Until today, he has only heard about snow, but he finally got to play in it!Pin It
The year 2007 was a really bad year for our family. We spent most of our Holiday season dealing with life and death, illness and home health care. It was so overwhelming that we were at risk of not having Christmas at all. And it broke my heart to think that my kids, especially my 2 year old, was not going to have Christmas. At the last minute we pulled together a tree, a few presents and some lights on the porch but we didn’t make it to see Santa that year. It was okay by us, the girls were old enough to understand that we couldn’t make the annual trip to Disneyland and visit Santa in the log cabin. But my Boy was too young to fully understand why Christmas had taken such a downgrade. Christmas Day was the first chance we had to get out and see the lighted wonders of the season, hear the music in the streets and enjoy the cheerful people celebrating time with family, so we wanted to get out and get some fresh air, we hit Seaport Village in San Diego. As we were strolling around, who did we see?! HOMELESS SANTA!!! This man was awesome, he had fewer teeth than my two year old, missing fingers and the brightest suit on the block. My son immediately ran up to him and gave him a hug, and Christmas Magic allowed him to overlook Santa’s “imperfections,” my daughter slipped him a few bucks and my Boy got his picture taken with Santa. What a great Christmas outing! We don’t have to have Santa to have Christmas, but it was an unexpected bonus after a rough couple of months. THANK YOU HOMELESS SANTA!
I have never before lived where the weather got down into the 20′s at night. The result is an amazing frosty, glimmery, crisp morning. It is beautiful. And as long as you have mittens on, you can even go outside and use your camera! Click on the photo below to see the frosty slideshow…
We do Santa. I now have 2 daughters that are old enough to know that Santa (along with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy) are figments of tradition. When they figured it out, it was like they figured out a puzzle. They were not heartbroken and we invited them to the “game.” Once my older daughter knew that my husband and I were Santa, she became part of the grown up side of the game and helped continue the traditions of cookies and milk left for “Santa,” so that my younger daughter could still believe. Now they continue this tradition for our 6 year old boy.
I believed as well, so did my husband, and we were not disillusioned or confused when we found out that these people were in fact just characters, and they live in our traditions. I think that the key is to make a game out of it. Don’t try to con your kids. If they are too wise to believe in Santa, then so be it, don’t go out of your way to make them believe, because when they find out later, you will have set them up for that heartbreak and you have lost a lot of credibility.
We never put Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, or the Bible on par with any of the traditional characters of the Holidays, so the girls have not had any crisis of faith because we “lied” to them about Santa (they are now 15 and 12, they don’t believe in Santa but they worship Jesus regularly). When my children asked me if Santa was real, I responded with “What do you think?” Then I listened to them and could hear in their hearts whether or not they were ready to fit the last piece of the puzzle into place. Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are very intermittent folks in the lives of children. But Jesus, God and the Spirit are daily relationships. Keeping relationships in perspective and truth in correct proportion to imagination is the key.
There are many areas like this in the Christian walk. Perhaps it is not right, because of your personal conviction, to bring Santa into your family traditions. For others, it’s a wonderful tradition of imagination that is passed down generationally. The bottom line is this it’s about your freedom in Christ and letting the Spirit lead your home and guide your family traditions. This could be a stumbling block for some, so it would not be right for them to violate their conscience. Others are not convicted about Santa in the same manner, and they have the freedom in Christ to participate in this cultural tradition as long as Santa is not on par with Jesus.
Belief in Santa does not have to lead to a crisis of faith for anyone. There are many times when I am not completely truthful with my children. I may overemphasis the benefit of a particular vegetable to get them to eat it. I am often too zealous in crayon art appreciation. I may not go into detail about character flaws that exist in people they love. And I may even let them believe something in their innocence, that will be outgrown as quickly as a pair of footie pajamas.
I have been pondering King Solomon’s words for years, when he says in Ecclesiastes “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil.” A more full translation here is, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and make his soul see good in his toil.
I do not claim to have done as many things as Solomon did when he was on his search for joy and fulfillment but I have a lived a long while as an adult now and I think I’m just getting a handle on what he meant. I want to be looking Heavenward and not be laiden with the burdens of this world, so I have done my bit of testing the waters to see what is “satisfying” and for me. It turns out to be very simple things, not unimportant, but simple and plain. In my life, I have been given a heart for homemaking and raising my children, for seeing my husband delight in his children and joyful to be home and all together.
Without a doubt, the most satisfying “work” that I do, are the small things that I can accomplish with my own hands. Making dinner, healthful gardening, teaching my children to write, crocheting and crafting, photography and even the menial tasks like laundry, dishes and scrubbing. I’m not saying that I am always enjoying what I am doing, but I do always enjoy the fruit of my toil and I find satisfaction in the work of my hands. My work will not make it into the annuls of history, but then I probably won’t either. I am alright with being quietly poured out, and into my family. I’m joyful at the thought of teaching to my children what God has taught us through Solomon. What satisfaction and what good my soul will see in this toil!