Friday, December 13, 2013

Something Right

Hit the snooze button...  not once, but three times.
Forgot that I'd made myself coffee.
Realized that I had no house key.
Left the house unlocked all day.
Failed to brush the boys' teeth.
Fussed at the boys for being slow.
Said "no" twenty times before we even got to school, 
   less than a mile from our house.
Arrived late...  on "Breakfast with Santa" day.
Locked myself out of the building.
Realized my zipper was broken.
Hadn't stopped to pray...  

However, school had started, and my class was bustling with excitement after having had breakfast with Santa and were ready to party and open gifts!  Nine of my eleven students (1 of them being Daniel) sat down at their desks with their journals opened to the heading, "What I Want for Christmas," and their mouths couldn't quiet enough for their fingers to even begin drawing.  I was rather hurried myself, getting things ready for crafts and ensuring that each child had brought a gift for the book exchange later in the day...  but that is when I overheard it... 

The phrase I wasn't really ready to hear come out of MY child's mouth:

"Santa isn't even real."

The little girls at his table all gasped.  He repeated it over again.  My heart became a bit overwhelmed, yet I felt the sweetest urge to let the conversation continue.  Daniel tried explaining the best he could.  "He's just a man who gets dressed up.  You know, like a Halloween costume, and he listens to you, but he really doesn't know what you need."  To be honest, he was telling these little ones the truth, but I knew these girls' hearts were breaking.  "We just have a lot of baby Jesus at our house and we read about when he was born and we get presents like him."

That's the moment I remember distinctly asking God to lead me.  

I stepped in, with the Lord's guidance, and began to give details about Daniel's bold statements.  I said, "I realize that Santa comes to your houses, but Santa Claus doesn't come to Daniel's house."  They were shocked.  "Daniel's Daddy and I love him and his brothers so much that we want to take care of giving them gifts at Christmas.  We've instructed Santa that we will take care of them, so he doesn't need to come to our home."  One precious girl asked, "How do you know what they want?  Like, what presents do they get on Christmas if Santa doesn't come?"  I continued, "I'm Daniel's Mommy, and to be honest, I think I know him better than most anyone!  (The girls laughed!)  I know what he needs and what he wants, and his Dad and I choose things we feel are best for him.  But, that isn't the only reason Santa doesn't come to our house..."

They all were listening so intently at this point, you could have heard a pin drop.  "Daniel, Samuel, and Elias are precious gifts to us, and they each get three gifts on Christmas.  Only three.  Sometimes you will get much more than that, but not at our house.  You see, the very first Christmas, a baby was born.  He wasn't just any baby; he was a gift to the world from God.  Wise men came to celebrate his birthday by bringing him three gifts:  gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  They brought him exactly what he needed and much more.  I know this is hard to understand, but we feel like our boys only need three because that is all that Jesus received.  We do that because we want to remember Jesus at Christmas, not Santa.  Does that make sense?"

They all shook their heads, but I realized questions were filling their minds...  

"I love Jesus, too, but is it okay if Santa still comes to my house?"

Daniel quickly responds, "SURE!  Just not me because I like baby Jesus more than Santa."  I agreed with him.  I went on further to say that there was nothing wrong with Santa, and it is wonderful if he comes to their homes.  I finished by saying that when they receive gifts from Santa to remember and be thankful for the best gift of all, JESUS!  All was well after this, and nothing else was really mentioned about it.

It was a moment I'll never forget for many reasons.  However, looking back at it tonight, God filled my heart with such joy as I thought about what Daniel had said.  His boldness in speaking truth, his relentless fervor for being right, and his unbridled spirit and love for the Lord have blessed me.  If it weren't for him, I would have never spoken so directly about Santa or Christ!  In a day when the morning had gone so wrong in so many different ways, God reminded me that I am doing something right.  

Daniel wasn't upset about being different.  He wasn't bothered that "Santa" isn't coming to his house.  He was intent on telling the truth and sharing what he felt was important.  God showed me, through the actions of our four-year-old, that being a child of God is being different.  It is doing things a bit peculiarly.  It is speaking truth and sharing His message when the opportunity arises.  It is all that I want to be found doing...  something right for the Lord.  

Daniel standing beside one of our "Names of Jesus" trees