It’s the Christmas season and my kids are getting excited about getting new presents. Frank would tell you that they need more toys like they need another hole in their heads. (Yet Frank purchased a gift for the two of us before he even bought toys for the kids this year. So who is the real kid here? LOL) Anyway, I grew up in a house that believed in Santa Claus. As I got older, I figured out that my Santa gift was actually delivered by his elves (aka Mom and Dad) but I was not going to call my parents out on this discovery in fear that Santa’s gifts would stop arriving for me. Because, lets face it, Santa’s gift was always the biggest and best gift I would receive every year.
So Frank and I have raised our kids to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. However, as my kids get older, their friends take it upon themselves to tell our kids that these things aren’t real. The other day, when I was at the store, some neighborhood kids decided to break the news to my older kids. I guess Patrick came in and asked Frank if Santa was real and then said that the kids next door said Santa was not real. So I guess Frank went outside and I’m not sure what he told the kids, but I do know that he told the neighbor kids to go back home. When I got home, he suggested I call our neighbors and ask the Dad to tell his kids to keep quiet about Santa Claus not being real. I told him that it wouldn’t work, because I remember another child from my daughter’s school last year tell her the same thing. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, society has to try to ruin the mystical things of childhood.
So later that night, I hear my two oldest talking together at the kitchen table. One of them tells me that their friends said that Santa isn’t real and the presents come from their parents. First I tell them that their friends are butt-heads. (Excuse my french. lol) Then I tell them that I believe in Santa Claus. I told them that as long as you believe, then Santa is real. I reminded them of the movie Polar Express. I said, “Remember that the boy couldn’t hear the bell ringing until he believed in Santa?” Patrick said, “Yeah, but his parents couldn’t hear it anymore.” I said, “That is because they stopped believing, but I can still hear it.” Marie asked me, “Why can you hear it? You’re a grown up.” I replied, “Because I am a kid at heart.” Marie replied back, “No you aren’t, you are old.” I said, “If I’m not a kid at heart, then why did I spend an hour the other night riding on a float with my kids, freezing my butt off, during a Christmas parade?” Marie said, “I don’t know.” I told her, “Because I’m a big kid and I’m a pretty cool mom.” My two kids laughed at that, but they finally agreed I was pretty cool.
Then I had the answer to the original question. I said, “Do your friends believe in God?” My kids said “No” (I’m pretty sure that topic hasn’t come up between them, so I am sure my kids were guessing because they answered pretty fast. But it was exactly what I was hoping they would say.) So I replied back with, “Who are you going to believe? Kids that don’t believe in God or your mother who does believe in God?” They said, “You” I smiled and said, “I know there is a St. Nicholas, which has been called Santa Claus before. So yes, I believe in Santa Claus.” Then I told them, “If your friends say something again, tell them that you believe in St. Nicholas and so you still believe in Santa Claus.”
I relayed the conversation to Frank later and he said, “Maybe we should speak to Marie alone and tell her the truth.” I told him, “No, because she will spoil it for the two little ones.” I was telling my co-workers about it the next day and some of them joked that I was lying to my kids. I told them, “No, I’m not lying because there really was a St. Nicholas that gave gifts to people and the Catholics still pray to him.” I explained that in the spirit of St. Nicholas, parents give gifts to their kids in Santa Claus’ name. Then I told them, “If I told my two oldest where the Santa presents come from, do you know what would happen? Patrick would use it as a bargaining chip. I would ask him to clean his room and when he asked me to help him and I refused he would say, ‘If you don’t help me, I’m going to tell Ann and Christopher that there is no Santa Claus.’ But Marie would use it differently, she would get mad at something that we told her she couldn’t do and then she would tell the two younger kids that Santa Claus died. lol She would probably tell them that he got run over by the reindeers. Pretty sad, but I know my kids and I can definitely see them doing something like that.
So know I must tell you my philosophical thoughts on Santa Claus. I believe that there is a Santa Claus in all of us. It just depends on your state of mind. If you look at gift giving as a pain in the neck and wonder why you have to buy presents for family and friends that you don’t like very much, then you have lost your belief in Santa Claus. However, if you love to give gifts to others and can’t wait to see them open the presents, then you still believe in Santa Claus. Now let’s go a step farther and address the Santa presents we leave for our kids. When you think about it, what we are doing is what God wants us to do on a daily basis. God wants us to do good deeds for others, without asking for recognition of the deed. God wants us to love one another and to live like Jesus did. Jesus did not heal the lepers and then tell them to go tell everyone who healed them, instead he told them not to tell anyone of the miracle he did.
You see, it’s not just during Christmas that we can be like Jesus, we can do it 365 days a year. Small things that don’t seem like much to the giver can seem like the world to the receiver. Simple acts of kindness, that’s what we should strive for. Whether it be a special Santa gift that will bring a smile to our children’s face, or donating clothes and household items to the needy, or just doing a simple task for someone who needs it. In the end, it all adds up to one thing in God’s eyes, it shows him that we are trying to be like his son, Jesus. It comes back to the reason for the season, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. What better way to honor Jesus, than to follow his examples. So you see, Santa Claus and Jesus’ birthday really do go hand in hand, because Santa is just another way that God’s love can reach out to other people. So I would like to say to all of Santa’s little helpers out there, your good deed has not gone unnoticed. I am sure that God is watching you and is very pleased by our actions.
Ho Ho Ho…Merry Christmas!!!
From Santa’s Elf (JoAnn)