I tucked tiny trinkets deep into the stockings and checked my hubby’s progress on putting the bike together. I couldn’t believe it was finally Christmas Eve! We grew up with our parents playing the role of Santa and Mrs. Claus and we chose to carry on the tradition. So we were hidden in our bedroom, knee-deep in last-minute holiday happenings.
It was nearly midnight and I was so tired. The busy days leading up to this moment had worn me out. I double-checked to make sure the kids were asleep and carefully laid out the bulging stockings. Then, I quietly nibbled on Santa’s goodies. I even gnawed a carrot for Rudolph. Being Santa was hard work!
I turned around to hurry my hubby along but instead found my daughter (who would turn ten two weeks after Christmas) standing there watching me.
Um. That’s not supposed to happen.
I racked my brain and tried to remember what I learned in Santa School and all I could come up with was I never went to Santa School! I was so busted.
She faked a yawn, and I just motioned to her room. Because that’s what you do when you’re shocked and speechless.
Once she was up the stairs, I ran into my bedroom and whisper-screamed: “SHE KNOWS! SHE KNOWS!”
And then I tried not to fall apart.
When she knocked on our door five minutes later, I let my hubby answer it. I’m brave like that.
She asked. He told her everything. Questions led to answers and very early Christmas morning, she knew the secret happenings of Santa. I bit back tears. So did she.
Christmas still happened. She held her new secret close to her heart and gave me a knowing smile throughout the day. She was excited to start the new chapter. But a sadness I couldn’t explain still clung to me.
It’s not the Santa-myth I missed. It was her believing. It was proof she was growing up.
I found contentment in knowing she believed in Jesus. It’s really about all Him. He’s not pretend or make-believe.
Days after Christmas, I wrote her a letter about how we are called to believe in things we can’t see.
It’s good to believe in things we can see. It’s better to believe in things we can’t see but know are real: our dreams, faith, hope. Jesus.
She put her letter in her special box.
And in the two years since, I have refocused my efforts to make Christmas about Jesus. We still add a dash of Santa to the fun, but you can find him kneeling at the Nativity, worshiping Jesus with the rest of us.
Because I realized the Santa fun will fade, but this house will always believe.
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Tangible Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas:
1. Wrap baby Jesus in your Nativity and let that be the first gift opened on Christmas morning.
2. Limit the gifts and remind your kids it’s not their birthday. But His.
3. Celebrate with a birthday cake for Jesus.
4. Count down to the Christmas Day with an advent calendar that focuses on Christ.
5. On Christmas Eve or Day, read Luke 2 together.
This Christmas, I pray you will make it about Him.
by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family
ABOUT KRISTEN WELCH
Kristen writes at her parenting blog, We are THAT family, and offers an honest mixture of humor and inspiration. Her first book, Don't Make Me Come Up There, a book for busy Moms, will be in...