Sunday, December 16th, 2012
2 years, 1 month.
Yesterday Mommy and I took you to the Bass Pro Shop to get your picture made (for free!) with Santa. Despite our low expectations about how you would react, it went very well…
We were first in line, out of hundreds. More importantly, to my surprise, you didn’t cry.
Granted, I warned/prepared you all week:
“Jack, do you want to meet Santa on Saturday? Do you want Santa to hold you?”
Your response was always a grunted version of yes.
The more I thought about the concept all week, the more I realized how going to meet Santa Claus is sort of…peculiar.
There is no other situation where parents encourage their kids to sit on a stranger’s lap and get their picture taken.
At best, it compares a little bit to Halloween; how parents take their kids around the neighborhood peddling for candy. Under any other circumstances, that would never happen.
Still, I think going to visit Santa is a very cool and memorable thing.
Something that especially stood out to me when we met Santa at the Bass Pro Shop is that the last thing he said to you was “I love you.” And he said it like he meant it; like a grandfather would say it. He said it like he was waiting for a response.
I think about all the children who went after you in the Santa line. Not all of them hear “I love you” from a father figure as much as you do.
So here it is; this is the obligatory picture of you with Santa that I shared on Facebook. You may not remember it happening. Either way, I’m sure we’ll be back at Bass Pro Shops again for your Santa picture next year.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
With good reason, I’ve never been able to legitimately process the double standard of leading a child to believe in Santa Claus while at the same time teaching them not to lie.
It’s interesting how far we have had to stretch the lies, just like with any outrageous falsehood, in order to keep kids believing.
“How does Santa fit down the chimney? How does he fit all the toys in his sleigh? How does he travel the whole world overnight?”
(Insert ridiculous answers here.)
Yes, the legend of Santa Claus was born of Christian folklore, so as a predominately Christian nation, we can rest assured knowing that jolly ole St. Nick has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He has been confirmed, baptized, and even has a tattoo of John 3:16 on his arm.
Yet we can’t deny that in the way John Lennon once infamously claimed that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, the fame of Santa arguably is greater than the actual reason Christmas came to be celebrated in the first place: the birth of Jesus as the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament.
But can we really get caught up in this particular double standard? Aren’t there other white lies we tell our kids to either A) comfort them or B) entertain them? Yup.
A very traditional white lie I’ve heard parents tell their kids is that when a loved one dies, in particular a grandparent, that person becomes an angel who watches over them in Heaven.
Sorry, the Bible doesn’t say that. I don’t know of any popular religion that actually does.
Besides, what does that even mean? How does Grandpa Murphy “watch over” your kid? Does he part the clouds, look down and see little Jaxon about to run over a stick while riding his bike, so Grandpa sends a few of his buddy angels to kick the stick out of the way just in time, saving Jaxon from crashing his bike?
Sure, the Bible says that there are guardian angels, but we don’t actually become them ourselves after entering Heaven. So it’s a white lie.
It’s a similar thing when a beloved pet dies. Yeah, all dogs go to Heaven, just like that movie that came out when I was in 2nd grade. Cats? Yeah, them too. The goldfish? That’s debatable. Now, let’s stop asking so many questions and finish eating this delicious Hamburger Helper dinner.
Don’t worry, we “helped” that cow go to Heaven quicker and meet all his cow family that were part of those burgers we grilled out last weekend.
Image: Traditional Santa Clause via Shutterstock.
Want to read more on the subject? Today I am giving away a copy of the new book, Christmas is Not Your Birthday, to one lucky and curious reader. The book’s author, Mike Slaughter, is the lead pastor of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio.
Through his church’s annual Christmas Miracle Offering, over $5 million has been raised for humanitarian relief in Darfur. If you ask me, this guy sounds like a real life Santa Claus. Not one that gives toys to kids, but instead someone who helps keep them from dying.
Just be the first person to A) leave a comment on this post saying you want it and B) send me an email including your mailing address to email@example.com
Categories: Deep Thoughts, Must Read, Nostalgia, Spirituality, The Dadabase | Tags: American, animals, Christianity, Christmas, church, eating animals, Heaven, pets, Santa Claus