I’ll just straight shoot it, I do not like Santa.
I love who the original Saint Nick was. He was a generous devout Christian, who served as bishop in Myra. He helped the poor and the sick. I’ve had a constant battle within trying to rationalize the commercialized version of Saint Nickolas. In the past, I even went so far into thinking the “Santa’s key” would be a creative concept that would allow our children to wonder and imagine. But the relevance of Santa Clause eluded me.
Therefore, we’ve said good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Clause a few years ago. We still put up a tree and string lights and enjoy the contemporary Christmas carols. But I did not want to betray my children’s trust and expectations anymore by trying to convince them of this commercialized myth. Yes, I’ve had a lot of controversy over this. But you know, there are some things you just can’t prove and other’s you can. I believe God spoke to me clearly in my decision in that moment of seeing so many “elf’s on the shelf’s” and “Ho Ho Ho’s” . I know most holiday’s are pagan, I get it. But does that mean I have to follow every tradition? Or role with society? I don’t think so. Does that mean I have to put my daughter on a random mans’ lap every year and tell her that that’s “Santa” and if you tell him what you truly want and believe with all your heart he’ll magically give you it. It’s cruel. It’s unusual. It’s creating high expectations.
This year, once again, we will not teach our children that gifts under the tree are things you receive once a year ONLY if you are good from a hairy, large man dress in a red suit that lives in the North Pole. Instead, we’ll teach her YEAR round that random acts of kindness is more appreciated and selfless giving is more powerful. That those presents under that evergreen represent the blessings we receive. I do not want Christmas to be about Santa and what he plans on bringing my children. I do not want to manipulate my children into being good in order to fill their room with materialized junk that only become temporary fulfillments. There is only ONE true fulfillment. I just feel if Jesus is the “reason” then make him the most relevant. Give to the poor, help the sick, love your neighbor, be a blessing to someone. You can still have fun in this season, but allow it to be more giving rather than receiving. I honestly don’t know how Santa represents giving when most commercialized Santa’s state “naughty or nice”. What is the relevance of the cookies?! To support unhealthy midnight habits? I may sound like a scrooge to some and I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve supported this tradition for a long time and I do not condemn anyone who chooses to celebrate with Santa as the focal point. However, it’s not for me anymore.
I will allow my daughter to believe she is a princess and dress up as much as she wants because she is in my eyes; as well as in God’s. I want to prepare her for life and understand disappointment is not the end of it. I don’t ever want my Jesus to be placed on the shelf along side false idols. I need him front and center. Last year, I started a “Jesus letter”, it’s more like a hand written prayer. My oldest daughter (on her own) decided she didn’t want to write to Santa, but write to her father in heaven. In my tearful moment I felt proud that she understood why mommy and daddy do not place emphasis on Santa and ultimately it is still her choice. She took her pencil and paper and started writing the sweetest, simple prayer. Once she was finished, we rolled it up and burned it so the smoke lifted this paper prayer to the heavens. That night ,while everyone lay asleep, I started writing too. I felt as if the holy spirit moved within me and as I placed pen to paper words just flowed without stop or wonder.
” My sweet child, Mileena,
Thank you so much for my letter. Though Christmas is a time of the year when all should come together to rejoice and be merry, sadly not all can be. You see, I am troubled. The world can be a
wonderful, yet, hurtful place. But do not fear for I will always be with you.. I am so proud to be your heavenly father and one day, perhaps very soon, we shall meet again. Did you know I knew you when you were in your mother’s womb? Yes! I stitched you together. That is why your mommy and daddy always say to you how wonderfully and fearfully made you were. I know it can be hard because you can not see me but have faith! I am always there with you and you know I always listen to your prayers. In fact, because of your prayer, as well as your mommy’s and daddy’s prayers, I sent the holy spirit to guide them in my letter to you. I have placed in their hearts my message to you and they were obedient in writing my words down. I know you hoped for Santa but please understand that though he seems fun, he is not important. For only I know the good and the bad and only I judge. These gifts you receive are merely temporary treasures. I have something far greater for you and in time you will understand.. Be faithful my sweet girl, be kind, stay joyful, and remember to listen to what your mommy and daddy tell you as I have given them to you specifically to help guide you. Life can be strange but they will be my eyes, ears and will love you always as I love.. Take good care of your little sister for she needs all the guidance a big sister can give. You will have to set a good example for her so that she may grow and love like you do. You all are very special to me. I am so proud of you. We’ll talk soon!
P.s. You’re abuelo knows and loves you very much! “
This letter made us all sob. Knowing how much it meant to her meant a great deal to us as well. This year she has decided to write another. I pray the spirit moves once again.
How ever you choose to celebrate, just remember why you’re celebrating it.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, a reward from him”
” Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger”
Matthew 18: 2-6
” He called the child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone cause one of these little ones-those who believe in me- to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”