Sunday, December 23, 2012

Simple Christmas Truths

I have strong feelings about Santa.  I do.  I'll be honest when I say that I struggled over whether or not to allow the boys' to attend their Mother's Day Out's "Breakfast with Santa" this year.  I really cannot explain why I dislike him, but I can say without question that I want our children to know truth.  I want them to know who Jesus is and why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.  So, after giving it way too much thought, I opted to make sausage balls and head over to see Santa.

The boys really don't know who he is.  They've been told that many people celebrate Santa at Christmas, but we have decided that Jesus is who our family will honor.  They call Santa "old" and "snowman," and they think he is silly.  They've only seen him in pictures and as inflatables in our neighbors' front yards.

Our house is decorated with nativity scenes this season...  I have a total of 6 nativities, and I'm hoping that the Fisher Price one goes on sale following the holiday so the boys can have one of their own for next year.  The boys know who Baby Jesus is.  They know He was born in a barn.  They know He received three gifts for his birthday (and if you ask them, they'll name them - gold, frankincense, and myrrh).  They know our tree is decorated with ornaments that represent Jesus and all He is to us.  So, Santa isn't well-known in our house.  I don't mean to offend anyone who chooses to "believe" in him; we've simply decided he's not for us.

We walk in, and I was in Santa-overload.  It was all very cute, but when Christmas rolls around, I prefer less Santa and more Baby Jesus.  I really was having a hard time deciding if we should even walk up front to see Santa, when Daniel tells me he needs to see him.

This is what I overheard:

Santa:  What's your name?
Daniel:  My name's Daniel Benjamin, and this is Samuel Levi.  Oh, and my baby is Elias Joseph.
Santa:  Daniel...  That's a strong biblical name.
Daniel:  Yeah, it's in the Bible.
Santa:  What does Daniel do in the Bible?
Daniel:  He prays a lot.  He gets away from the lions!
Santa:  You're right.  So, Daniel, is there anything you'd like me to get you for Christmas?
Daniel:  I don't need you to get me nothing.  My mommy went on the roof yesterday and got some new toys for me and my brothers.

I quickly realized two things, that 1) a child's old baby toys are just like new when you get them down after a year's stay in the attic, and 2) a child can choose what he wants to believe.  My sweet, rambunctious 3-year-old has decided that the Bible is the book for him.  He knows where his name came from.  He knows that, with the help of the Lord, his parents will give him what he needs.  He knows who he is.

Children had asked for all sorts of things that morning, but our son said he needed nothing.  My heart was so full.  He may choose to believe in Santa next year, but whatever Daniel (or Samuel or Elias) decides will be up to them.  I can only guide their precious hearts to truth and pray that God leads them to Himself.  I hope that one day Daniel will see that Christ is all he will ever need.  I feel like we're on the right path.

I also want to thank our children's Mother's Day Out program for ALL that they do for us.  While my children may not celebrate Santa, they are loved on and taught each week by women who adore them.  I'm blessed to call these teachers my friends, and I love them for what they do!

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