The other day over on my instagram, while making my cup of coffee, I talked about a topic that recently came to light, well, at least to me it was new information.
It was about Santa, and it was about how some parents don't DO Santa.
Yes, people. You heard me right. There are some people that never tell their children to believe in Santa. They don't do Santa presents. They don't put out milk and cookies. They don't take mall trips to see Santa.
I don't know why this was such shocking information to me. I'm not a close minded person. I swear I'm really not. But I guess growing up in a family that just loved Christmas and everything about it- It never occurred to me that people do things so differently.
And quite frankly, it made my heart hurt a little bit. You see in my house, Santa was extra magical.
Let me give you a little backstory about Santa in my house growing up.
My Dad went through extreme measures to keep me believing in the big man as long as possible. He would write me letters every year, long letters where he went into detail about how good I had been. We'd put out milk and cookies and half of them would always be eaten in the morning. And under the tree? Oh under the tree there would be the biggest and best presents. One year it was a little tykes kitchen. I still remember it in detail to this day. Another it was a Pink Barbie pink with tinsel on the handles. Another it was a Baby Born doll with all of the accessories. I watched a video of our Christmas the other day, I was about 8, the room was so full of presents that my brother and I could hardly move. But that's not what I saw or paid attention to in the video. What I saw when I watched the video was how much thought and love was put into making Christmas so magical for my brother and I.
My parents- you see, they never really got along. But on Christmas? They tried really really hard to make things special and be kind to each other. And you could see it on their smiling faces how happy it made them, seeing their kids so excited.
When I was eight- that is when I learned my first lesson of what Christmas meant. And it didn't mean presents. It meant kindness. It meant giving.
It meant doing something to make someone else happy.
I now understand that there are a very good amount of people out there who don't do Santa because they want to focus to be on Jesus Christ. They don't want their kids thinking or believing that Christmas is about presents. While I completely understand this, and while it also reminded me to remind my children the real meaning of the season this year, I can tell you first hand that even though we did Santa in our house, I never once believed that Christmas was about presents.
And I still don't.
My children are taught his love and kindness 365 days a year. We do work in Jesus' name every single day. We pray for our friends and family. And give back whenever we can. Nick won't pass a red bucket and a ringing bell without dropping every bit of money he has in his pocket inside. If we pass a veteran on the street holding a sign? Nick insists we stop and ask him if he's hungry.
There was one year when the tenants in one of our rental properties didn't have a Christmas tree, or a single present for their 4 children. Nick and I went out and bought $400 worth of toys for them- and also a Bible.
We are very blessed that Santa puts lots of presents under our Christmas tree every single year, but I don't believe that stops my children from learning about kindness, or giving. Or Christ himself.
In my eyes, Santa is all that IS good in the world. He represents the good in ALL OF US. The kindness in ALL OF OUR HEARTS.
And while I certainly want my kids to know that Jesus is the reason for the season, I don't believe that having Santa in our house takes away from that, at all. I believe it helps our kids learn even more about giving and kindness. And it keeps their imaginations alive a little longer, and in today's world I believe our kids need a little more of that. There are so many things and people out there telling our children to "grow up" and why?
I like to think that in many ways- I'm still a child. I believe in magic, I believe in love. And I believe with my whole heart that Santa exists. He is with us all in spirit if we just open our hearts to him. My heart is open to Jesus every single day- but Santa? Sometimes he gives me the little extra push I need to be extra kind, giving and selfless.
I'm not saying any of this to offend or hurt anyone. I truly believe that Jesus shows us all individually how to do these things, and we are all different. And this is completely okay. But please stop shaming people who teach their children to believe in Santa. I'm not lying to my children and just because Santa brings them gifts doesn't mean they are any less kind or giving then a child that only celebrates Jesus at Christmastime.
Of course Jesus is the reason for the season, but sometimes Santa reminds me to keep him in my heart the whole year long.
God Bless you my sweet friends, and Merry Christmas!