys cracked or laughed.  After a long, awkward silence, the lady stammered, “Well, it must have been after he came to our house.”  Then she turned around and stopped talking to us. Andy tried to pretend he wasn’t part of our family.  I just hoped there weren’t any Santa-loving children listening. Maybe my ideals of Santa-free Christmas wasn’t turning out how I’d hoped.

We tried to have a decent family photo taken after church, but, I guess a nice picture would be totally out of character for us.  One of us is always messing up the picture. In the afternoon we visited with family. The boys had a great time playing with their cousin, shooting Nerf guns and wielding swords. Shirley was so nice to turn a blind eye, on top of feeding us fabulously.  Thank goodness they didn’t break anything.  Don’t take this the wrong way; it really was lovely spending the holiday with family. But for the sake of my nerves, veins and teeth, I think we’ll spend the next holiday at home.  Less potential for collateral damage.

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For New Year’s, we celebrated alone. We missed spending the day with our friends, the Damschens!  We stayed in and watched old black-and-white Sherlock Holmes DVDs with the boys. We toasted with some sparkling apple cider, much like Apple Schorle, and were in bed in time to get up for church this morning.

I feel like 2011 was a whirlwind of a year, full of change, trips, travel, and a roller coaster of emotions with moving, working, and school. We were truly blessed and guided in all of our adventures.  (I surely wouldn’t have done it this way.)  And from where we stand, 2012 looks no different.  Ready or not, here we come!

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