Although I do not get religious often in my blog entries, recently I had unsolicited advice given to me that I have been mulling over in my mind.
To say Liam is ecstatic about Christmas this year would be an understatement. When we went to see Santa he had tears in his eyes and a big smile on his face. Once he got on Santa’s lap he did not want to get off. Ava doesn’t quite get it this year, but I am sure next year she will be the same way. Watching the excitement I have to say has been very enjoyable.
However, a week ago when having a conversation with a woman I know she looked at my surprised when I told her about Liam and Santa. She then said to me, “I thought you were Christian. I am surprised you introduced Liam to Santa” I was taken back for a minute and I sputtered out, “Well why wouldn’t I?”
She then went on to explain how Santa and presents takes the focus off the real reason for the season. I unfortunately was left a little speechless and didn’t say much back.
After a lot of careful thinking I approached her this week with my following thoughts.
Yes I introduced Liam and Ava to Santa, and although I had questioned myself I feel more confident now that I made the right choice. Obviously part of the appeal of Santa are the presents and toys that he brings on Christmas Eve. However, there is a much bigger role that Santa plays that we often overlook. Santa teaches children to believe. To believe in something intangible that they cannot touch or see. For the exception of once a year where a child might get to sit on Santa’s lap, they never get to talk, play, or visit him, and yet children still believe. I think we all overlook the importance of believing in something. Whether it be Santa, or in Love, or in God, belief has the power to give us hope, faith, and strength so that we can get past hardships that we encounter. I am in no way insinuating that without Santa people would have a hard time believing in God. Nonetheless, I think Santa gives children an easier time in making that step to believing in a higher power when at a young age they practice in believing in Santa. Like so many things in our life, belief comes from learning and practicing. Whether we realize it or not every year that a child believes in Santa they are taking a leap of faith. This foundation that is created I know helped me in believing and taking some leaps of faith in my own journey in life.
I understand to many Santa overshadows the true “Reason for the Season” and maybe he does. Maybe I am guilty of letting that happen, but I can’t help but think that I am also opening my children’s minds and hearts to the possibility of something much larger than themselves, something that is beyond their understanding. Even for adults there are times when our faith is shaken and our beliefs are questioned. So maybe if Santa does nothing else maybe he can bridge the path to believing in God a little easier.