Christmas Wrap

 

I’m in a blogging blitzing mood lately, aren’t I?  You folks who blog from work are in for a jolt checking in here when you go back in a week or so!  So let’s talk a bit about Christmas and where I am at the moment in my thinking, reading and studying.

 

Christmas was a swell time this year.  If you read my Christmas message you might see I’m in a better headspace as to what the season means.  And I really am more relaxed although I wasn’t necessarily so heading into it with last minute stuff to get done.  But it feels good to decompress.

 

Anyone who reads me regularly knows I have a bit of a crazy orthodoxy at work in my faith.  One of those aspects surrounding this particular season is the treatment of Santa Claus with the kids.  Our oldest has developmental delays on the autism spectrum, so he spared us from really having to deal that much with it.  Our youngest at about 6 is ripe for this sort of thing, so we have had to deal with it in the way that works best for Arwyn and me.  We avoid it.

 

I’m not against people who want to make a huge deal out of Santa Clause.  It is definitely a cultural thing, and people who want to engage with the larger culture don’t offend me.  As long as the larger culture isn’t getting all over me about this issue, I won’t get all over them.  I’m not coming right out and telling my kids there is no such thing as Santa so they won’t blab and spoil all your fun.  But they are going to figure it out soon enough on their own, anyway because he did not visit our house.  We don’t leave cookies out or hang stocking on the fireplace.  Sounds rather bleak, doesn’t it?  But I’m not the Burgermeister.

 

They watch Santa shows and movies and sing Santa songs and decorate the tree.  And they get presents just like your kids.  But they are not from Santa; they are from their loving parents and from each other.  We open our gifts Christmas Eve, so pretty much all thoughts of Santa are abandoned once they get their loot.  Although the youngest did make mention of it this year, with those 3 words every parent eventually hears whenever kids open presents; “Is that all?”  But Arwyn deftly and tactfully told him he should appreciate what he has or we would ship him off in Santa’s sleigh to an orphanage in some third world country.

 

The big hit for them was the Lionel train I got off eBay.  It was opened once before 30 years ago as there was still tinsel in the tracks but it may have never been run since opening day.  It’s now happily being run to death now, however.

 

Arwyn got an mp3 player which she can use while using her brand new elliptical trainer.  She had been going on about wanting a treadmill but this thing looked much more cost and space effective plus the workout is more complete with the arm levers.

 

I got underwear and a shirt.  But I was lucky to get that as Arwyn has no money since she is sweating off the debt she ran up last summer.  But I am totally okay with not getting stuff because I can play with the train as well as use that elliptical machine and I have.  It does give a more complete workout and I shed 500 calories this morning according to that nifty digital counter in 30 minutes.  Arwyn did 15 minutes, but she’s just starting out and is way out of shape.

 

She was most appreciative but there was no sex last night, as we were up late fiddling with the mp3 and I had to finish assembling the elliptical.  And that was fine, too.  That’s part of that whole differentiation thing, where giving and disclosing are done without any expectations of it being returned and being okay with it.  I am unsure how to react to a sexual advance at this point, anyway.  I miss it, but I am not hankering for a double scoop of controlling-guilt-based stuff.  But my body says otherwise.  Ugh!  I wish it would just shut the hell up!

 

Back to Santa for just a minute, Arwyn and I are pretty much in agreement on this.  We just don’t want belief in him to be our children’s first crisis of faith.  Yeah, he’s real the same as Winnie the Pooh.  Both are lovely and heart warming characters who occupy positions of fondness but the business of building a belief system around this particular fellow is mass psychotic silliness. And I’m not keen to have this particular madness be any more significant to my children than I have to.  They love presents as much as any kids and tying Santa to a stash of presents puts the fat guy pretty high up in significance to them.  I’m not going there at all.  So we sort of play the smallest of roles in perpetuating the cultural psychopathology.  Discovering that Santa isn’t real won’t involve even the mildest of trauma for my kids.  I’d be happy to indulge more if the fat old guy was paying my mortgage or even just the cable bill.  But he’s not, so he can seek credit, cookies and glory elsewhere.

[Ha!  After writing this but before posting, I ran into this story about parents facing tough questions about the myth.  My question is this: why teach them the myth in the first place?

 

I’ve been reading some of Passionate Marriage but have spent more time reading stuff off the Reveal website.  It’s fascinating stuff and I’ll post a lot more thoughts on that a bit later.  But the more I read the more I see I was formerly linked with the ICC movement in my former dealings with the fundamentalist group.  Both are on the cult watch lists and both did business in a similar manner.  My discipling was very much like what they did and I’m not sure we didn’t use the same curriculum.  But we didn’t follow anyone named “Kip.”  We followed “Jim.”

 

Like Kip, Jim left the movement he started only much earlier. 

 

Happy Holidays!

 

D.

 

 

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8 Responses to Christmas Wrap

  1. aphron says:

    Sounds like a decent Christmas. You bring up an interesting point about Santa Claus. Something to think about.

    Sounds like Arwyn had a great Christmas. Elliptical trainer and no sex. Having read your earlier post about the confrontation. I see that Arwyn has not forgiven you for whatever past hurt you did or she perceives you did. A relationship cannot move into healthy areas with that kind of vindictiveness. Like you said, I’m not sure any amount of confrontation by you will solve your problems. Arwyn will not see her role in the problem. It has devolved into petty revenge. Is that her idea of marriage?

  2. xi summit says:

    Sounds like a good Christmas all around. I still have my original Lionel train though it hasn’t been used in 18 years ’cause Queenie always wants the tree cleared for present and the girls never got the train bug. Here’s hoping the new year shows continued improvement for you.

    Ahh the Santa thing. Sadly this issue caused us to lose some folks as friends (one couple and a single mother) because of our teachings. We was scrooges (according to them) and taught our children the true origins of Santa and, naturally, taught ’em that Mom and Dad were responsible for the presents. Being kids, they passed it all on to their young friends and that caused a crisis for our supposed friends who had taught their kids all the santa fairy tales as truth and now had some ‘splaining to do. Instead of ‘fessing up or covering up, they told their children we were liars and that was why our kids got fewer presents under the tree! Oh, and they stopped talking to us too. So anyhow, thanks for reopening that old wound!! 🙂

    No comment on the intimacy side ’cause, well, nothing’s changed here. Happy to hear you’re coping somewhat mentally even if not physically …..

  3. serenity39 says:

    Elliptical trainers are a hard freakin workout. My kids use mine more than i ever will, that sucker’s brutal.
    The whole Santa thing amounts to lying, (i wasn’t ever um, encouraged to believe)so although we went down that road a little with stockings and milk and cookies and a big prezzie on C’mas morning, if the kids asked me logical questions i just said, “it’s magic, either you believe in magic or you don’t.” and left it there.

  4. Digger Jones says:

    I don’t know what Arwyn’s idea of marriage is, Aphron, but I do know she is doing her own interpersonal work. She just might have a longer road to travel. If we’ll ever meet up, emotionally, who knows? The elliptical trainer is for her, yes, but I’ve spent more time on there than she has! It might not totally replace the step mat, but it will be filling in plenty of times.

    I’m doing okay, Xi. and having fun with the train set. I bought a huge lot of rusty O27 track off eBay. What’s the best way to get the rust off?

    Sorry about the Santa memories. We haven’t really explained anything to the kids so they are left to figure out the Santa myth for themselves. They go along with their friends because it’s fun, and they only have a vague idea that we’re not doing it exactly like everyone else. We’ve never explicitly said “There is no Santa.” Neither have we said, “There are no talking purple dinosaurs named Barney” and they managed to figure it out on their own without any visible psychological scars. People ask them what they got from Santa and they somehow handle it without spilling the beans for other kids. But I can see my youngest eventually causing some kid (and their parents) some crisis and trauma. In which case, since we’ve never explicitly told them the truth and let them discover it on their own, we have the whole plausible denial thing working for us.

    Hoping for a better year for you as well!

    D.

  5. Trueself says:

    Sorry, I’m one of the dreaded Santa believers. I grew up believing in Santa, still do and always will. Yeah, I tolerate you non-believers but mostly only because it means more presents for me! LOL

    On a more serious note, I tell N that it is important to believe in Santa. I have told him about the origin of Saint Nicholas, and how important it is that we continue to do the work of giving to others and sharing the spirit of Santa Claus with everyone. N has suffered no crisis by being inundated with non-believers. He simply understands that they don’t understand, that they have too little imagination and too little joy in their lives. Yes, Virginia, there most certainly is a Santa Claus.

  6. Digger Jones says:

    Yes, Serenity, the elliptical is a good workout. This one has several settings to keep pushing me harder. As far as Santa, everyone decides for themselves and some people just need that alternative reality.

    Except for Trueself who has the booze and the meds helping her along just a bit. Actually, Dearest T, Santa might be a blog reader in which case you’re entirely too naughty to get a present…except that he’d be dropping ’round after his work wearinig nothing but his knickers in order to get into yours!
    So you get a present anyway!

    D.

  7. Square1 says:

    Oddly enough, as a kid I always suspected there was no such thing as Santa Claus. My earliest set of parents lied to me about everything else why wouldn’t they be lying about that too. But somehow I never questioned whether or not there was a God… not until I hit my teenage hijinx anyway. I guess in some ways I had to believe there was someone taking care of, and making sense of everything, watching out for me. Santa Claus doesn’t do that, all he does is bring gifts no matter how naughty or nice you’ve been.

  8. FTN says:

    Autumn works out on an elliptical at the gym all the time. The secret is to use more resistance rather than trying to fly super fast.

    The Santa thing has bothered me just a tad in our household, and some of it is perpetuated from my mother-in-law, which has made it trickle down to my wife. We don’t overdo it, but it does give me pause at times. Once you’ve dug the whole, I’m not quite sure how to get out of it — Nor am I eager to anger my MIL, who really likes the whole thing.

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