The wonder of Christmas brings the holiday alive for me in the sparkling eyes and perpetual smiles of the children. Their anticipation, happiness and wonder as they await a visit from Santa Clause makes the shopping, crowds, and clean up worth while. Controversy rages over the idea that we lie to our children when we tell them about Santa Clause and his reindeer only to break it to them years later that Santa isn't real.
Well...there's the problem. Santa is real. When the sensible, realistic, mature members of society ask you to be rational and honest with your children about Santa Clause...Do it.
#1-Offer Proof. A few years ago, I was recovering from a transplant that nearly killed me. The organ only lasted 30 hours, I bled into my digestive tract and I was hospitalized for two weeks. Erik missed work, drove back and forth between Salt Lake City a number of times and pickens were slim. My oldest was in and out of Juvenile detention and between the court costs, the missed work for arraignment and the fees and fines, my other kids didn't have much of a Christmas to look forward to.
Christmas Eve arrived with the sound of the doorbell just as we were putting the kids in bed. When we opened the door we were met with stacks of wrapped presents and a red bag full of treats, toys, and a jar full of cash and change. I swear I heard reindeer hooves on the front lawn!
-#2. Take proof of the opposite opinion. A lady I know is spending Christmas alone as her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson are stationed in Okinawa, Japan. "Santa was a fun idea," she told me. "When my son was little. This time of year is just lonely and empty because all of the hope and joy surrounding Santa Clause is missing without kids in your life." I watched this dear lady receive secret treats and gifts every day for two weeks before Christmas with no person delivering them. I watched members of her family, her friends and her neighbors deliver visits, hugs, and service to her, all followed by "Merry Christmas". If you don't believe because the holidays are hard and no one is showing up with secret gifts or unconditional love, its not Santa who is missing. It's the people who work for him. The individuals who don't believe and forget that Santa is all about sharing, loving, and spreading anonymous Joy. Prove to me there is no Santa.
-#3. Santa is a myth, magic, Superstition...True. True. And True. The powerful magic Santa has is a gift God gave to the world in the birth of His son Jesus Christ. Santa spreads this magical power and shares his reputation the same way The Savior does. He is known all over the world by both believers and non-believers. To some he is as real as the jolly man in red who visits the mall. To some he is just an idea promoting love, generosity, and unselfishness. The bottom line is...He works for God. He finds the hearts and homes who need him. He fills the rafters and rooftops with hope and faith. He is a tool in the hand of God. Even if you don't believe...you can't deny He is in your life. Like it or not.
So if you'd like to criticize people who tell their children about Santa, ask yourself why? If Santa Clause works for God and we work to help Santa take care of those he can't reach...then All the world is touched by the love of God through Santa Clause and those of us who still believe. Those who believe in his mission, in his purpose and in his magic. I don't "break" it to my kids that there is no Santa. I believe there is. I've experienced his gifts of magic, love, unselfishness and hope throughout my life. Sometimes from his master and mine, Jesus Christ. Sometimes through his clandestine, visits and sometimes through the hearts and hands of the people who work for him. I tell my children that he is real because you can't prove to me he isn't. So whether you believe in the gifts of God, The jolly man in the red suit, or the boundless goodness of your fellowmen. It doesn't matter. You, too, Believe in Santa Clause!