I am watching “The Polar Express” and crying. I cry over and over when I watch this movie. It is the second time in 2 days that we have seen it (I breed repeat movie watchers and I love it.) The most touching part is the very end when the young boy receives the bell from Santa’s sleigh after he thought he lost it. He opens his present Christmas Morning and seeing what it represents for him just tugs at my heart.
The idea of Santa Claus is controversial among many church-going people. Many feel that the idea of Santa detracts from the reason we have Christmas in the first place. And because they don’t want that distraction, they don’t do the “Santa Thing.” In my house we didn’t have Santa. I think David might have once or twice but his family didn’t go all out.
However, in our house, we do the “Santa Thing.” Cookies and egg nog (our Santa likes Egg Nog-not warm milk, yuck) and carrots for the reindeer. I love that Nathan has something magical to believe in, to dream about. As I think about our decision more and more each year, I think that Nathan’s grasp of something magical and slightly mysterious will only make it easier for his to grasp the true “magic” of the birth of Christ-another story of mystery and wonderment.
I want Nathan to not be ashamed to believe in the unbelievable. I want him to have no doubt in his heart that the things he treasures so deeply are true. Including Santa Claus, the magic of Disneyland, believing in something so hard and so much that it will come true, wishes on stars and coins in fountains. Because as he believes in those things and continuously hears from us of the great things that God does in his life and the lives of those around him, he will easily understand something that so many adults cannot even grasp: FAITH.
And it is working. Ask my son about his thumb, he will tell you that God touched it with his Healing Hand and made it better. Want to know what a scab is? It is God’s Band Aid. What is the meaning of a rainbow? It is God’s promise that He will always take care of us. And don’t try to tell my kid any different. For as sure as the sun rises, as sure as Steve finds all three clues, as sure as we have sandwiches for lunch every day-there is a God. And He loves Nathan. (And YOU too!)
I realize that this post could be 15 times longer as I discuss the pros and cons of teaching my children about Santa Claus. I could also discuss the good and bad of a (slightly creepy) movie like Polar Express. However, and I give you the credit for being smart enough to realie this, this was not the purpose of this post. I respect those who choose to not teach of Santa as well as not watch Polar Express, I hope that you can respect my decisions as well.