Jase and I have been struggling with the holidays for the last few years.  At a religious level, a moral “why are we lying to our kids” level, at a “I wish this was simple” level, at a “all these messages are so confusing” level.  Just struggling.  I do a dance with those emotions and the guilt that comes with tearing the concept of Santa away from them and stealing the “magic” that society says we should create for them and marvel over.  I keep thinking, there must be a better balance than what we have now, more meaning, less stuff.  But what type of magic do I want for their little lives?  The magic of knowing the gift of God’s love for them?  Or the magic of a ficticous man breaking in to our homes and using the concept to lie to our kids and trick them in to behaving for a month?  But it’s not that easy, is it?  Or maybe it is.  Mom guilt is so hard to navigate.  Yes, we are aiming for a much more simple holiday this year.  We are moving forward with the 4 gifts per person concept (want, need, wear, read).  The other day Jase asked Taryn what we should get Ty.  Her answer was “He’s grumpy all the time, let’s give him some loooooooove.”  What a great, simple, real, answer.

If you have a few minutes, this post pretty much sums up how I feel about this subject.  So much to think about, so much we could be doing better within our own family.  I don’t know the answer, I don’t know exactly what our path will be this year, next year, but we are making changes and conscious choices for our family.  Seriously, click on that link, it is worth it.

And my next thought, if we give up Santa, what about BOB!?  We’ll go down that road when we get to it I suppose.  We’ve already given up the “Bob is watching you and reporting to Santa” gig.  We’re just having our fun little elf move each day.  I’m ok with that for now.  In the meantime, you can find some highly entertaining and highly inappropriate elf on a shelf photos (and a contest) over on my friend Jill’s blog at babierabies.com.  Be warned, Bob’s buddies have been very, very bad elves.

Does anyone else feel this internal struggle this time of year?  It’s hard, because my business is so busy, it’s hard to just find the time to simplify.  But I really, really want to.

ps – I wrote this several days ago and forgot to hit publish.  Since then, we’ve decided we will have less focus on santa, we’ve removed most santa items from the house and we will transition over the next year to a santa free Christmas next year.  Teagan sat on santa’s lap at school and that’s ok.  Taryn has always hated going to the mall santa, so we will just skip it this year.  To help transition through the changes and answer some of the confusing questions about what Christmas is all about and why we do the things that we do (stockings, trees, etc.) I bought this DVD.  I feel good about the direction we are heading.  A simple, honest, focused direction.