Those Pernicious Christian Videos

Ideas can be introduced in strange ways. Although they certainly learned to squabble all by themselves, my kids never called each other nasty names until they saw a kid video on the life of St. Patrick in which the big bad guy uses sarcasm and calls other people "Stupid." We've had a sarcasm problem in our house ever since.
Last night, the kids decided on their own initiative to leave cookies and milk for St. Nicholas, who made his annual visit with candies and gifts to help sweeten the wait for Baby Jesus. They made a card that said "For Santa." Not "St. Nicholas," even though we've never referred to Santa, except to explain that it's another name for St. Nick.
This morning, I overheard our 5 & 7-year-old discussing the fact that "Santa" hadn't left them any toys (only some of these terrific "Glory Story" CDs, with accompanying coloring books). Fortunately they didn't seem to be the least bit disappointed --they were plenty excited by the CDs, chocolate gelt and candy canes-- it seemed to be a matter-of-fact observation, not a complaint.
What made the exchange interesting to me is that, based on precedent, they had no reason to expect any toys. We have a gift exchange with extended family on the 25th, but because too many gifts can overwhelm the day, we've always held off and let the Magi bring the kids their gifts on Epiphany. St. Nicholas comes on his feast day, but it's a minor occasion, and the two school-aged kids have never reported any extended conversation with their peers about Christmas habits. So where did they learn to leave goodies for Santa? And that he brings toys? I'm pretty sure they learned it from a Veggie Tale and another Christian video --both of which are aimed at de-emphasizing Santa and toys and emphasizing the Christ of Christmas. Well, I'm not sweating it that they're going to call him Santa, but it's good to remember that with little kids, sometimes when you address ideas, you actually introduce them.