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The Santa Dilemma @ Inspire a Fire

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My post at Inspire a Fire this month is about my experience with Lewis and the question of Santa Claus. You can read the first part here and follow the link to the rest of the story at Inspire a Fire.

The Santa Dilemma – Keeping Jesus at the Center of Christmas

“Mom, is Santa real?” my curious six-year-old asked as I tucked him in and kissed his cheek.

‘Here we go,’ I thought. I took a deep breath and went the history route as I did with his older brothers. Speaking truth, but leaving a little to the imagination.

“Well Lewis, there was a guy who lived a long time ago. He was called Saint Nicholas, and he was a very kind man who gave gifts to the poor and who loved children very much. His kindness is how the story of Santa Claus began.”

“Oh. I didn’t think he was real. Tomorrow I’m going to tell Michael that Santa is really Saint Nicholas, but now Santa is dead.”

Not exactly the response I was anticipating.

It is entirely possible he went to school the next day and attempted to dash the hopes and dreams of his classmates. But I’m pretty sure most children would choose to believe their parents over their classmate with a mohawk, so I didn’t feel too bad.

I take no issue with families who play the Santa game. Who create elaborate schemes to keep their kids believing in the jolly fat guy for years. I can see the fun in it. I just couldn’t do it. When my son asked me point blank, I could not look him in the eye and tell him this guy actually exists.

The rest of the story… The Santa Dilemma

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Night Under the Tree

by KimHarms 0 Comments

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There’s nothing like sleeping beneath the Christmas tree. At least that’s what my boys think. I love their annual tradition of spending a night each December under the tree with their daddy.

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The Santa Dilemma

by KimHarms 0 Comments

Welcome if you are visiting from the Hearts at Home Third Thursday Blog Hop.  This month’s topic One Perfect God got me thinking about the perfect Jesus and the jolly old elf Santa. Read on to see how the Santa dilemma went down at our house this year. 

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“Mom is Santa real?” my curious six-year-old asked as I tucked him in and kissed his cheek.

‘Here we go,’ I thought. I took a deep breath and went the history route as I did with his older brothers. Speaking truth, but leaving a little to the imagination.

“Well Lewis, there was a guy who lived a long time ago. He was called Saint Nicholas, and he was a very kind man who gave gifts to the poor and who loved children very much. His kindness is how the story of Santa Claus began.”

“Oh. I didn’t think he was real. Tomorrow I’m going to tell Michael that Santa is really Saint Nicholas, but now Santa is dead.”

Not exactly the response I was anticipating.

It is entirely possible he is at school right now dashing the hopes and dreams of his classmates. My genuine apologies to anyone affected. Feel free to tell your kids that Lewis has been misinformed. I’m pretty sure your child will believe you over their six-year-old classmate with a mohawk.

I have no problem with families who play the Santa game. Who create elaborate schemes to keep their kids believing in the jolly fat guy for years. I can see the fun in it. I just can’t do it. When my son asks me point blank, I can’t look him in the eye and tell him this guy actually exists.

Maybe it’s because I’m so terrible at bluffing. (I would never win at poker.)

Maybe it’s because I know one day Lewis will know the truth and he will wonder how many other things his mom lied to him about.

Maybe it’s because I’m selfish and want to sign my own name in the from spot on the gift tag. I don’t want to give some imaginary guy credit for those gifts I bought  for Lewis to open on Christmas morning.

But mostly I want him to know that this holiday is not about a jolly fat elf. It’s about a Savior who came as a baby. Do I think parents can successfully teach kids the true meaning of Christmas and still let them believe in Santa? Of course I do. I have friends who have done it beautifully. But I can’t get the thought of Jesus and Santa playing tug-of-war in Lewis’ mind out of my head.

People may ba-humbug me. Or call me a party-pooper.  Or think I’m ruining my son’s childhood or any other number of things. That’s okay. I realize I am in the minority here.

But as the day of Christ’s birth comes closer, I am more convinced of my choice. The season is still filled with wonder. What’s more fascinating than a stable-born baby who came to save the world?

It makes me smile to look  at our nativity set on the hearth. My Santa disbeliever Lewis has full charge of that manger scene, complete with a broken sheep and a wise man with a cracked head.  And he chose to put Jesus in the center and position every other piece in a half-circle facing the baby. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing way to arrange the display, but it is just as it should be.

Santa may be dead, but our perfect Savior is alive and well.

Though my Lewis will not be dreaming on Christmas Eve about the mythical guy who slips down the chimney and leaves shiny toys, he just might be falling asleep with visions of a tiny baby in a stable and angels singing to shepherds on a hillside. (Oh and somewhere in that dream sequence I’m sure he will be drooling over those brightly wrapped gifts mom and dad put under the tree.)

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

I’d love to hear how your family handles Santa Claus. I welcome other opinions. I just ask that you be kind about the way you state them.

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Merry Christmas. . . Pass the Puke Pail

by KimHarms 0 Comments

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Corey and I both got diarrhea on our Cancun honeymoon. (I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mind me sharing that.) I guess they really mean it when they say “Don’t drink the water.”

Months after that, we both got the flu and clung to our porcelain throne together in our iddy-biddy apartment bathroom.

We learned quite quickly that married life is not all bliss, and the unpredictable adventures life tosses our way make perfection an unrealistic goal.

Add children to that equation and the adventure meter spikes while the perfection meter takes a giant nose dive.

So when I read that No More Perfect Holidays was the theme for the Hearts at Home Third Thursday blog this month, I thought, “that’s easy.” Is Christmas ever perfect? For anyone? Jesus is perfect so I guess there’s that, but the rest of us? Not so much.

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It was about 9:00  in the morning, the day after we arrived at Corey’s folks for Christmas last year that our oldest said he didn’t feel so good. By dinner that night, four out of the five of us were down for the count.  Food poisoning contracted at a family-fun work Christmas party turned out to be the culprit. The only reason our little five-year-old peanut didn’t have the pukes and the runs  was that he had been too excited about the arcade games at the party to eat the food.

It’s really too bad we all didn’t follow his lead. . .

There’s nothing quite like lying helpless at your in-laws house passing around a puke pail and taking turns in the bathroom. On the upside, Corey’s folks have two living rooms, so our sick family had the basement to ourselves and got some quality family football watching in on the giant TV. Another plus? I don’t think anyone put on any extra pounds from Christmas treats (though my super-slender kids could actually stand to gain a few.)

We all survived and regained our health in time to enjoy some fun with the cousins, but we won’t soon forget the Christmas our bodies revolted.

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I am so grateful that though my life is imperfect, my God is not.  Perfection came to earth that Christmas so long ago, and no matter how difficult, disappointing, mediocre or fantastic our Christmases are, God’s perfection is unchanging. And that perfect life that laid in the manger 2000 years ago is still perfect today. And I am excited to celebrate his birth once again – minus the puking and the diarrhea of course.

Philippians 2:5-11

have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

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