Considering, we live in Saudi Arabia, and for the most part only have associations between other Muslims – I was shocked to hear my daughter report to me a conversation she had today while at the playground with a young Filipino girl.
A few weeks ago, my daughter first heard of Santa Claus. We did not make a big religious deal out of it and addressed it more of a moral issue. Since, she was not asking about Christmas or Prophet Isa – allahi salaam (Jesus – peace be upon him) we did not address any of the differences in which Muslims and Christians view him. Instead, I simply told her that there was no such thing as Santa Claus. That this was a lie that parents told their children, just like the lie they tell them about the tooth fairy. She had never heard of the tooth fairy before, so my husband was a little peeved that I mentioned the him/her! I told her in both cases it was usually the parents surprising the children with gifts and lying saying that it was a fictitious character who left them behind. My husband went on to tell her that the older you get, you don’t believe in it. He told her that when he was a pretty big boy he was ridiculed by his classmates and friends for still believing in Santa Claus.*
My daughter told me that while at the playground this morning (my husband took them early – like around 9am – you won’t find locals out at that time), she was playing with a Filipino kafir (non-Muslim, don’t trip my kids don’t say it in a mean way, most of their vocabulary is in Arabic). She said that the little girl was showing her all her new toys (my daughter didn’t realise that they were Christmas presents). She said that the little girl told her how Santa gave them to her. She said that she then told her that there was no such thing as Santa and that the gifts were really from her family. The little girl tried to prove that they were from Santa and showed her the tags that said: “From Santa”. My daughter then informed her that it was just her father pretending to be Santa. The little girl said that she knew it was not her father because he was at work. My daughter is so sweet and masha’allah knows when not to push an issue, even though she has never talked to non-Muslims before, she knew to leave it alone. She said, “Mommy she is so innocent, I just smiled at her and didn’t say anything else.”
I was pleased that she did not get into a debate about. However, my husband was proud that she “burst her bubble”!
Me: S just told me about the little girl at the play ground telling her about Santa Claus today.
DH: Well, she shouldn’t be believing in him anymore, because S just burst her bubble!
* My husband has a classic case of DENIAL! See the lice thread where he claims to have not known that lice effected white people and thought it was a 3rd World Country problem! His parents divorced as soon as all the kids grew up, but he never ever saw it coming and is still in shock! He thinks that promiscuity is only in ‘the hood’ and never knew white people to be like that…even though one sister of his was a teen mother and the other sister had two children from a married man!
Needless to say, I was not surprised to hear that his overgrown butt (and he has always been the biggest kid in his class but the youngest because his b-day is in December) was still believing in Santa as an adolescent!