I’m not sure where you stand on the issue. What should we do with Santa? To celebrate him or hide him? To visit him and let him bring toys, or to openly provide the gifts ourselves? To be honest, I’m not sure where I stand anymore. We all need to show each other some grace and stop pointing fingers. We need to stop whispering behind each others backs. We are all trying to do the best we can. We try to offer our children the magic, wonder, and faith of childhood. We try to offer them honesty and the ability to trust. Perhaps, this is one of those areas where there truly isn’t a right or wrong answer. Perhaps, it is really all about how we handle the truth.
I grew up with Santa and loved him completely. After a classmate told me some disconcerting news in second grade, I questioned my mother and cried. I don’t ever remember being angry at her though, or thinking she was a liar. I wouldn’t trade my Santa memories for anything.
This summer the topic came up as I sat with my son on the couch. He cried. It broke my heart all over again. Is all of this worth it if it is going to make my child cry even just once?
We all want to spare our children pain. My son was told that Santa wasn’t real a few years ago when he was in preschool. I was so incredibly relieved when Santa was at the store and let my son tug on his beard. Will exclaimed, “I knew it! I knew it! I told them he was real!” I don’t know who was happier, my son or me.
This year, our elf, Criddle, has arrived. My daughter was so excited that she just about burst when she saw him. She literally jumped up and down. Then she began asking questions like, “Why does he look like he is made out of plastic? What are those seams?”
Every time we are around other children over this holiday season, my heart stops a bit. You know, the ones who don’t believe. And you know that there is a great chance that the subject might come up. You also know that if it does, a little bit of your child’s innocence will be lost forever. The blind faith to believe the impossible, at least in this instance, will be gone. We all need a little blind faith and trust don’t we? We need to feel that way about God too. To know that he has our back, even though we can’t see Him.
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NIV
I somehow made the connection between the blind faith of believing in Santa, and the blind faith in believing in God, even as a second grader. I knew to ask, “But if Santa isn’t real, what about God?” I was a trusting child. When my parents told me that God was real, I still believed them. Perhaps some children wouldn’t be so trusting?
I do remember the wonder though. The magic in believing. Once I even HEARD him putting the presents out in the other room. I was so excited to think that he was right there in my house! I also made a spectacle of it for my kids…Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk. He even left a thank you note. Even as a 30-something adult, walking outside on Christmas eve to sprinkle reindeer food gives me a jolt of electricity and makes me wonder, “Could it perhaps be real?”
So I am left with the struggle, between the wonder and excitement, and the need to make sure that my children know 100% that I will never tell them a lie. ( They may already be questioning if I promise to take them somewhere, but our plans have to change due to something beyond my control.) I want them to have fun, and Santa is fun. I want them to be grounded too, but do they have to do it so young? Are those who don’t do Santa more spiritual than me?
I’m afraid I don’t have an answer. Maybe this post leaves you with more questions than answers. Just know that the struggle is real. No matter what road we choose to go down, there will most likely be mommy guilt. Where there is guilt, there is room for grace, room for God, room for love to come in and change everything. Where there is guilt, there is room for grace, room for God, room for love to come in and change everything. Click To Tweet
But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
No matter what side you are on Momma, God is on your side. He is the real reason for the season. However you decide to celebrate, just make sure that the main focus is Jesus. Be careful to be truthful to your children when they ask questions. Show them the love and honesty of Christ. And have a Merry Christmas!
What do you do with Santa?