See, the thing is, the moment was perfect. I was poised and ready, perfectly positioned to blow Santa’s cover.
“Mommy, can you tell me why the box in your room said ‘To Tucker, from Santa,’ when it wasn’t even Christmas morning yet and Santa hadn’t been here yet?”
And here it is. My moment in time to kick the red punk in the shins and take the glory for myself. I gathered my cherubs around me for a moment we would all remember, the morning Mom Told The Truth.
I said, “Let’s talk about things that aren’t real. Like… Big Bird. Is he real?”
They laugh knowingly. “No, of course Big Bird isn’t real. And neither is Elmo.”
But we’ve never actually talked about how Elmo and Big Bird function and exist if they are not in fact real. And suddenly we were teetering a little too close to my own moral code of magic undefined.
I didn’t know where to take the conversation. Next in line would be Mickey and Minnie, and they are woven into our family fabric. Disney princesses… no, no. Cinderella is my own personal fantasy. And for that matter, so is Princess Anna. The tooth fairy? She may be forgetful, but she gives courage for all that wiggling and loosening and bleeding.
“But it’s fun for children to believe in them, Mommy. If you ask, like, a two-year-old or a four-year-old, she would say, ‘Oh yes! Elmo is real!'”
In that moment, I knew that if I showed them the wizard behind the curtain, I would alter their view of the entire world. They would question it all, all the fun of pretending and the joy of not knowing for sure.
Once you know, you know. You can’t give back the knowing.
So, I said, “Well, that tag was on that gift because… well, I was just helping Santa out.”
“That was nice of you, Mommy.”
“Yes. Well, you know. It’s what moms do.”
I bailed. Santa lives to see another year.
Phew!!! So happy to know you bailed…let the “magic” live on….don’t fret about the glory..it will come in due time. :)
Santa Claus is a faux-Jesus. He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Children pray to him. He is the source of all goodness and good things everywhere.
By contrast, the Bible says God is a jealous God. He does not share His glory with anyone. He alone is the source of all good and perfect gifts. He alone is worthy of credit for them.
To attribute to anything or anyone the divine attributes of God or to give others credit that ultimately is His alone, is to commit idolatry. Santa Claus is THE American idol. (We also attribute God’s works to Mother Nature and Jack Frost, the American trinity.)
God is all about truth–and yet He is the originator of fun. Fun, fiction, fantasy can be, has to be, distinguished from truth. You are not doing your children a favor by leading them on in believing in fables and fairy tales as fact. When the truth comes (as it did for me when I was three, started down the stairs like Cindy Lou Who after a glass of water and saw my parents doing his job under the tree), you will lose credibility and they will have lasting doubts about the reality of this other invisible, all-powerful Person you and church try to convince them is real.
Have the courage to give them fun without lying about it.
wow. why don’t you tell her how you really feel. sheesh.
While I respect your stance on God’s jealousy–and have decided not to ‘do Santa’ with our kids for a similar Cindy Lou Who reason–your self-righteous condemnation of Tricia’s choice doesn’t smell like Jesus at all.
I bless you to know His grace in new abundance, so it can spill over to others.
I’m in agreement with Jessica. I love you, Tricia, and I pray for you every time I read anything you’ve written, and also whenever the Lord brings you to my mind. I pray that you will see the wisdom in Jessica’s words. There is so much magic and wonder in the world as it’s been created by a loving God! We don’t have to add Santa or the Easter Bunny to a world that is already amazing and glorious. Even marred by sin, it’s astounding to contemplate the beauty of a sunset or the rapidity of a hummingbird’s wings. There is joy in family, love in relationships, community in church. So much happiness to be found.
I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you Jessica. Yes, my God is a jealous God and he doesn’t want to share me or my praise. But to take away the spirit of gift giving that is represented within Santa Claus I believe would take away a part of the WHOLE season we celebrate. And trust me, when my child throws temper tantrums (fyi, she throws them after spending a weekend with a parent that is a self proclaimed satanist), I firmly remind remind her that Jesus is the reason we celebrate, she has no foundation to demand any gifts and Santa can and will refuse a stop at our home on Christmas eve. Teaching the joy of giving and receiving gifts (even through Santa) is parallel to receiving and sharing the gift God sent to us and I don’t believe God is in competition with Santa. Quite the opposite in fact. Even if Santa is a “myth”, the spirit of giving should ALWAYS be there.
I’m glad you let the magic live on another year. Your family seems to be strongly rooted in faith and your the boys’ enjoyment of Santa, Mickey, and the like won’t infringe their love of God. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. The truth will come out all too soon…and I think you may actually miss those days a bit once it does ;)