I have always been really conflicted about Santa. Like most topics of differing opinions, I am on the fence, looking out at both sides, with an equal understanding.
On one hand, it is this really creatively magical time of the year, that fosters a wonderful imagination in young children all over the world, and it is so fun!
On the other hand, it feels different than being creative and imaginative. It feels like lying.
For these reasons, my husband and I remained so torn, that like any good, conflicted and lazy parents would do, we ignored the topic all together. We neither played up the role of Santa to encourage the belief, nor did we tell them he was merely a story people enjoy pretending. Due to marketing and story books, they believed in him without any encouragement from us. They never sat on Santa's lap or wrote him wish lists. We never wrote "from Santa," on any of their presents. In fact, they always thanked us for their gifts. Yet, their creative and imaginative brains still had no problems believing that this story they had read, could be real.
But here is where this whole idea gets tricky for me. I struggle with this every single December. People, children and adults alike, whether they understand what they're doing or not, suddenly behave as though someone is watching them. Generally speaking, people are kinder, more generous, and more patient with one another. People are more willing to help others, give to charities, and let that car in ahead of them during rush hour traffic. Whether we realize it or not, this naughty or nice mentality has been ingrained in us from a very early age. We believe that if we are good, we will receive good things.
Now, there is some truth in that; in that we reap what we sow. I get it. But then why only this one time of year? Why are we so much more careful this one month out of the year, to be good?
Y'all, I don't know about you, but I am so thankful that Jesus isn't Santa! I can just imagine a disciple on the shelf, judging my every move, reporting back to Jesus just how unworthy I am!
No, I am so thankful, that He loves me, even when I forget to behave as I should. This is the grace I want to teach my children. This is the gift I want to share with my children. This is the gift, from God, that we celebrate Christmas morning.
Do up the Santa gig if you so choose. I am not trying to ruin your fun! Have a blast with it! Make great memories, but remember, it's not the gifts we have earned thanks to good reports from an elf spy, that make Christmas magical and special. Belief in this white bearded fellow, who flies a reindeer and sleigh should not make or break the spirit of Christmas for you.
Rather, this undeserved gift, which we cannot earn, no matter how good we are, is the spirit of Christmas! This grace that says, you are loved so much that God would give you His only son, so that you may have eternal life.
And all you have to do is accept it!
That is the gift we celebrate!
Christmas has not always been big here. In fact, we've had many years when Christmas gifts consisted of necessary toiletries, socks, and handmade gifts. To this day, my children are still incredibly thankful for toothbrushes and soaps in their stockings, (and sometimes a little hurt if I didn't have the time to make them something handmade)! But nothing has ever been able to destroy the magic of that day for us or our children, because, while Santa is tons of fun, he isn't the magic.
Jesus is. His love, His grace, His mercy is a gift that cannot be earned, is not deserved, but given freely to those who choose it, and I pray that we can all remember to extend that love, grace, and mercy to others, all year long, and not just during this magical time of year, because, let's face it; the rest of the year could sure use some magic too.
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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