Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
By Jennifer Fischer
Mother of beautiful angel, Kyla
It has been a very long time since my last Kyla’s Korner… keeping up with a toddler is most certainly a full-time job! Given this special time of year I feel it is most appropriate to finally sit down and share a few of my thoughts.
2009 was Kyla’s first Christmas. She looked simply beautiful in her Santa-inspired dress, sparkly (and much too big) Santa hat, and toothless grin. She enjoyed looking at the Christmas tree and tearing some wrapping paper on her presents and that was about the extent of her involvement of our holy season.
This year is more exciting for all of us as a family and we are already looking forward to the next few years as Christmas becomes more and more magical in the eyes of a young child who will learn about the beauty of the birth of Christ and enjoy the magic of Santa delivering presents.
Separate incidents have inspired this two-part Kyla’s Korner: reading a recent Miss Manners column, and watching the PBS Kids programs on Sprout. These things made me ask, respectively, why must Santa and the holy time of Christmas be mutually exclusive? And do we have to bend over backwards to be politically correct on children’s television? Sadly I know the answers to both of these but I still have points to make.
I personally don’t know of any parents who want to dismiss Santa Claus as a part of their children’s Christmas enjoyment. Apparently there are some out there, though. I was raised that first and foremost, Christmas is Baby Jesus’ birthday and a time to celebrate that miracle. We always had a nativity scene in our living room. As soon as I was old enough to make the relationship between my own birthday and Jesus having a birthday (I think around age 3) we had a birthday cake on Christmas Eve and sang to the blessed Baby. Singing to Baby Jesus was the highlight of my evening but I won’t kid you: I looked forward to the deposit of goodies left by Santa Claus as well. Somehow my parents managed to weave a spell of magic around Santa while instilling in me the true meaning of Advent, Christmas and the Epiphany. They didn’t need advice columnists or “experts” on child-rearing telling them how to do this; they relied on something called common sense. And believe it or not, I didn’t need a therapist a few years later when I learned that Mommy and Daddy were the ones leaving the gifts on our front porch. I wasn’t crushed; I thought it was pretty special that they did that for me.
Kyla and I join Kevin almost every week at the beautiful St. Anthony’s for Sunday mass. (I say almost and every parent of a toddler will understand.) She knows that she is getting dressed up to go to “God’s House” and I tell her often that she has Jesus in her heart. When Christmas carols come on the radio I tell her that they are singing because it is Baby Jesus’ birthday. And believe it or not, I bought her a peek-a-boo flap book that shows Santa Claus in all his red-suited splendor. Something tells me that as the years go on we will manage to raise a Christian daughter who can still enjoy the magic of Santa in her youth. Clearly I am not the only person who feels this way.
I am looking forward to years of singing Joy To The World followed by Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all, and to all a good night!