耶誕節在台灣並不是大節日,耶誕氣氛除了在教堂、百貨賣場和餐廳外也不是那麼濃郁,但耶誕節一直是我最喜愛的節日之一。這些年因為北極熊拔拔的關係,在挪威過耶誕節更讓我體會到耶誕節是可以過得這麼認真,所有的日常用品,從吃的到用的,衛生紙、柳澄汁和啤酒等,外頭包裝也都會變成耶誕節限量包裝... 

2012 聖誕節在挪威 - 什麼都很聖誕篇

在有了小孩之後,也看到小孩從小就參與很多耶誕節的準備活動,整個耶誕的氣氛從12月初就開始蘊釀,每天打開耶誕月曆帶來的驚喜,在學校一起作耶誕吊飾,寫信給耶誕老公公,不但有實際的地址可以寄,還真的會收到來自耶誕老公公的回覆。

挪威人有多愛耶誕節呢? 答案是"灰常愛"...

孩子長大的過程會認識耶誕老公公,
每年12月份時,我就常會跟小熊寶貝說要乖乖,耶誕老人才會準備禮物給妳。小小的小孩會百分之百相信只要這個月乖乖的,那個白鬍子的爺爺就會送禮物給我,但是小孩越來越大,也越來越精明,會發現那個耶誕老人其實是大人假扮的,而禮物也是爸媽媽偷偷準備的,沒有耶誕老人,天啊,這是多麼嚴重的失落!

對於北極熊拔拔來說,和小孩間的互信是很重要的,所以他一直思考要如何介紹耶誕老公公給小熊寶貝和小熊王子,然後當他們長大開始質疑耶誕老公公的真假時,不想騙他們的處理方式。以下是他的想法。

 

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耶誕老人是真的嗎?    

by 北極熊拔拔

你的孩子相信世界上有耶誕老人? 你應該說實話嗎?

挪威、芬蘭和北極都算是耶誕老人的故鄉。因此,來自“耶誕老人故鄉”的我常會被台灣的父母問到,要如何處理他們的小孩如果發現耶誕老人不是真的 ?小孩可能會從一些早熟的同學或是電視節目上聽到耶誕老人是假的,那種心理的期待和幻滅伴隨而來的是止不住的淚水,父母們可能會很頭痛如果沒有好好處理,也會影響和孩子間誠信的問題。所以通常很多人提到最糟的耶誕節,小孩們開始不相信耶誕老人的存在通常是前幾名。要怎麼處理呢?


對所有的小孩來說,成長的過程中很自然地會認識耶誕老人這號人物,可能是從幼兒園,學校或是百貨公司;但是同樣的,這些讓小孩認識耶誕老人的地方也可能變成讓小孩發現聖誕老人不是真的地方。因此,聖誕老人的存在問題會讓長大一些或比較精明的小孩開始存疑,其實我覺得小孩長大本來就會知道更多的事,這是好事,只是可以趁這個機會引導小孩,兩個方面,一個是學會耶誕老公公背後慷慨大方的精神;一個是學習如何分析事情的真象。

如果聖誕節的唯一目的只是要讓百貨賣場可以銷售更多商品,那我不會刻意去美化聖誕老公公的神話,也會直接告訴我的小孩沒有聖誕老公公這個殘酷的事實。但是事實是商業化的耶誕節背後隱藏的聖誕精神是關於分享,是關於學習慷慨地對待別人。雖然耶誕節是西方的節日,但是對別人慷慨也是東方文化很重要的一環。如果你/妳決定和小孩一起慶祝耶誕節,學習分享和對別人慷慨將是一個很有意義的理由。

說到慷慨這件事,沒有人會比耶誕老公公慷慨,他的全職工作是準備禮物給大家,而且是免費的。他的工作時間很長,管理著一個龐大的禮物工廠,不眠不休作著禮物給世界各地的小孩,而且,他送的禮物只出,不進,沒有人會想到要回送禮物給耶誕老公公。大多數的小孩喜歡耶誕節是因為他們會得到很多新的玩具,但隨著我們長大,等著收禮物的我們開始也會用心地幫心愛的人準備一個完美的禮物。

每年幫寶貝們準備禮物的父母們也是全心全意的付出,不求回報,雖然是經由耶誕老公公的名義,但實行的是百分百的慷慨!

另一個想法是可以引導小孩根據現有的資料去思考、分析和判斷事情,當比較大的小孩開始質疑飛行馴鹿的可能性,或者放學回來告訴你隔壁的小毛說世界上根本就沒有耶誕老公公,究竟耶誕老公公是否存在呢?如果我的孩子直接問我耶誕老公公到底是不是真的,我會回答,我也不知道,並回問他們“你覺得呢? ” 。如果他們覺得耶誕老公公不是真的,那我會進一步問,“你怎麼確定呢?沒見過,也不表示沒有。” 

經過一些討論後,也許可以讓耶誕老公公在孩子心裹繼續存在一陣子,有一個好的說法,甚至可以改變一些已經非常自我,愛翻白眼的青少年,讓他們繼續享受耶誕老公公守護著他們的心意。你可以試著這麼說,是的,沒有人可以證明耶誕老公公真的存在,也有很多戴著假鬍鬚假裝是耶誕老公公的人,但是,他們這麼辛苦的假扮耶誕老公公是為了什麼? 他們用耶誕老公公的名義送禮物給別人,他們慷慨大方,他們不邀功,這就是耶誕節和耶誕老公公最棒的精神,而且只要這樣的情節繼續發生著,耶誕老公公的精神就一直會在我們身邊流傳著...


原文:

Does your kid believe in Santa? Shouldn't you tell the truth?

Norway is together with Finland and the North Pole considered as the home of Santa Claus. So as a local of 'Santa's home', I am sometimes asked by parents in Taiwan on how to deal with their child finding out that Santa isn't real. Tears are common as children find out from classmates or from TV that it was all a lie. Parents sometimes feel bad they didn't handle this breach of trust very well. When adults are asked to describe their worst xmas ever, the xmas they discovered santa wasn't real usually tops the list. So how do you prevent this from happening?
 
It would be difficult for any child to not be exposed to the myth of Santa in some way. Kindergartens, schools and department stores all bring the myth alive. Likewise, the same sources may dispel the myth. So the existence of santa is a question that makes many children ponder. I consider this an opportunity to learn two important lessons. First, the value of generosity. Second, to critically analyse information.
 
Now, if the only purpose Christmas served was for department stores to sell more, I wouldn't bother to take part in the Santa myth, and I'd tell my kids the brutal truth. But behind the commercialized Christmas lies the spirit of Christmas, which essentially is about the virtue of generosity. And although Christmas comes from western culture, virtue is also a well known in Chinese culture. If you are to celebrate Christmas, this is a meaningful reason to do so.
 
When it comes to generosity, it’s hard to imagine anyone more generous than santa. His full-time job is to give people what they want, for free. He works long hours and manages a massive factory to make presents for kids all over the world. And yet, he expects no present in return. Most children love xmas because of the many new toys they get in the gift giving ritual, but as we grow up, the gift exchange ritual becomes more about the joy of finding he perfect gift for someone you love. 
 
Part of the lesson in generosity here is also that we as parents are gifting to our children via santa without taking credit for the gift. This is true generosity.
 
For the second lesson, to critically analyse information, this starts when kids grow suspicious to flying reindeers and the fact that nobody has ever seen the real santa. Once they know magic isn’t real, it becomes hard to explain how Santa does his tricks. If my kids ask me directly if Santa exists, I will simply state that I don’t know, and ask them “what do you you think?”. And if they deny his existence I’d follow up with “how did you figure it out?”.
 
With some clever arguments you can keep the belief alive for many years. For an argument that could even make eyerolling teenagers believe in Santa, try this. You can always say that yes, nobody has ever taken a photo of something that can be verified to be Santa, and there are many people who pretend they are Santas with their obvious fake beards. But what do these fake santas do? They give gifts in Santas name. They're being generous and they're not taking credit for it. This it is the true spirit of Santa and his Christmas. As long as that happens, Santa is among us in spirit. 

後記

很喜歡這句話:一個人的生活和耶誕老公公的關係有以下三個過程:從相信耶誕老公公;到不相信耶誕老公公;到變成耶誕老公公。

There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.

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