Earlier this week, I was watching a news story about whether or not parents should insist that children sit on Santa’s lap. They showed multiple videos of crying children, kids being forcefully, but gently, held in place for the photo. I have a tendency to talk to the TV, and boy did I blurt it out. “Of course they’re crying, a mother sets her kid on some strange man’s lap and she backs away! What do you expect? And why is this a news story? Santa’s not even real!”
My 10 year-old looked at me in shock! “What did you say?”
I looked at my 13 year-old, who gave me a look that said, ‘you’re on your own,’ then he got up and walked outside.
My 10 year-old asked again, “What did you say, Mom?”
I said, “Of course they’re crying, those men aren't even the real Santa! They're just mall-Santa’s, no one can sit on the real Santa’s lap!”
He continued to stare at me, which made me uncomfortable, so I sent him on a chore. I thought he was over that. I thought both of them knew the real deal with Santa. I thought wrong. I started trying to recall how I knew for sure that there was no Santa Claus. I do think I believed in Santa for longer than I should have, though! My rational mind was convinced, that there was no possible way for a single person to travel the entire world stopping to drop off individualized gifts for every girl and boy in one night. My hopeful mind wanted to think there was a faint possibility.
As a child, every other year or so, we would spend Christmas with my father’s parents which was about 200 miles away from our home. I did not like that. I remember standing in the bathroom looking out the window up at the night sky talking to God or Santa, anyone who would listen, expressing how I had been a good girl, and hoping Santa would know I was in Greenville not Sumter.
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We sing a song that goes, “he’s making a list, and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.” We say ‘he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” The story of Santa is intended to make kids aware of their behavior, wonder and imagine, but are we teaching to believe in the right thing?
If nothing else, we can use Santa to teach children about faith. The same faith that we had as children, that we would wake up to countless gifts under the tree, is the faith we must have to believe in God. We must teach our children that God loves us so much that he gave us Jesus, His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
While we are teaching about Santa we must not forget to teach the true reason for the season. God gave the world Jesus to save us from the condemnation we should suffer for our sins. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Parents, at Christmas, are the givers, and our children are the receivers. We must be mindful that we show our children what it is to be a giver, and to give without reason or justification. We must show our kids how to give out of love. We do not deserve the gift of salvation; we cannot earn the gift of salvation. We are not worthy of such a gift, but God loves His children that he gives us this gift, anyway. This is the true reason for the season.
Thank you for reading!
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If you are interested in my new devotional, Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal, they are $6.99 until Christmas. This book makes a great Christmas gift for someone on your prayer list.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
Copyright 2017 Kimberly Griffith Massey
If you like this style of writing, you will enjoy Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal written by the author of this blog.