I am afraid that I inadvertently hurt some feelings with a facebook status on Christmas day. I hope that most people know me well enough to know that I honestly didn't intend to offend anyone or brag about what we were doing. I was honestly very overwhelmed when I woke up on Christmas day with the awesomeness of the Truth that God is with us. If I offended you with my facebook post, I am truly sorry and I hope that it will not cause harm to our friendship. I have a sweet friend who is on a plane today headed to meet her son, after more than a year of waiting and hoping and praying and trusting. As I woke up the day before she boarded a plane to bring her son home, I was overwhelmed with the thought of the people of Israel, waiting for centuries for their promised Messiah, and the knowledge that HE'S HERE! I could hardly keep the tears from falling as I sat there in the dark, everyone else still sleeping. I was genuinely grateful that I didn't need to interrupt that feeling and thought process to show my kids what "Santa" brought them. This year just seemed so much more special to us as we looked ahead to celebrating Christmas.
Now, I do not think that you are a sinner or bad parent for doing Santa with your kids. We watch movies and read books that have Santa in them, but we have talked about the fact he is not real, but based on a real person who loved Jesus and wanted to follow His example of loving others with all he had. No presents in our house come from Santa (initially because of laziness and just not wanting to go to all the trouble, now for other reasons). For our family, this was the right decision. Admittedly, I am a little jealous of the families that are able to honor Christ, celebrate His birth to the fullest, and include Santa in a way that still points to Christ. But, I know that we are not that family. I like to think that I multi-task well, but the truth is, I really don't. I know that there's no way I could do Santa and Jesus and truly give Jesus the honor that He is due. I know many others that can do that and I wish, at many times, that I could be like them. Also, my children, like their mother, tend to be pretty inward focused and we have to work very hard against that. I know that not all children struggle with this. I have no been creative enough to figure out how to do Santa and not make it all about them. Maybe I am just not creative enough.
I'll go ahead and admit now that we also don't do the Tooth Fairy. This is a direct result of the fact that we don't do Santa. We though that if we weren't going to pretend Santa was real, it would be silly to pretend that the Tooth Fairy is real. Fortunately, we have some friends at church that gave us a fun Tooth Fairy replacement idea and now it's a fun game for all of us!
But, the biggest thing I want to say here is that what I think about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or anything else, doesn't really matter to others, or it shouldn't. We are doing what we feel God has asked us to do. It may not be the same thing He has asked you to do. I don't condemn anyone who celebrates differently, just as I don't condemn those who are being obedient and not homeschooling. The most important thing for you and me to do is to OBEY. Sometimes that's hard and lonely and makes you feel left out. But I encourage you to do it anyway. It's always the best option, even if it doesn't feel like it. Even if it makes you different from everyone else in your family, church, or community. If it's what God has asked you do to . Do it!
I pray that God will strengthen all of us to step out boldly in obedience in all areas of life, no matter the sacrifice involved. I know that's what I am praying for myself, a changed heart that desires Christ and obedience to Him in all things. To think of Him before I think of the cost. To be an example of faith and love and trust and obedience to Him that will point my children to Him in all things. Sometimes I'll get it right, sometimes I'll have to ask for forgiveness from Him and my children and try again. But I pray that I will always keep striving to be like Him!