Thursday, December 15, 2011
Why Santa is coming to our house this year
In the past I've had pretty strong feelings about Santa. I decided to not "do Santa" here at our house for a variety of reasons... all of which I'm sure you've heard before:
-Some fat dude in a red suit need not take credit for gifts brought
-It takes the focus off of Jesus
-It's a lie
I was pretty passionate about this issue... bonded with friends over it. Other friends who also didn't "do Santa" for the same reasons. I figured it was how we'd always do things around here.
This year, however, Christmas has been different. Dramatically different. (Sorta like how I'm different. Dramatically different.) Not just on the surface (throwing myself into a check list of must do Advent activities, playing holiday music around the clock, checking out every Christmas book we can find on each trip to the library). It's also been different in my heart. I'm so excited about Christmas that I almost feel like a kid again.
Over the past few weeks I had started to feel a little sad that we'd not done the Santa thing. Somehow, after the ordeal we've had to hurdle this past year, receiving "credit" for gifts was no longer important. And I no longer felt like Jesus didn't want to share the stage with Santa Claus... Jesus probably doesn't care. He receives all of the glory for everything around here all of the time. Santa could never take away from that. And I no longer saw the game of Santa as a lie... instead I started to see the magic behind it all. The magic of childhood suddenly seemed incredibly important for me to capture in my home. We fought so hard to preserve and regain the carefree joy and innocence of childhood for our children... Santa would just be one more element.
So I started talking about "Santa" around the kids. With a wink wink nudge nudge. Asking them what they'd want Santa to bring them, assuming he was real and came to our home. Sometimes the older two would say that he wasn't real. Other times they'd say what they wanted him to bring. I was testing the waters. Was it too late?
And Drayken started showing an interest in Santa. He would get really excited about him when he'd see Santa in books or on tv. His eyes would twinkle with that magic that I so longed to capture in our home.
So one evening I asked the big kids, in a hushed whisper, if they would like to "Play" Santa for their brother with me and dad on Christmas Eve night. They were totally in.
The incident that solidified the "doing Santa" thing for me, however, occurred while we were driving around looking at Christmas lights. Out of the blue, Ronin said, "I wonder if we left cookies and milk for Santa and they were gone the next day... would that prove that he was real?" And Hunter said, "That's a good idea. A great way to prove if he's real." My kids, who had always been told that Santa wasn't real, wanted to leave Santa some cookies and milk. They want to play. They are asking to be in on this Santa game.
So I'm taking the bait.
Next week, thanks to Make a Wish, we are going to have breakfast with Santa.
Ronin has been told that Santa will definitely not come to your house if you don't believe in him.
And everyone has told me one thing that they'd like Santa to bring them for Christmas (they don't know about letters to Santa yet).
Hunter wants to leave him some sugar cookies and Ronin thinks he'd like some of their dad's egg nog.
And I guess we'll just wait and see what they say on Christmas Eve night.
I'm just playing along. I won't say, "Santa is real and he'll really come to our house on Christmas Eve night". And I certainly would never use Santa and the gifts that he will bring as a way to control the kids and manipulate their behavior. But I also won't spoil the magic. I'm playing the game. It's been a blast so far. And everyone is winning.
Here's to creating new traditions in our home. I hope that when Santa comes to our home, he'll bring with him a little bit of magic and restore some of the innocence that leukemia took from us last year.
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