As children everywhere are counting down the days Christmas the big questions is being discussed. Is Santa Claus real? This is a very serious childhood question that can affect Christmas for the rest of their life.
It was last year, when my youngest daughter was in the third grade, that she came home from school very worried. Many of her friends were saying that Santa is not real and she was very worried. She looked at me with such trust knowing I would tell her the truth. I knew then that it was time the have “the talk”.
I put everything down and pulled her into my lap. We snuggled down into our big recliner to talk about this. I asked her what her friends were saying. With a flash in her eyes she told me. One boy said he wasn’t real and just a story for “little kids.” One girl said that it was her parents. One child told her that Santa had died. I looked into her worried little face and told her the truth.
I believe in Santa I told her. Saint Nicolas was a real person who lived a very long time ago and did many good things for people. He has come to represent the spirit of love and giving during the Christmas season. Relief and joy shone in her eyes as her belief was confirmed. We went on to talk about why we celebrate Christmas and the precious gift that God gave us when he sent his Son to be our Saviour. We shared a few favorite memories about how much fun it is to carefully choose and give a gift to someone.
It was a short conversation. We only talked about 10 minutes. As she walked away with her eyes shining with excitement and her heart filled with Christmas I remembered the five other most important times I’d had this talk. See, she is the youngest of my six children. I taught all my children to believe in Santa Claus. To understand that, while getting presents is exciting and fun, giving presents is so much more.
As my children reached their teen years the were officially dubbed Santa’s helpers. Participating in the Santa activities gave them a new understanding of who and what Santa Claus is. They filled the stockings of their younger siblings and helped get out some of the Santa presents. Listening to them whisper and talk about what their younger siblings would think about this and that is the highlight of my Christmas.
Do you believe in Santa Claus?