My 7 year old thought for a moment, then asked, “Is there really a Santa Clause mom?” I looked into his chubby, big-eyed face and told the truth. My heart sank, because I hadn’t been telling the truth all along. Why did I ever tell him there was a Santa? Because that’s the story I was told? Because that’s the story most everyone else is told? The repercussions of my decision had just become clear.
From the beginning, I could have told him it was just a story. But I didn’t. We lived out fiction. We made cookies for Santa, left out carrots for the reindeer and went to bed early so Santa would be sure to come.
So what’s the harm in the charade of Santa? Good ol’ jolly Santa just wants to give good gifts. Make boys and girls everywhere happy…and behaved. It’s all in good fun.
Except, all the adults knew the truth. We pretended. My kid skipped along trusting us all. Every other story, even movies, was explained as fiction. We never cuddled up to read him Star Wars to prepare him to actually fight with the Rebels.
What if I had told him from the beginning it was just a story? Would that make me a killer of Christmas traditions? Is Christmas ruined without Santa?
What if “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was just another book on the shelf, not a peek of things to come? Does revealing to my child that no red-suited man would plop down our chimney carrying gifts, make me a joy stealing, kid crushing Grinch?
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” James 1:16
The world deceives. The truth does not.
Who is the gift giver?
Not just any gifts, but good gifts. In Greek “dosis” means “the act of giving”. Our Father is the Giver of good things. Not only does God give (Rom. 8:32) but He gives perfect gifts. The second word translated as gift means the gift itself and the word perfect means complete, highest standard.
I instilled in my child an excitement for Santa’s gifts when I should have told him the truth about all the gifts from above.
How incredibly special are His gifts to us, His firstfruits!
What a wonderful truth to share.
I recently watched a YouTube video of a pastor announcing to parents and children in line to see Santa, that he wasn’t real. It didn’t go over well…
Yes the pastor was telling the truth, but there was a more loving way to go about it. I wouldn’t walk into McDonald’s and announce to a room full of strangers that McDonald’s deceived them. Food scientists created quasi-food with no nutritional value to elicit endorphins all in an attempt to make them come back for more.
French fries would fly…at my head.
I love the book, “Becoming a Contagious Christian” by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg. Their book made me think through my walk in a way that makes it real and sharable.
People draw near to others who have something internally special they themselves are seeking. This uniqueness opens doors that God will use to send others to you…and that’s your opportunity to share the Good News. Even for Christians this is true. I am very drawn to people who are walking out Christ. That model creates teachable moments.
By living out the life of Christ, we can lead people away from the distractions of Retail-mas and instead lead them to an abundant life in Christ!