“Mom, is Santa Claus real?”
Well, I said to myself, here it is. The moment I’ve been dreading since planting the Santa seed eight years ago. Must tread lightly…must tread lightly.
“What brought this up?” I asked, while washing the last of the dinner dishes in the sink.
“My friend at school told me that Santa is really parents. They put all the gifts under the tree.”
“Well, what do you think?” I didn’t ask the question as a delay tactic, I really wanted to know.
“I’m not sure. But…I think he’s right.”
Heavy sigh. “Okay son, let’s sit down.”
For the next thirty minutes, I explained that Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas. He was a real person who lived in the 200’s. He was considered a great guy and loved to help the poor, so after he died, people started the tradition of giving gifts in his name. That led to the name Santa Claus. Yes, mom and dad follow that tradition too. PLEASE DON’T TELL YOUR YOUNGER SISTER.
Phew. Crisis averted.
The next day, he came home from school and cornered me in the living room. “Mom! Remember everything you told me about Santa? I don’t believe you. A guy at school said that Santa is for real, so he’s real.” He then strode triumphantly to the kitchen for a snack.
My feet were frozen to the carpet. What? He doesn’t believe me? Wow, here’s a ‘mom-moment’ if ever there was one. After that whole talk, all it took was another eight year old to easily knock down all I said like a tipsy wall of wooden blocks.
As I I look back on that exchange some twenty-five years ago, my take-away is a little different than it was then. Now, I admire my son for grabbing on to the truth he was raised in, and not giving in easily.
As adults, Christmas challenges our faith too, and not because we believe that Jesus came into the world, but because so many do not. Our culture both whispers and shouts something much different. We know that two thousand years ago, a baby was born to a couple who traveled from home to Bethlehem. This child, born into poverty, this Prince of Peace, came to save us all.
But most of the world sees Christmas as an extra day off, or a family tradition of gift giving. They think we’re simple and foolish to believe anything else.
My son held on to his faith in Santa even though someone he trusted told him it wasn’t exactly true. What a great witness to me today, as we all face a culture that doesn’t always support the faith we hold dear. Even though some say it’s not true, Our Savior is going to be born again in hearts on December 25th.
And no one will sway me from believing that.
I’m going to take the rest of December off to get ready for Christ’s coming. I wish you all a wonderful, peaceful, faith-filled Christmas.
I’ll be on blog-break until January, when I’ll be back with my new word for the year 2017. See you then!
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