Christmas is a happy time, filled with anticipation and excitement. All children are reminded (with some frequency) that Father Christmas/Santa won’t come unless they are good. School breaks with it’s usual timetable, and starts running ‘fun’ activities in the run up to the end of term.
Unless instead of being excited, you are full of fear…
After all Santa is a stranger, who comes in the night into your house. Actually strangers coming into the house can be a issue. Last time some strangers came into a house that you lived in, you eventually moved house and life.
A stranger bringing presents can’t be trusted. A stranger bringing presents might be planning to take you to a new home. To a new life. Strangers bringing presents must not be trusted.
And as for being ‘good’. Who gets to judge good? Is it the old lady who told you off for shouting. It is the adult at school, who said ‘Santa is watching’. Is it your friend who you accidentally (or deliberately) hurt? Who judges good. It’s a huge worry to a child, if they cannot be good. If no matter how they try, they just can’t manage it. And everyone is at it; ‘if you’re not good, you won’t get presents’.
It’s also really hard to be ‘good’ when you don’t know what is going to happen. When school doesn’t follow it’s usual pattern and routine, when school is unpredictable, it’s very hard to be ‘good’. When you live in fear and anxiety, the lack of structure and routine might just tip you over the edge and somehow those feelings have got to come out.
So in our house where we believe in unconditional love, unconditional presents, St Nick arrived today. Both boys are struggling with the run up to Christmas. Big boy was truly beside himself with the idea that Father Christmas might not bring presents because he was not ‘good’ enough.
The worry about presents is no more, they are here. The worst that can happen is someone opens their presents early – to which I tell you we have bigger worries.