I have always felt that my encounter with the "real" Santa Claus that day was significant spiritually. I hear a lot of talk in Christian circles about how harmful it is to "lie" to children about Santa...or how including him in our Christmas celebrations is pagan and detracts from the true meaning of the holiday. But somehow, I never felt lied to. And when I finally put aside my affections for the man in the red suit, an even stronger faith in Jesus remained.
My mom and I were talking about this on Christmas Eve--in the kitchen, where we have so many of our heart-to-hearts--and she said that she had been thinking recently about how much the anticipation of Santa Claus parallels our waiting for Jesus. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that was just really beautiful.
And it's true--those nights when I would make myself sick thinking about Christmas morning, those Christmas Eves crammed in a double bed with my three cousins when none of us could sleep for the excitement, they really were just a foretaste of what's to come.
It's been a long time since I slept cross-ways in a bed with my cousins on Christmas Eve, but Taylor and I have carried on the tradition. Every year, she camps out in my bedroom and we read Jolly Old Santa Claus, just like our mom and her sister did when they were little girls, and just like my cousins and I used to. It's a fanciful tour of Santa's workshop that makes you feel just a little homesick for days when Santa was real and you could count on his coming. The illustrations are stunning. This year, Taylor has been going through the Advent readings, too--so we read them together after the Santa book. The parallels were incredible:
Say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come...He will come to save you."Isaiah 35:4
The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!"
He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.Revelation 22:17, 20
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.