Miss Sofi Bug has a very analytical mind.
She wants to figure everything out and she wants everything to make sense.
Hence, Miss Sofi Bug figured out the truth about Santa early the Fall she was only 8 years old. Ugh!
I had been reading a book to her and Miss Emma Bean that caused the girls to ask if certain mythological characters, like the Loch Ness monster, were real. I explained that they were not real.
Miss Sofi Bug quickly began to process through every single thing the Husband and I had ever told her about fairies, the tail we told her she'd had removed as an infant, etc. (she totally knew we were joking about the tail! I think. I'm pretty sure!) She asked us what was real and what wasn't, Santa included.
I didn't want to push Miss Sofi Bug to believe in Santa when I could clearly see she knew the truth and at that point would not tolerate anything less than full disclosure. Sigh.
I think it had a little to do with figuring it out at a young age and a little to do with her need to have everything in life make sense that caused her to be pretty upset that the Husband and I had "lied" to her.
Miss Sofi Bug's struggle with the "lie" caused me to wonder why we tell our children there is a Santa. So I did some research.
The tradition of Santa Claus is a tradition carried on in remembrance of Saint Nicholas, who, as a devout Christian gave away all of his inheritance to help the needy, the sick and the suffering.
I quickly realized the tradition of Santa is not bad, it was how we, as parents, presented the message of Santa that was not so great.
The message that Santa will only bring toys for good little girls and boys is wrong.
The truth is Saint Nicholas gave freely to others and wanted others to believe in that same spirit of giving!
The truth about Saint Nicholas very much reflects the real importance of Christmas.
God sent His Son to earth. A gift for us. All He asks in return is that we believe in the name of Jesus as the only one who saves us from sin.
John 3:15 That whosoever believes in Him (Jesus) should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him (Jesus) should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him (Jesus) might be saved.
18 He that believes on Him (Jesus) is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
I told Miss Sofi Bug that I had done a poor job of representing Santa and what he stands for. I told her that her Dad and I would do better. We would keep the tradition of Santa alive as a reminder to freely give to others and we would keep the tradition of Santa as a small earthy reminder of what God gives to us.
Miss Sofi Bug felt a little better, but she was tense right before Thanksgiving that year knowing Christmas was coming and she still was not sure how to cope with the truth she now knew.
As Thanksgiving drew near the Family stopped at the apple orchard to purchase some apples.
As we got out of the car, Miss Emma Bean's eyes lit up. She saw Santa walking toward us. He wasn't in his red suit. He had no sack of toys. He was just a man who looked like Santa. He had a long white beard, a belly full of jelly and a jolly face.
Miss Emma Bean was beside herself with excitement asking me if it was indeed Santa coming toward us.
Miss Sofi Bug gave me a knowing smirk that frankly said, "Yeah, whatever! I know better!!"
We walked past the Santa look alike, Emma all a twitter.
He stopped in his tracks.
He looked at the girls.
He pulled two small toys out of his pocket and handed one to each of the girls!
He wished us all a Merry Christmas and walked away.
I cannot properly explain to you the look that was on Miss Sofi Bug's face that moment. She was shocked! She was delighted! She did not know what to make of what had just happened. She once again asked us if Santa was real. Was that the real Santa?
"Yes!" I said. "Santa is real. He lives in the hearts of all who are willing to freely give to others!"
We met up with Santa when we went to get our Christmas tree that year.
The very same Santa who helped restore my girl's belief. Not so much in the belief that Santa will come down the chimney and leave gifts for her under the tree, but that Saint Nicholas loved the Lord and gave to the needy and that Santa can still have a place in our Christmas celebrations.
We have run into Santa many times over the last few years and I am ever grateful for those little toys he gave the girls!
No, Christmas is not all about Santa, but Santa is all about showing the giving heart of Jesus!