Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The End of An Era

Spoiler alert: I'm about to ruin Miracle on 34th Street if you've somehow managed to avoid seeing it.

This morning I came down the stairs just in time to see the judge declare, "Santa Claus does exist!"
The courtroom cheers!
The news is announced to the probably illegally gathered group of people crowding the street that "Santa Claus wins!"
The mob cheers!
The people from the vacated vehicles which are obstructing traffic on the bridge cheer!

And I cried a little.
A little sob might have even escaped.

You see, we've decided that Santa won't be visiting us anymore.

Santa still gets to be part of the holidays, just like Rudolph and Frosty, but he doesn't get to be the center of the holiday anymore.

This is really hard for me!

I grew up with Santa!
Evie grew up with Santa!

One of my favorite things that I looked forward to at Christmas was staying up late with Eric on Christmas Eve, drinking spiked eggnog, wrapping presents with the special Santa wrapping paper, while watching a marathon of Christmas movies that would bore the kids (usually while Eric played computer games, because apparently those old Christmas classics bore him, too).

I loved Evie's face Christmas morning when the tree that had been empty underneath was now bursting with packages for her! I loved the magic, hope and joy that Santa brought to her. She knew that Santa cared enough about her to listen to what she wished for and show up at her house every year.

Then one year Evie told my Mom, "I know Santa is real because my parents would never lie to me."

Ouch.

I often wonder if the magical myth of Santa wasn't as harmless as we wanted to think it was.

We asked Evie to believe in something that we knew would let her down.

I don't think that Evie will ever be able to trust us the same way.

And I'm afraid that part of her wonders if God is real, since we've asked her to believe in Him, too.

I hope that as she gets older she'll see the evidence of God's existance that was NOT contrived by humans and accept Him herself.

We don't want to have the same fears with Kaylie.

Each child is different, and each person has to make the decision for themselves to follow Christ or follow the world, but God has entrusted these kiddos to Eric and me to "direct [our] children onto the right path," so that "when they are older, they will not leave it." Proverbs 22:6

Santa doen't get to be the one we're waiting for anymore.
That spot is saved for Jesus.
Advent.  
His mother Mary waiting in anticipation for His birth.
Those of us who choose to follow Him holding our collective breath for His return.

Santa loves them enough to buy stuff for them.

Christ loves them enough to put aside His glory and give His own life for theirs in order to erase all the times they've missed the mark.

Santa offers false hope and limited joy once a year.

Christ offers eternal hope, satisfying joy, awe-inspiring grace and unconditional forgiveness that can be theirs every day of their lives.

At some point, they have to stop believing in Santa and the magic is gone.

It is my desperate prayer that they will NEVER stop believing in Christ and will follow Him, no matter what the cost.

I am NOT saying that no one should ever do the Santa thing.

I am NOT saying that Christians should never leave cookies for Santa, as some blogs I've read have asserted.

This is a personal decision that we've made for our family.

We just don't want to hinder the real, everlasting miracle that is Christ crucified.

If you've read this far, you might find this interesting.
After writing this post, I stumbled across this article on redeeming Santa:
Mark Driscoll on Santa, St. Nick, and Christmas Tradition