Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mommy, Is There Really a Santa Claus?

It happened as most tragic events do - out of the blue. I worked so hard to shield any doubt in my young child's noggin about the whole uncertainty surrounding the "big question". I took extra precautions when my son started school, making sure I picked him up from school starting the first of November, just to make sure he didn't over hear some sort of rumblings from older kids on the bus ride home - because we know the "truths" our kids learn on bus rides home from school. I figured starting the chauffeur service in early November was early enough as these kids weren't even thinking Christmas until December, or so I thought.

I remember the exact date: October 2, 2009. My son was 7 years old at the time and he came off that bus with a look of confusion, drowning in a sea of despair. I threw him a life preserver with the typical mom question, "What's wrong, honey? Come on, you can tell me anything," I pleaded. Without hesitation he calmly asked, "Mommy, is there really a Santa Claus?" WHAT?! Where did this come from? Whose parent was I going to call?

This is the ornament we chose to represent that year.

I had to think fast so I recited the typical speech many of us rub into our children's emotional wounds of dreams gone by. You know the speech. It's the one that talks about Christmas as a feeling, the Christmas spirit, a believing of peace on Earth, goodwill toward men. Yes, all true; to a seven year-old, mumbo jumbo. My son patiently stared blankly at my fumbling explanation and replied, "Listen, I just want to know. Do any of my gifts come from a guy in a red suit that comes down the chimney and eats my cookies, drinks my milk, and leaves on a sled pulled by flying reindeer?" My heart fell to my feet, I could see a sliver of innocence fleeing from my child's eyes. "No, no," I muttered, barely audible to the human ear.

As most seven year-old boys do, my son shrugged it off rather matter-of-factly, stated he "thought so" and went on his merry way. He wasn't phased at all. He still gets presents from "Santa" every year, but it's tongue-in-cheek I'm afraid.

Fast-forward 2 years later. I had a revelation this holiday season. It's one of those things you wish you thought of on October 2, 2009, but didn't. Perhaps you've unraveled the same mystery and I'm just a little slow on the up-take. It finally hit me. I finally made the connection while listening to the 24/7 Christmas music on the radio. I know Santa Claus is a pagan character so I'm hoping my revelation doesn't cause upset. I hope no one takes offense to the following statement as I do have facts to back it up, so hear me out. What if, just what if, Santa Claus is Jesus, himself?

This is our family's nativity scene, made from paper mache.

The Evidence
1. "Ask and you shall receive." - have we not stood in lines hours on end to ask Santa for our deepest desires for Christmas?

2. Jesus was a carpenter. Isn't Santa the head elf whose primary profession is woodworking toys?

3. Santa absolutely loves children. Jesus had this same devotion to children and even told adults to "come to Him like a child."

4. Santa spreads joy and happiness around the entire world and works miracles, GIVING people what they desire, all in one night! Sounds like Jesus worked a few miracles Himself, and spread the Word of love.

5. Santa comes bearing gifts to all good little girls and boys. Have you heard of the Fruit of the Spirit? Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control - all gifts given to us that gifts us a life worth living.

OK, still not convinced? Let's turn to some Christmas songs...

5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town..."He sees you when you're sleeping, he know when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake." Sound like Someone we know, the All-Knowing?

6. Here Comes Santa Claus is the most blatant..."He doesn't care if you're rich or poor, he loves you just the same. Santa Claus knows we're all God's children, that makes everything right...Peace on Earth will come to all if we just follow the light. So let's give thanks to the Lord above that Santa Claus comes tonight."

Trust me, I think you know me well-enough by now to know I mean no offense in comparing Santa Claus and Jesus to be one in the same. I would like to point out that if you celebrate Christmas, you are, in fact, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It's not about the food or the presents. The comparison was a revelation that hit me like a ton of bricks and if Santa Claus represents Jesus in our house, then that truly is something to BELIEVE in.


Can you think of any Christmas songs that may suggest the same premise?



Suzan Wood-Young said...

You're echoing some of the thoughts I wanted to share on my blog today but just didn't have the energy to get it together...If you celebrate Christmas you are celebrating the birth of Jesus. And I love your parallels between Jesus and St. Nick. I must admit I'm not a church going person nor do I have a great deal of knowledge about Christianity but I do have faith. Both Santa and Jesus are about loving and giving, thanks for sharing your revelation!

Anonymous said...

I love your heart, Lilly - and what a remarkable son you have!

I'm afraid our oldest son may need counseling someday - we (as in me - totally my idea - my husband was not happy about this at all)went the opposite route and wanted to make sure our oldest knew that Santa was a real man that lived a long time ago and that Christmas is all about Jesus - well....when Nick was 3 he was at the mall with my hubby - of course I wasn't with them - and there was Santa on his throne. Nick dropped his crayons and shouted "Dad, he's alive! Santa's alive! HE'S ALIVE!" everyone is now looking at Nick and smiling - including Santa himself. Nick made eye contact with Santa and shouted "My daddy told me you were dead!" My hubby wanted to hide under a rock - everyone was shooting him eye when they got home and Carl was on speaking terms with me again, we talked with Nick and he said he wanted to believe - so now all three of the kids visit Santa (we even had him to our home when I had a daycare). So yeah, pretty much guaranteed the need for counseling! ;)

Love your sharing this revelation - my heart is rejoicing.

xoxo michele

I am LOVD said...

Thanks so much for that sharing that story Michele. I'm still laughing!!!


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