We have finally arrived at the point where my children are excited for Santa and not scared of him. They don't feel the need to hide behind me or under the table whenever they see the big man in red. They actually are excited to go and visit with him and are so looking forward to what he will bring on Christmas morning. My children are 7 and 5 and at such a great age to enjoy all the excitement and magic of Christmas. We are having so much fun this holiday season!
So when I heard one of my son's friends say that someone on the bus told him that there is no Santa Claus, my heart broke. NOOOOOOOOO! Not yet...we are finally at a place where we can enjoy Santa Claus! I'm not ready to start thinking about when my kids won't believe in him anymore. I want years and years more of this magic and excitement for my children. I don't want to worry that one of their friends is going to take this all away from them so soon!
Lucky for me, my kids are still, with out a doubt, believers. Phew! But it got me thinking about what I will say the first time one of them comes to me and asks if there really is a Santa Claus? How will I answer that!
In trying to come up with the "right" answer, I started thinking about how much the story of Santa Claus and of God are closely related. When we are young children, we need to believe in a God who is a white bearded man, lives in the clouds above us, and has angels with white gowns and halos above their heads at His side. An old, wise man who looks down upon us and sees the good that we do and also the mistakes that we make. A God who performs miracles, is all knowing, and powerful enough to be able to give or take away from us depending on our actions.
And when we are young, the story of Santa is so very similar. Like God, Santa Claus is an older, white bearded man who lives in a far away "white like the clouds" land surrounded by his elves to help and serve him. He also can see us at all times and knows when we've been bad or good. And he can use this knowledge to determine if we get a lot or a little for Christmas.
Hmmm.... well, know that I am an adult, I should know that there is no Santa, right? As an adult, I don't believe in a white bearded God sitting up in the clouds watching my every move either. But I do still believe in God - just not the one of my childhood. So then, is there a possibility that I still believe in Santa Claus - but just a different version than when I was young?
Absolutely! Ahhh.....so know I think I have my answer all ready and prepared for when my children ask if there really is a Santa Claus. Yes, there is! Like God, Santa is not one man, but rather he is a spirit that lives inside each and every person. Every time someone gives from their heart to another, the spirit of Santa Claus is alive and present in our world. Santa Claus and God are a part of each and every person. They are always with us, even if we don't' believe. They are always there, waiting for us to show them to the world. And when we do believe in them and their miraculous power, the gifts we receive in this life are awesome and endless.
So yes, there may come a time when my children do not need to believe in Santa as a man in a red suit with reindeer and a sleigh. But that doesn't mean that they can't believe in Santa Claus anymore. It just means that their idea of him may change. And it will be up to me to show them that Santa Claus IS real - as long as you believe in the power of love and giving to others. If you do, Santa will always be real and living right inside of you. And Christmas will always be a wonderful season full of peace and joy.
Take the time to enjoy this magical season with your children. Try focusing more on being Christmas rather than doing Christmas. And most importantly, remember to just believe.
May your heart be at ease,