When we first got married, Michael and I had a fight. Go figure, right? Well, it was about what we would do with Christamas once children came into the picture. Michael grew up in a family without Santa in the picture. The year Michael was born, his parents became Christians and were adamant about teaching only the true meaning of Christmas to their kids. So Michael did not know what it was like to have a Santa experience.
In our family, we totally did Santa! I loved it. I loved the mystery, the excitment, the fun of waiting for Santa to come. We left out cookies, we left out carrots, we waited up to see if we could hear him. It was so sweet and fun to me. I could not wait to have those moments with my own children.
We stated our cases, and consulted some family friends about the issue. I think Michael reluctantly gave in to the idea, as long, of course as Jesus was our primary focus. We then talked about the fact that we wanted our children’s focus to be as much on giving as possible and not so much on receiving. But how? My love language (and source of financial woes) is gift giving. I LOVE IT. Christmas at my home growing up was a non stop gift opening extravaganza. While enjoyable, I wanted something a bit differnt for our kids.
I heard an idea about giving kids each 3 gifts for Christmas just like the wise men brought to Jesus. Wow, cool! Not only was that an instant stopping point for shop o holic me, but it also allowed another teachable moment about our Lord. It has been wonderful and freeing. The kids don’t complain- they actually are in awe that they are getting 3 gifts. Not just 1. That is not to say they do not deal with greediness or the gimmes, but it turns their focus elsewhere when they know that 3 is it. If it was good enough for Jesus, then it is more then enough for them!
Now as for the jolly red suited man, he fills our stockings. We make cookies and egg nog for him. We put out carrots and celery as well as magical reindeer food on our lawn for the reindeer. We get letters of thanks from Santa, and that is so fun. Even Michael loves the look on the kids faces when they see the chewed on carrots (those reindeer are messy) and the cookie crumbs. (Especially when Daddy has a tummy full of egg nog, cookies and carrots….LOL). That is how we do gifts in our family.