Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How to Have a Happy Marriage - a Quiz

It's our 14th wedding anniversary today! So that makes me a marriage expert, right? 



Wrong..but it certainly qualifies me to write a fun marriage quiz.  Because we all love quizzes.  And I HAVE managed to stay (mostly) happily married for 14 years...despite plenty of poorer and not so much richer.   


1.  If your wife asks you for marital tips you should.
     a. ignore her
     b. say the wife is always right
     c. give some romantic answer
     d. suddenly go find something to clean

2. If you see a job that needs to be done you should
     a. do it
     b. wait for your spouse to do it
     c. nag your spouse to do it
     d. spend an hour discussing who should do the job and whose turn it is, blah, blah, blah

3. If your spouse makes dinner and you hate it you should 
    a. thank him/her and tell him/her it looks and tastes great
    b. check for arsenic 
    c. eat a little bit and them make yourself peanut butter and jelly
    d. offer to make dinner the next night 

5. If you spouse isn't answering their cell phone you should.
    a. freak out and convince yourself they are dead somewhere
    b. call them repeatedly
    c. assume the worst
    d. take a deep breath and assume the best 

    a. yes
    b. no  

7. You like to roll the toothpaste and your spouse is a squeezer.  You should
   a. insist he/she does it your way
   b. just get your own rolls of toothpaste and don't worry about it.

8. Your wife buys too many vitamins.  Should you
   a. yell at her
   b. confiscate her credit card
   c. accept the fact that she is a crunchy, weirdo freak and even take the vitamins she gives you
   d. let her buy them but refuse to take them

9. Time are tough.  Should you
   a. take it out on each other
   b. take it out on the kids
   c. take up a bad habit (like Diet Coke)
   d. pray more

10. Are weekly date nights without the kids vital for a happy marriage.
   a. yes
   b. no...you can have a date in
   c. spending time together is important..doesn't have to be an "actual date"
   d. b and c but if you like a and have lots of babysitting, good for you 

11.  The most important characteristic of a happy marriage is:
   a. unselfishness
   b. unselfishness
   c. unselfishness
   d. unselfishness

Answers: I'm not telling.  You figure it out. 

Actually some of these could have more than one answer.  Some of them. Every marriage is different because all people are different. What works for one couple may not work for another.    

As long as you can get question 11 right, you probably can't go wrong.  And that's an easy question. 

post signature

Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Ten Most Popular Posts of 2014

Everyone who is anyone is posting their top posts of 2014.  I'm not usually a band-wagon jumper unless I love the bandwagon.  And this one I do.  So I'm going with it. 

Here are my top ten most popular posts of 2014.  Keep in mind I'm using popular in the loosest sense of the word...since I have never been popular and likely never will be.

10.




I'm not quite sure why this post made the list, but apparently you all liked it. Or maybe it was just picked up by the spam bots. Either way, it eeked in at number 10. 

9.



This is the second of the homeschooling posts that made the list.  Apparently you all like to read about homeschooling.  It's okay...I do too.

8.



How-to and general advice posts seem to be fairly popular.  This one was very common-sense but I hope it still helped someone.

7.


How To Respect Your Children While Using Social Media

I thought this was a very important post to write..and it's something I'm always thinking about as I blog and use Facebook. I don't even have Instagram...but the amazing popularity of it makes me wonder about how today's kids are going to feel about their entire childhood being splashed on Instagram?

6.



This was definitely the most controversial post.  But then anything that mentions vaccines always is.

5.




Body image seems to be another popular topic.  I think I need to write more about that. I think it's a topic that resonates with a lot of women and I'm sure my blog readers are mostly women. Although, I'm not savvy enough to figure out those stats.

4.



How Posting What I Wore Each Sunday Healed Me

The second of my two popular body image posts...this was probably my most personal post ever.  Which likely makes it one of the best.

3.



My other super popular homeschooling post.  Looks like a bunch of you were glad to learn all the things you don't need.

2.




Any sort of I changed my mind post is always fun!

1.


Modesty - Let Me Tell You How to Dress

Last but not least...my most popular post about the ever popular topic of modesty!

So looking at this list, it looks like I need to write about body image and homeschooling a bit more.  With some more I changed my mind stuff thrown in.  Now I just need to find something to change my mind one. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!  And Happy New Year!!

post signature

Friday, December 26, 2014

Adventures in Family Picture Taking and Hints for the Amateur Photographer


We tried to get family pictures taken yesterday at our Christmas family gathering.

The results were less than impressive. 

Getting a bunch of people to all look good in a photo is no small task and not something for the faint of heart. 

First we had this one:
Someone is completely blocked and someone else is messing with their hair. 

Then we had this one:


Then we had this one.  Someone hates pictures.

And then this one:


Fighting is always a great thing to have in photos.

Pretty much no one is looking at the camera.




Probably the best one...but Greta still looks fairly ticked off.

My kids all view pictures as some sort of torture..so even though candy bribes were involved, they were less than cooperative.

Also, notice the pink unicorn in the background. What is a family photo without a giant pink unicorn??


Since we can't really afford professional photos, we have to rely on the generosity of family members or friends.  So whenever we get together with family members, I've been known to beg picture taking. 

So, if you are the generous family member or friend who get roped into clicking my cheap little point and shoot camera..thank you!!!! It is much appreciated.

And, it's not an easy job.  

So, I'm come up with a few tips for anyone who gets roped/bribed/threatened/begged into taking group/family photos for someone else.  

1. Take LOTS of photos.  Just take a bunch of them one right after the other.  That way you are more likely to find at least one where NO ONE is blinking or looking away or moving.   Don't be afraid to take lots!

2.  Be bossy!  Seriously....I WANT you to tell us to tilt our heads or shift our bodies or move closer together or sit up straight or change our positions or switch places or whatever else we need to do to get a nicer picture. 

Take this photo for example.

I love this photo..but I think it would have looked a bit nicer if Ben and I were holding hands.  Since our respective rocks are sorta far apart, I think us holding hands would have provided more cohesiveness to the family picture.   Of course, it would have looked nice if Greta and John were holding hands as well...but they are standing fairly close together as it is, so not such a big deal.

3.  Move Around: Try moving around taking the picture from all different angles. For example in the first picture we took up there, Heidi is completely blocked.  But all the photographer did was move a little bit to get a different angle and have everyone visible. 

Did you get a family picture taken this Christmas.  Do you have any tips or hints for the amateur photographer?  
post signature

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas Quiz From The Bentrups


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year dear readers!!

Every one's taking quizzes these days, so for your Christmas pleasure, I've decided to give you our very own Bentrup family quiz in lieu of your typical, boring old Christmas letter. Not to say that every one's Christmas letters are boring or anything...the ones we've received so far have great..and it's so fun to hear what everyone has been up to!

But we're doing a quiz...just because I like to be different.  And I love quizzes.  

So....here's your Christmas Quiz 

1. In 2014 the Bentrups:
 a. started out the year living in Newport News, VA.
 b. are ending the year living in Fort Wayne, IN.
 c. still own an annoying, orange cat that wreaks havoc.
 d. lost a sorta beloved guinea pig to guinea pig heaven.
 e. all of the above.

2. The year Ben: 
 a. won the lottery.
 b. taught Spanish to a bunch of middle School punks for the 2013-2014 year.
 c. passed the Indiana bar exam and became licensed to practice law in Indiana.
 d.passed some crazy theory-based teaching exam and became licensed to teach Spanish in Indiana. 
 e. b, c and d only.
  

3. Currently Ben is:
  a. sadly underemployed and substitute teaching. 
  b. looking for a lawyer job..anywhere in Indiana (know of anything?).
  c. beat the Indiana state chess champion (a 2400 rated Master) in a chess game.
  d. went on a few job interviews.
       e. all of the above.

4. This year Amelia:
   a. continues to homeschool a couple of kids.  
   b. actually beat someone (but no one she is related to) in a chess game.
   c. writes a small blog. 
   d. is STILL a La Leche League leader (going on 9 years now). 
   e. all of the above.

5. Amelia also:
   a. does work for CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop.
           b. occasionally checks her own website looking for home remedies.
   c. has been known to scream and cry in frustration at times.
           d. joined some sort of network marketing thing.
   e. a, b and c only because Amelia has sworn off all network marketing things FOREVER. 

6. This year 12 year old Heidi:
   a. ran a half-marathon.
   b. is taller than her mother.
   c. enjoys playing the piano.
   d. even more, enjoys going to youth group and EDGE and co-op and all sorts of social things.
   e. b, c and d  only.



7.  Heidi also:
    a. plays chess and competes in tournaments.
    b. has won a few chess trophies.
    c. loves to play dodge ball.
    d. has been suffering from mysterious back pain and headaches that has the doctor baffled (but is slowly improving).
    e. all of the above.

8. This year 10-year old Greta: 
   a. talks non-stop (same as last year).
   b. read the entire encyclopedia.
   c. asks 50,000 questions a day.
   d. broke her toe and practically tore it off at Grandma's house (don't worry, we would never sue Grandma).
   e. a, c, d only.




9. Greta also: 
   a. broke 1000 in her chess rating.
   b. loves to study chess and play in chess tournaments. 
   c. loves making up stories, writing. stories and making up plays on the computer.
   d. hates dodge ball but loves all other co-op activities.
   e. all of the above. 

10. This year 6-year old John: 
   a. just broke 1000 in his chess rating.
   b. is learning how to read.
   c. can do advanced calculus.
   d. learned to play violin.
   e. a and b only.

11.  John also:
   a. is best frenemies with Greta.
   b. is unofficially the 12th highest rated 6-year old chess player in the entire country.
   c. has a lot of energy and tends to gallop around the super tiny, terribly cramped house.
   d. has terrible handwriting (along with his mother, sister, grandmother, uncle and everyone else in the family.) 
   e. all of the above. 

12.  This year 2-year old Elsa:
   a. is a future Renoir. No need for paper, the world is her canvas.
   b. potty-trained.
   c. weaned.
   d. started sleeping through the night.
   e. a and b only. 




13. Elsa also:
   a. just like the Disney character that STOLE her name...she's the Queen.
   b. won the bossiest little sister of 2014 award.
   c. is starting to talk and her favorite phrase is "Mommy look (at me)".
   d. enjoys throwing things into the toilet.
   e. all of the above. 

14.  This year Amelia and Ben:
   a. will celebrate 14 years of marriage on December 30th.
   b. took a romantic cruise getaway.
   c. are looking for someone to fund their romantic cruise getaway for their 15th wedding anniversary in 2015 because they have never been anywhere.
   d. got (sorta) matching glasses.
   e. a, c and d only. 


iii

Answers: 1.e 2.e 3.e 4.e 5.e 6.e 7.e 8.e 8.e 10. e 11. e 12.d 13.e 14.e

Yes the answers are all e.  Makes the quiz easy. 

Score: 100% - Great job..you really know your Bentrups.  You must read One Catholic Mama. 

Any wrong. You fail. You need to read One Catholic Mama. 
     +


May you all have a Blessed and Holy Christmas Season.  We hope 2015 is a year of good things and many blessings for all of you!

Love,
Amelia, Ben, Heidi, Greta, John and Elsa
post signature

Friday, December 19, 2014

How Potty Training Helped My Toddler Sleep Better and Other Quick Takes


1.

A miracle occurred.  Elsa, at the ripe old age of 2, started napping on her own for longer than 30 minutes.  A true miracle..seriously.  And what can we thank for this great occurrence?  Potty-training.  Queen Elsa doesn't like to be wet...so whenever she pees, she wakes up.  She's done this ever since she was born.  Since she always nurses to sleep, she usually would pee around 30 minutes after falling asleep.  HOWEVER, once she potty-trained and started wearing panties full-time, I made a point of taking her to the potty and making sure she emptied her bladder before napping.  So...now she sleeps much longer. A Christmas miracle.  Not the one I wanted..but at least it's something.  

2.

Actually I hate the term Christmas Miracle.
People use it to talk about great things that happen at Christmastime, but lots of times great things don't happen at Christmastime.  I mean I guess the First Christmas was pretty great...but other than that, good things aren't more likely to happen at Christmastime than any other time.  So, I just hate the whole expectation. 

3.

This is the last day we are doing school until January. The kids get a whole 2 weeks off.  And, seriously..I can't wait until January. Not because I love doing school so much, but because I love the routine and structure school provides. Sadly enough, I don't enjoy breaks or vacations nearly as much as I enjoy the routine of regular time. Plus, Ben has just been substitute teaching, so that means 2 whole weeks without the possibility of any work (or pay).  So...can't wait until January. 

I am looking forward to seeing out of town family who are coming in and Christmas cookies/chocolate.  But other than that..not so much.

4. 

One of the nicest things about blogging is getting to met new bloggy friends.  My friend Erika wrote this great post on gift giving.   It is super thoughtful and discusses how many times gifts just become an "exchange" instead of a gift.  You should read it.                

5.

We're getting involved in 4-H.  I was super involved in 4-H when I was a kid/teen, but for some reason I haven't gotten my kids involved in it yet.  Until now.  We just joined a local 4-H club and are looking at projects.  So yay..for more activities.   Seriously...I love being busy and having stuff to do all the time.  There is nothing more depressing to me than seeing an empty calendar.  Well..other than seeing an empty bank account that is. 

6. 

I just came across this article. 


See...I knew I was smart. 

7.

We're probably the only people who still don't have a Christmas tree up.  I'm procrastinating as long as possible.  Super small house and 1 destructive toddler do not make for a good Christmas tree situation.  Plus, we literally have no place to put one.  Like maybe one tiny corner of the kitchen and that's it...and I hate crowded spaces.  But the kids want one, so I guess we'll put up our tiny, artificial tree on Christmas Eve and take it down on January 2nd.   Hopefully I can tolerate it for that long. 

And...I'll leave you with a bit of humor.

source


See Kelly for more Quick Takes.                                                                         
  


post signature

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When Gift-Giving is Not Your Love Language

Have you heard about the 5 Love Languages from Gary Chapman.  You probably have, right?  The idea is that different people have different love languages...different ways they give and receive love. 

The 5 Love Languages are: 
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time 
  • Receiving Gifts 
  • Physical Touch  
  • Acts of Service  
You can take a quiz that tells you what your love language is...and it's probably not too hard to guess the love language of your loved ones.




Well, I score ZERO on the receiving gifts parts.  ZERO. My love languages are quality time and acts of service.  Gifts...not even close. 

Which makes this time of year especially challenging. It's funny...because I keep reading all these articles and blog posts about how to have a minimalist Christmas and how not to overdo it on presents, and I'm all, no problemo..I got this. 

There is NO danger of me overdoing it on gifts.  None, nada, zilch.  Well, besides the fact that we can't afford anything,  I don't enjoy giving gifts and I don't enjoy receiving gifts (unless it's something I specifically want/need/pick out and can't afford..and then I appreciate it, a lot). I don't like surprise gifts though. 

If it was up to me, I would just as soon skip the whole gift thing...birthdays, holidays...just skip it.   

But, it's not up to me.  

So, here are a few tips I've learned to make gift giving and gift receiving a bit easier and less stressful.

1) First of all, if you are having trouble deciding what to give someone here's a secret.  Most people enjoying receiving the types of gifts they give.   So, if someone oftentimes gives gift cards or books or food gifts...those are probably the types of gifts they would enjoy receiving. 

Just a little secret for any fellow gift-hating grinches.  


2)It's okay to procrastinate.  Really it is.  Sometimes we have the best ideas under pressure.  Or sometimes being under pressure can take the stress off...because you just gotta pick something.  So you do.  And, it's fine.  

3)And, if you have a gift-hating person in your life...consider acts of service or quality time. Offer to do something for them or spend time with them.  Most people like that...and bonus..you get to brag about how non-materialistic and minimalist you are.   Plus you can really never go wrong with gift cards or cash.   

4)If you receive an awful gift...an ugly sweater or an electronic robo-guard dog..well consider it a chance to practice charity and love...and re-gifting.

5) When it comes to kids...stick with what you know they like. You can't really go wrong if you get art suppplies for the art-loving kid or legos for the lego-loving crowd. 

6) Keep in mind the real reason we give gifts...to remember the great gift that Christ gave us.  Somehow that makes it a bit easier.  Since Christ already gave the ultimate gift, nothing we will ever give will ever compare so no need to worry about it.  And it gives a bit more purpose to the gift-giving thing.

Whether you love gifts or hate them, I hope you have a happy and stress-free rest of Advent!

Do you like gifts? Have you taken the love languages quiz?  What's your love language? Do you enjoy holiday gift giving or do you find it stressful? Inquiring minds and all that. 
post signature

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Five Stages of Potty-Training


Well...I'm going to hesitantly just go ahead and say it.  I may have successfully potty-trained my fourth child.  Maybe. Potty-training is one of the few mothering tasks that doesn't phase me. Probably because I have spent plenty of time mucking stalls and ultrasounding cow ovaries (an endeavour that involves long gloves and is as gross as it sounds).  So..pee and poop do not bother me in the least. Toddler poop is nothing compared to dairy cow poop...or horse poop. Or worst of all...turkey poop. 

Accidents on the floor..no problem.  Having to wash tons of clothes..doesn't bother me (it's either that or washing tons of diapers).  

And, one thing I've noticed is that kids seem to go through these five stages of potty-training.  Maybe they go through them all in 3 days or 3 weeks or 3 months..but they go through them. Or at least...all my kids did.  

Knowing these stages can help parents prepare and know what to expect. Because no matter what the books promise, I really don't think that it happens all at once, all that often.




1. Potty...what's that?  I think I'll sit on this thing...or maybe stick it on my head, like a hat.

You show them a potty and they have no idea what to do.  Sure they can sit on it, but nothing comes out. 

2. Potty...I can sit on this thing.  When I sit on it, pee pee come out...most of the time. But, sometimes I refuse to sit on it, because that's fun too.



This is the second stage.  Once a child learns to pee on the potty, they can easily be "conditioned" to pee every time they are sat on it (assuming they didn't just go on the floor 30 seconds ago).  It becomes instinctive.  YOU try sitting on the toilet and not going.  I bet you can't do it. 

In my experience...this is also the LONGEST stage.  It can last weeks...or months.  With Elsa, I'd say that this stage lasted about 6 months.  But then I started her SUPER early (before 18 months even).   With my other kids (that I started a bit later) it was shorter...probably about 1-2 months. 

3. It's kinda nicer to go in the potty than in my diaper.  I think I'll hold it until mommy sticks me on the potty.   But if she waits too long...all bets are off.  I'll go in my diaper or on the floor or in my pants or anywhere.

This the stage at which I take away diapers and put my kids in underwear full-time (or at least daytime). Why?  In my experience..it doesn't take that long to go from this stage to the next stage.  Maybe just a week or two.   Plus, if they aren't wearing a diaper, I'm much more diligent about reminding them to go potty. 

4. Potty...when I gotta go...I'll let you (and everyone else around you) know.

This is when they initiate pottying on their own..and when I consider my kids to be fully potty-trained.

The younger three of my four children all reached this stage with poop before they reached it with pee.  It's easier to hold poop.  The first one (who I wanted until she was closer to 3 to train) went through a stage of poop-refusal on the potty. I don't even remember how we got past that, but somehow we did.  

And that is really the predominant reason why I decided to start potty-training much younger with the other ones. 


This is an ongoing stage.  As time goes on...the child gets better and better at recognizing cues and holding it until they reach the toilet. 

My kids all went through a stage where they would sorta pee a tiny bit on their clothes..and then hold it and finish peeing on the potty.   So, we always had spare clothes with us...but thankfully this stage tended to be short-lived.

5. I can stay dry all night long...no more diapers for me!

Two/four of my kids reached this stage very early..and were totally out of diapers by age 2.5.  The other two still needed diapers at night well into their childhood years. I'm not gonna say who is who.  So don't despair if your child still needs diapers at night for a LONG time, and don't be surprised if your child becomes dry at night very early.

Have you noticed these five stages with your kids?`Or was your experience totally different?

And, since potty-training is a favorite of nobody, I'm linking up with Jenna for Five Favorites. It's a stretch.  Feel free to kick me out, Jenna.  
post signature

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Santa Claus, Traditions and St. Nick

Tradition!!

Tradition!!

The holidays are all about traditions, right?  We MUST have traditions in order for our children to have a stable, happy childhood.  And part of those traditions include things like everyone sitting around in matching, ugly sweaters drinking hot chocolate while decorating a perfect tree. 

Right?  Right?

Bah Humbug!!  Holiday traditions are overrated.  Don't get me wrong...it's important to do things together as a family. But, everything doesn't have to be A Tradition.  It doesn't have to be that we do the EXACT SAME THING every year so that it becomes A TRADITION.  

Trying to create traditions is stressful. It's a lot of pressure to keep up traditions.  To do the same things year after year.  

We don't have the same resources or time or energy every year...so we can't always do the same things.  So, I'm just saying "no" to that pressure.  

Which leads me to the big Tradition we DON'T do.

What We Teach Our Kids about Santa Clause:  We teach our kids that Santa Claus is real only in the sense that St. Nicholas is real. In that St. Nicholas was a real person who existed many years ago on earth and still exists in heaven.

However, we don't teach our kids that he lives at the North Pole, that he has flying reindeer or elves and that he brings presents on Christmas Eve.  Because none of that is true. 


https://www.facebook.com/CatholicMemebase
Why We Don't Do Santa the American Way:  Years ago when Heidi was just a baby, I decided that we weren't going to do Santa Claus.  

At that time, I was more concerned with not lying. At that time, I (thankfully) had no clue what life had in store for us.

I did not have a good experience with Santa growing up. I basically never got what I REALLY wanted for Christmas. I was pretty much always disappointed on Christmas morning. I was left wondering why other kids' presents were wrapped or why they got more.  It never made sense to me that someone who knew if we were naughty or nice, wasn't able to get me a Cabbage Patch Kid until they became less expensive and went down in price. (Did I just date myself? Yes, I was a child of the Cabbage Patch Era). 

Making Christmas lists, but not getting what's on it was not a particularly positive experience.  Yet, if I had known who REALLY put the presents there, I would not have been nearly as disappointed. I would have appreciated them more knowing they came from my parents, rather than from Santa Claus. After all, there is no logical reason why someone who can make toys and can fly around the world in a sled would give more/bigger/better toys to certain families.

And now, as a mom, the thought of my kids making Christmas lists and me trying to find everything on it gives me hives.  I don't want my kids wishing and hoping for stuff because they're probably not going to get it. Every gift is a gift..something to be appreciated but not something to be expected. 

Better that they know that what they do get comes from us, that we give them presents because we love them, but that we can't give them everything they want.  Because it's much easier to understand why your parents can't give you a pony or a Cabbage Patch Kid or a Kindle than it is to understand why Santa can't. 

Plus the whole naughty/nice thing does not sit well with me.  I don't like tying presents to behavior. I'm not a theologian but I'm pretty sure that the Catholic Church does not hold to the teaching that in this life the nice are rewarded while the naughty just get coal. Might be nice if it worked that way....that if all you needed to do to get good things happen is to be good. Unfortunately it doesn't...the rain falls on the just and unjust alike. 

So, yes our kids do get presents on Christmas..from us. Not a lot of presents...just a few. I wish I could say that was because we are trying to mindfully be minimalist.  But really, it's just out of necessity because we can't afford much.
And yes, they still get these presents as "surprise" on Christmas morning.  So they still have that excitement of walking downstairs out of the bedroom to find presents in the living room.
   
A lot of people say they don't do Santa because they want to keep the focus on Christ.  That is not a main motivator for me.  I mean, of course we want to keep the focus on Christ, but I don't think that celebrating Santa/St. Nicholas necessarily takes the focus off Christ.  Although it can.

The Whole Lying/Deception Issue: I know, I know...people are all what's the big deal...kids need to have their fantasies, make-believe is important.  And, it IS.  I totally agree with that.  Our kids read fairy tales and fantasy stories.  They love Narnia and Tolkien.  They've read/seen Harry Potter. 

They play make-believe/fantasy stories on their own...they make up plays, they play house.

But (there's always a but) there is a difference between reading a make-believe story or watching a make-believe movie/TV show and parents orchestrating reality to make the fantasy real. Kids are smart enough to figure out what is real and what isn't....except when adults muddy the waters for them. While we have read and enjoyed The Elves and the Shoemaker, I don't tell my kids that their new shoes were put there by elves.  My daughter used to enjoy dressing up as Cinderella but I never told her that her dress was made by her Fairy Godmother.

We may read stories about Santa Claus or unicorns or mermaids or fairies or leprechauns but I don't orchestrate things in real life and say that Santa Claus or a unicorn or a leprechaun did it. Or if I do, it's a wink, wink, nod, nod thing.   

However, in my experience, when most parents do Santa, it's not wink,wink,nod,nod.  It's that they REALLY want their kids to believe it was Santa.  

Plus, our family has been on the receiving end of gifts from REAL "Santas".  People who have been kind and generous to us and sent us gifts when times were tough.  And saying that those gifts were from Santa Claus takes away the chance for us to pray for and feel gratitude towards those real people. So yes, Santa is real in the sense that there are real people who play Santa.  And those individuals deserve our prayers and gratitude, and I'm not going to take that away from them.

A Note on St. Nicholas
https://www.facebook.com/CatholicMemebase
Unlike when I was growing up, we do celebrate St. Nicholas Day.  The kids put out their shoes on the night of Dec. 5th and they find candy in them on December 6th.  Just candy...sometimes it's chocolate coins and sometimes it's Snickers bars...but it's always just candy.   But we don't tell the kids that it's actually St. Nicholas who brings the candy...they know it's us and  we do it as a way to celebrate the life of St. Nicholas and how he helped other people.   

I do think the Santa Claus thing is a very personal decision.  But for our family...I'm so very glad that years ago we decided not to do it.  Because I can't even imagine trying to keep up the Santa thing while being in law school or dealing with unemployment/underemployment or other financial burdens. Those things are stressful enough without the added pressure of having to be Santa and keep up Christmas traditions. 

What are you thoughts on the whole Santa/St. Nicholas thing?  How do you do it? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

And, whatever you do, I hope you have a Blessed and Holy Advent!


LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...