Do You Believe?

“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.

Unbelievable.

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!

God bless!

 

Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook

 

56 thoughts on “Do You Believe?

  1. I hope you enjoy your break and holidays, dear Ceil. Yes, Christmas is all about Christ, and God is at the helm of everything, which makes me very happy. With all the chaos around us, it is wonderful to know that our Creator cares for us and that He never lets us down. Merry Christmas to you, and wonderful blessings for 2017, and always.

    • Hi Linda! Thank you for your holiday wishes, and I hope for a peaceful, blessed Christmas and new year for you too. It’s been a blessing to be connected to you through our blogs this year, and I look forward to spending 2017 with you!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  2. Yes, praise His name, He came, and nothing will make us not believe! I loved reading the story of your son and his faith, and what a great analogy this was/is to us today! I trust you and your dear family are enjoying the beauties of this season, and I hope you are feeling better and the remodeling is going smoothly for you. I am thinking of you as you sort through your dear Dad’s things and all that you have upon your shoulders right now, and I am praying for you. God bless you, sweet friend. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Cheryl! You always are praying for me, and I’m so grateful. It’s a challenge to carry thoughts of my dad through the holiday, but I know he’s with all of us. PT is going well, and I hope to be done with it in a few weeks.

      Thank you for sharing so much of yourself through your blog, I have appreciated being your blog-friend. Looking forward to walking through another year with you!
      Merry Christmas πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  3. Yes! Good for your son that he still held on to his belief!

    I was always afraid of that happening so I took a different route of telling the kids that some believe in Santa but the real story of Christmas is about Jesus. I always told them not to tell other children that Santa wasn’t real because maybe their parents wanted them to believe in Santa. I tried to make them feel they were “in on the secret.”

    Today, we who shy away from the emphasis of Santa are definitely in the minority. I loved your line: “we all face a culture that doesn’t always support the faith we hold dear.” As always, holding on to our faith calmly and lovingly while we stand firm can definitely be a challenge – but also a witness!

    • Hi Jerralea! How nice to see you here today!

      I agree that holding on to faith is difficult in a culture that doesn’t prize it. I think you hit the nail on the head by saying that we need always to be loving, after all, Christ always was. No matter what people say, we know the truth, and there is a powerful grace in that.

      Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and New Year,
      Ceil

  4. Great thoughts. I remember when I was 7 I found a doll buggy under my mom and dad’s bed before Christmas. and when Christmas came and I got the doll buggy from Santa, I know something was fishy, So the next day I followed my mom around asking questions until she told me that she and my dad were really Santa. The next Christmas was not near as much fun. “)

    • Hi Freda! My sister just told me that she used to snoop around my parent’s closet where all the presents were kept before wrapping. I was so surprised! I must be very naive, I never thought to do anything like that. She must have been old enough not to be put off by the idea.

      Christmas is such a beautiful time of the year, and Santa is a part of all of it. I have the joy of seeing my grandchildren enjoy visiting Santa at the mall, not to mention the Elf on the Shelf. I’m sorry you discovered the truth the way you did, and that it took a little of the joy away. At least now you can say that the joy is back, knowing that Christ is coming.

      Best Christmas wishes to you and yours!
      Ceil

    • Hi TC! Thank you so much, and I look forward to walking the new year with you too. It’s been a blessing to be connected to you through our blogs!

      I know you’ll have a wonderful holiday with your little one. Enjoy every second πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  5. Advent’s healing grace and peace to you, dear friend. You have certainly earned and so deserve this needed break.

    Can’t wait to hear what your 1 Word is since I never have one til the end of the year.

    Love to you …

    • Hi Linda! Thank you so much my friend. I know it’s been a trying year for you too, we both need your prayer for healing grace and peace. I truly do hope that the holiday will bring you peace and joy, and renewed sense of being where you belong.

      God bless you and yours, and I’ll see you next year!
      Ceil

  6. Of course Santa Claus is real. Otherwise, who was that man dressed in red who left our home in a hurry in a fast car the other day when I got home from work late?

    My wife said it was Santa. What do you think?

    Best wishes to you and your family Ceil during this Advent and may you also have a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas and a Joyous and Splendid New Year.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! If your wife said it was Santa, then it was. Why would she lie?

      Thank you for your wishes, and I am so grateful to be connected to you through our blogs. I hope you’ll have a wonderful Christmas celebration with Jesus and your family. Your faith and good humor will be one of the stars in the sky, leading you to him.

      Blessings on your new year too,
      Ceil

  7. Hi Ceil, As an adult, it pains my heart how many get things so very wrong at this time of year. Family (leaving out nieces, sisters-in-law, etc.) is their sole focus–they conveniently leave out the reason why we have this time (and that goes for my brothers and sisters in Christ). Those without family are left out in the cold. The busyness of this season is lost on me. So, I’m thinking I need to re-focus on Jesus and His return and forget about the rest.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Blessings!

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! Because of how busy I’ve been, it’s a challenge to focus on the coming of Christ, but I do make that re-focus effort too. Holding on when it’s easy to just let go and forget is a great grace.

      Merry Christmas to you too Kim. I’ve enjoyed being connected to you through our blogs, and you’ve always been so generous on Twitter. May God bless you and yours with his powerful joy and peace, and lead you into a new year of favor from our God.

      See you in 2017!
      Ceil

    • Hi Sandi! Same to you my friend! I look forward to spending 2017 with you through our blogs. Thank you for being such a faithful reader/commenter here πŸ™‚

      Have a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year celebration!
      Ceil

  8. I’m joining you, Ceil, in taking some time off for the rest of the month (last post will be this Friday) until January when I return with my word for the year as well.
    Praying that you and yours have the most Merry Christmas filled with joy and wonder and peace!

    • Hi Martha! I hope your time off will give you some rest and time to prepare well for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. I know you’ll have a wonderful time with your friends and family, especially your precious granddaughters.

      I’ve enjoyed being connected to you through our blogs, and look forward to walking 2017 with you too.
      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  9. This post reminds me of similar conversations with my own two children when they were younger. (How time flies! We don’t even have grandchildren that young now!!) I love the reflection you added about what we believe about Christmas and the Christ. You are so very right. The truth is that I think we all leave telltale signs everywhere we go about what we believe or don’t based on how we live and treat one another. This post reminded me of that! You are dear to my heart. May this Christmas bring you to fresh moments with the Savior that settle gently on your soul and spirit. Love and hugs from Ohio!

    • Hi Pam! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. It’s great that the words reminded you of another point, the one about actions speaking louder than words. That’s great!

      Thank you for your Christmas prayer for me, I hope the same for you. Maybe we both be visited by the Savior and his powerful Spirit this Christmastime. I’ll look forward to traveling the New Year with you, I always learn something new from you.

      Love and hugs from Illinois πŸ™‚
      Ceil

    • Hi Bill! Thank you for your good wishes, and I hope you will have a wonderful Christmas celebration with your family and church family too. Enjoy!

      I will keep you in my prayers for healing for you too. May 2017 be a renewed time of health and energy (for both of us!).
      Looking forward to renewing our blog friendship in 2017,
      Ceil

  10. {{{I’m constantly running behind}}}—so, here is the deal here in the Conley household..if you don’t believe you get underwear (rofl)…in all seriousness, he knows the truth…thanks for the many smiles and giggles, Ceil…Have a beautiful Christmas season.

    • Hi Linda! I don’t know, sometimes I need underwear!

      It’s been great to be connected through our blogs. I hope you are coming up to a school break and can prepare for the holidays to come. Blessings to you and you family! See you in 2017,
      Ceil

    • Hi Lynn! He does have a one-year-old son. Hmm. It will be interesting to see what happens!

      Thank you for your Christmas wishes, you have a great Christmas too. I know you’ll be dancing your way through the holidays πŸ™‚

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  11. I loved the story about your son. It is important to hold onto what we believe even when others tell us something different.
    Enjoy your break and I hope you and your family have a joyful Christmas.
    Look forward to hearing about your word for 2017.

    • Hi Lesley! Isn’t that the truth? We are challenged by many things, and holding on to faith can be hard…but if my son can do it, I can too!

      I’ve enjoyed being connected to you through our blogs this year. Who knows what 2017 will bring us? I look forward to walking through the new year with you.

      Blessings to you and yours,
      Ceil

  12. A well deserved break,Ceil.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    And May the Lord shower you all with many blessings in the New Year!

    • Hi Jean! Thank you so much, and thank you again for being such a faithful and supportive blog reader. You encourage me so well!

      May God bless you with his peace and joy this holiday season too. I hope that 2017 is the best year ever πŸ™‚

      Blessings to you and yours,
      Ceil

    • Hi Debby! Thank you so much my friend. And thank you for all your support and blog-friendship this year, including support on my FB page. You’re the best!

      Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebration, and I will definitely see you next year.
      God bless you and yours,
      Ceil

    • Hi Mari! I’m glad it made you laugh, it makes me smile now too. Not then though!

      May you and yours (especially those beautiful grandchildren) have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebration. I hope you don’t have to work?
      I’ll see you in 2017!
      Ceil

  13. Hi Ceil,
    I agree with you. I loved the nativity that was in our house when I was a child, and in the schools too. I believe that the ‘Santa’ of today is the spiritual enemy just trying to rob the children of the truth and coming with expensive, worldly gifts that these days many of the children tell their parents they want. Jiggle the letters in the name Santa around and we have Satan.
    Have a lovely time at Christmas Ceil, blessed with the peace of the Lord.

    • Hi Brenda! I pray that you will have a wonderful Christmas and New Years celebration with your family and friends. May you be blessed with Christ’s peace and joy!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  14. I love that story!! HA ha ha! What a triumphant moment for the little one πŸ™‚ And another great message from you πŸ™‚ Hoping that your Advent season runs a bit more smoothly for you, and not by “society’s” standards but by His standards. This new dog has taken away my quiet mornings. Where I was frustrated that my private prayer time (which is sorely needed in order for my day to run more smoothly), I now realize I need to just stop and smell the roses more. Like when I take the dog out to go potty, I find I’m looking up at the sky and admiring His creation more. Or the sweet laughter that comes from a particular 4 year old that laughs (nervously) as the doggy licks her face. It certainly is a different Advent this year.

    • Hi Patty! I saw the photos of your new family member on FB, what a cutie! Looks like your little dog is blending in naturally with everyone too.
      Like you, I need to be happy in my circumstances, no matter how crazy they are. God knows what we have to do, and will walk with us, even on the sidewalk early in the day. Thank you for witnessing to me the importance of celebrating right where I am.

      Have a wonderful week!
      Ceil

  15. I didn’t have such grace when telling my younger son there was no Santa years ago. I love how your son taught you the lesson of holding onto the truth. I am holding onto the truth of a Savior that was born 2000 years ago too.

    I pray you have a beautiful rest of December as you prepare for our Savior’s birth. I hope there is a lot of family time scattered between. Merry Christmas and Happy 2017 a little early.

    • Hi Mary! It’s a tough conversation, isn’t it? Kind of like the Tooth Fairy on a much bigger scale!

      Thank you for your prayers, I wish a peaceful and joyful Christmas for you and your son. What a lovely thing to have him write on your blog. It was a pleasure to meet him. God bless you all, and I look forward to seeing you in 2017.

      Have a peaceful afternoon,
      Ceil

  16. I recall finding out about Santa when I was about 7, and I felt rather disillusioned about the whole thing. May you enjoy blessings and holiday memories, and a Happy New Year! Sending love and hugs your way! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Karen! It’s funny, but I don’t remember the time I found out about ‘Santa’. I suppose that means it wasn’t very traumatic. I’m sorry that it was not a great experience for you, I would think it would be pretty surprising for most children.

      Thank you for your good wishes, and I hope you have a restful and joyful blog-break and holiday. I’ll see you in 2017! I’ll be sending along my post soon πŸ™‚

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  17. This makes me smile, Ceil. πŸ™‚ I still remember hearing from a school classmate that Santa wasn’t real. I was crushed. It’s interesting, though, that sometimes when we hear the truth, we still can block it out if we don’t want to believe it. Thanks for sharing this. Merry Christmas to you and your family! I’ll look forward to hearing what your 2017 Word is in the new year.

    • Hi Lisa! I do think he was quite desperate to still believe, so confirmation that it was true would rule the day. Good for him to hold on, that’s what I say now. Then? I was a bit confused about the whole thing!

      Merry Christmas to you and yours Lisa, and blessings to you and all the work you do for those who are less fortunate, especially around the holidays. I look forward to staying in touch in 2017!
      Ceil

  18. Good story and made me smile. Enjoy your blog break. I have preposted until the end of the month so after this week won’t be writing until Jan too. Time for God. Time for family Have a very merry, merry Christmas!

    • Hi Jean! Way to prepare for the season! I just need to step away for a bit, as you said, to prepare for Christmas and to be with family.

      I wish you every grace and blessing for your Christmas, and abundant blessings for the year ahead. I look forward to staying connected, and seeing what God has planned for you!

      Have a peaceful afternoon,
      Ceil

  19. Hi, Ceil!
    Such a sweet story and memory of when your son was little! The truth tends to be a dilemma for so many be it Santa or Jesus. Have a wonderful holiday season as you prepare for Christmas and New Years! May the peace of Christ flood your home and family and may you all be prosperous in 2017! I look forward to your new word.

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for your comment, and wishes for a peaceful Christmas and New Years. I really like the imagery of a ‘flood’ of peace. I would love that.

      May God be gracious and generous with his grace to you and your family as you celebrate the Savior’s birth. I am so glad we stayed connected in 2016, and I look forward to keeping that up in the new year.
      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  20. It is great to know the real truth, isn’t it! SO thankful for the birth of our Lord, and for what that day in history has meant throughout the generations since. The story of the man who gave gifts to the poor is a great one, and good to know the history behind it too. Enjoy the season, and may the Lord bless your family in a beautiful way my friend!

    • Hi MM! Thank you for stopping by!

      May you and your family enjoy the sights, sounds and love of the Christmas season. I agree that it’s so good to know the history of our heroes, even Santa!

      God bless you, and I’ll see you in 2017 πŸ™‚
      Ceil

    • Hi Susan! Welcome to WordPress! I hope you like the new platform. I remember when I switched it took me a while to get used to it all.

      I did have a good Christmas, I hope you did too. May God bless you in this new year, and help you find your blog friends again πŸ™‚

      Blessings,
      Ceil

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