Sunday, December 28, 2008

Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Primary

I wanted to post about this while it's fresh in my mind.

This is how Opening Exercises in Primary (read: Sunday School) went this morning (keep in mind that Opening Exercises means that both Junior and Senior Primary are all gathered together, so approximately ages 3-11 or 12):

Primary President (conducting): When I was little, Santa used to bring me presents. But as I got older, I realized that Santa was really just my dad. You all know that, right? That Santa is just your parents?

In the room off to the side, the Primary secretary and I were just staring at each other with our jaws dropped, just in total disbelief that she would say this to a group of children! The secretary was mouthing, "Are you kidding me??" I risked a glance out at the kids just to see, but all I saw were some adult teachers with the same looks on their faces. (The first counselor later said, "I didn't see any kids with traumatized faces, just some adults!") The secretary's husband, who is a member of the bishopric, came in right after that, and when we whispered to him what had happened, he said, "Go up after her and say, 'Just Kidding!'"

Apparently, right after that when the president sat down, the first counselor whispered to her, "You do know that a lot of children still believe in Santa Claus...", and she goes, "Oh, okay. There is a Santa" back to her and then giggled.

Then, once Singing Time had started, in the next room, the president went over to the first counselor and said, "I'll tell them that there is a Santa", and the first counselor said, "Oh, no, don't say anything; it'll just make it worse!"

In the president's defense, English is not her first language, and while she is a very sweet lady and means well, she just doesn't get some things, and I guess this was one of them!

I have to admit, I happen to think it's more funny than horrifying. Like, I couldn't believe she said it, but I couldn't stop laughing, either. This happened at the beginning of Primary, and I was still laughing about it when we got home. Braden's opinion of it was, "So what?" But then, we don't really do Santa in our family, and I don't remember being traumatized about finding out about "Santa" growing up. I do hope no hurt feelings were caused by the incident, though.

We think most of the kids were either not paying attention when she said it, or didn't understand what she was saying, so I guess no harm, no foul...but I sure hope no kids went home devastated!


Carolyn said...

Yikes...Just one of the many reasons why we don't do the whole Santa thing in our family. I just never felt comfortable lying to my kids about some guy sneaking into our house at night to leave us gifts under the tree.
I do remember being somewhat traumatized when I found out that Santa wasn't real. I felt the same way when I found out the tooth fairy wasn't real either. I felt like the adults in my life who I loved and trusted, had deceived me. I thought, hey if they lied about this, what else are they lying about. Maybe other kids don't take it as hard as I did. But still, I think the whole Santa thing is unnecessary.

LintyPuppy said...

We talk about Santa in our family, but it's not about what we get from Santa. We talk about him being a man who loved to give gifts to children, and we use that to teach our kids about the joy of giving and serving others. If you think about the historic concept of St. Nicholas/Santa Claus and what his purpose was, it actually ties in quite well with the story of our Savior's birth.

That said, we don't take our kids to have their picture taken with Santa, Lucy doesn't write a letter to him asking for what she wants, and we didn't leave him milk and cookies this year.

It's a tricky thing, and every family has to handle Santa their own way. I think there's room for Santa at Christmas, and when Lucy asks if he is real, we've said, "He was a real man a long time ago, and we remember him by being loving and giving to others just like he was--not just at Christmas, but all year." Pretty much the same for Jesus, wouldn't you say?