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Friday, December 4, 2009

Santa's team

So I still struggle a little with the whole "Santa lie." I don't know why I can't tell my kids without a little guilt about Santa. In the past I've just never played it up and let them get their own excitement from friends and school and such. And even on Christmas morning none of our gifts are labeled from Santa -- the kids just assume they are since they only have who they're to, not who they're from. One friend said, "Why is it that we can deceive them into thinking they're winning a game legitimately or that we're truly excited about every drawing they give us, but we feel guilty about the whole Santa lie?" So true!!!

I wonder if this is why some of my neighbors never let their children believe in Santa? I think that's sad since it really is fun for kids. I don't even remember "finding out" about Santa, so it must not have been too traumatic. However, I have a favorite story I thought I'd share about one boy's journey to finding out the truth about Santa. I found it online last year after wishing for years I had a copy. Duh! You can find anything online.

BTW, my next post will have comparisons/symbolism between Santa and the Savior, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on that, so be thinking about it until my next post (or all season, if you prefer :).

Here is the story called "Santa Grandma." Unfortunately the online version I found had it listed as author unknown:

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now put on your coat, and let's go." "Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.

"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone else who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.

The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out when suddenly I thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all the kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he had no coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.

Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the tag tucked inside: $19.95.

I love that story, and I hope you're all on Santa's team! :)


Melissa Basua said...

So sweet! Brought tears to my eyes! thanks for sharing!

Scotty said...

Great story, thanks for sharing.

Bruce & Sylvia said...

Darn you anyway. I was doing quite well with tears today. Great story

Leslie said...

LOVE IT! What a cute story! I have a cute book that talks about Santa and Christ. Wanna borrow it?

the Rowleys said...

I have always loved that story! I too have been struggling with the "Santa" thing. I haven't really played it up, but Michael is very interested in him now and asking tons of questions. I have settled on telling him that Santa is celebrating Christ's birthday by doing what Christ asks all of us to do, love eachother, so he gives everyone gifts to share the love, and that we too give gifts to celebrate Christ's birthday. I think that is where I am going to go with that. But I had a boy over the other day that was wanting to know how Santa got into our house, and such.... I didn't want to make an elaborate story, but I didn't dare tell him... so I just left it as "I don't know, maybe you mom will know."