Friday, December 03, 2010

The Death of Santa

Before Michael and I had children, we always said we wouldn't do the "Santa thing". Didn't want to lie, of course. Then, after we had Lilla, and we began to remember the magic and wonder it created in our lives as children, we decided to do one present a year from Santa. We try not to make it that big of a deal, the books we read and the stories we tell around this time of year have much more to do with the actual Christmas story than the North Pole and flying deer.

Of course, Lilla is a child and children are enamored by the whole idea of this big guy in red who gives presents and slides down people's chimneys to eat all their cookies. Most kids pretty much leave it at that though, I think. Not my Lilla though. With Lilla, things are never quite that easy.

I was cleaning out the storage room yesterday when she wandered in and starting talking about Santa. I think she had been watching Rudolph. So she starts saying things about how nice he is, what kind of things he might bring, how we need to leave cookies, you know, the usual childhood concerns.

Then, out of nowhere she asks, "Does Santa ever die?" This, of course, floored me for a second. I don't like lying to my children, I teach them it's a commandment and it's pretty serious according to Revelation 21:8. So, I took a deep breath and said, "Lilla, is there anyone who never dies?" She thought for a moment and said, "God." I responded, "Right, and is Santa God?" She said, "No." I then asked her if Santa ever sinned. She said that he did and we discussed how our sin is what causes us to die and so Santa would have to die too.

I then talked with her about how Santa is more about showing love and kindness to others. He is just
a guy who likes to give presents to people. And, in the end, that is something we should do too, think of others. Thinking about others before ourselves is in the Christmas spirit and what God wants us to do too. So, it's not about what Santa brings but showing others kindness. We then talked about how truly the greatest Christmas gift was not brought by Santa but by given by God in the form of a baby.

She then went back to playing and what not and I was left there to consider how my own life in this busy Christmas time was revealing this story. And it made me grateful, grateful for a child that challenges me and reminds me what Christmas, and life for that matter, is truly about.


Shelley said...

Sweet,Lilla! Only she would ask such a profound question. Good job Amy!

gail said...

Amazing answer. I could never get into the Santa thing and my daughter used to try to talk me into believing!

Brigette Joy said...

Amy, you are doing such a wonderful job being a mom! My parents always told us Santa was pretend and a fairy tale. We still had plenty of fun at Christmas, and would still get presents from Santa.

Janet said...

Wow! What an amazing little child you have! I love how the mind of a little one works. I can't wait until my toddlers can understand the meaning of Christmas. Kuddos to you for your great explanations!

Anonymous said...

Whew! I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how you would field such a question and I think you handled it perfectly! My little dude is starting to ask questions a bit like that (he's into geography so it's more like "How could Santa LIVE at the North Pole - there's no place to grow food!") and I've tried to just seem mysterious about the whole thing but now I'm thinking maybe a sweet, God-inspired chat like yours might be the better approach. Thanks for sharing!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Such a wonderful story! We also teach our kids that Santa was a real person that gave gifts a long time ago and people still celebrate his kindness... and of course they believe he's still real. For now.


melsdaisypatch said...

Gotta love those precious babies when they remind us what this life is supposed to be about. My sweet son tends to do this for me. He is our future pastor.