SANTA IS CHEAP!

Geoffrey the Giraffe has morphed our children into Xbox crazed zombies and at no time of the year is this more obvious than during the month of December.  Is it possible that our children value the price tag on their gifts more than their mother’s warm embrace?   I’m not sure, but what I do know is that Moms the world over are tired of coming in second behind a fat man in a red leisure suit.  This is why my friend and exercise instructor shared her brazenly sacrilegious holiday mantra: “Santa is cheap and Mommy is the one who gets you the good stuff.”   She taught her children this from a young age as a way of ensuring they value her over the chimney sliding mystery man.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Santa.  Who wouldn’t?  Even if like me, you were born into the Jewish faith, Santa is the distant relative you always wanted to get to know better.  He is the benevolent entity that represents a belief in miracles and generosity of spirit.   But Santa comes once a year while the Mothers of the world are here sharing, giving, serving every single day though we have to wait until May for our kids to formally acknowledge and celebrate this hard-earned fact.

Moms deserve as much, if not more credit than jolly old Saint Nick.  We are the modern-day saints who walk the earth, give birth to and raise the babies who become the story tellers, scientists, construction workers and yes, consumers of the future.  We are the ones who make the connection between miracles and the mundane and we do it every day without having to don white facial hair or let our belly fat jiggle when we laugh (God forbid).

Sadly a hybrid SUV doesn’t have the same panache as flying reindeer and when it comes to valuing Mom over Mikulas (Santa in Hungarian), Mom often gets taken for granted or worse, ignored when the kids are busy texting on their new smart phones.   It’s the same for Jewish children so clearly this is a cross religious and cultural issue.  I have no idea why my own kids feel a sense of entitlement to eight days of presents solely based on a historically inaccurate story about an overzealous candelabra!

Just as the bountiful evergreen migrated from the beautiful pagan Winter Solstice celebration to Jesus in the Middle East, so too the miracle of oil burning for eight days became more important than the small band of underdogs winning a military victory.  Our children not appreciating the original stories and symbols is sad, but forgetting to value the mom who provides the holiday meaning and magic is even more tragic.   But what can be done?

In my introspection of this interfaith December dilemma, I remembered the translation of the word for my holiday, Chanukah.  Literally it means “rededication.”

So hear ye, hear ye!  This holiday season if I can’t wake my children from their mistletoe induced stupor, I can at least rededicate myself to deepening my own daily spiritual practice, to flame the divine spark within instead of the commercial freneticism without.  I rededicate myself to holding the same mystery and mysticism that the holidays originally did before Hallmark offered an IPO on Santa and Hanukah Harry.  Most importantly, I rededicate myself to seeing and celebrating my own value so that my kids can too.  I’ll start with something simple, like honoring the fact that my butt looks way better in red velour pants than Kris Kringle’s.  Santa is cheap, Mama rocks. Amen.

Blessings for a wonderful holiday season and bright New Year!

Light and love,

Diva-Mama

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