Saturday, December 18, 2010


The view of Santa at our house may cause some parents to cringe. We have never taught our kids that Santa is real. We've not perpetuated the typical American glamour of Santa as the one who brings children their presents. We don't think it's wrong, but it isn't how either Luke or I were raised. I remember growing up thinking of Santa as a huge part of Christmas, but he was more of the decorative part than the center. He was the sparkling lawn or tree ornament that I loved, but I don't have any memory of actually believing he brought me my presents. Mine and my siblings presents were given to us by our mom and dad and grandparents and they'd jokingly say it was Santa at times, but it was just for "fun."
We've taken the same approach with our kids. Presents to our kids have come from grandparents, cousins and parents with a fun stocking from Santa. When Precious Jewel was about 5, we wanted to teach her about Santa, but we wanted her to know the history behind him because the real "Saint Nick" is so much more than a fat man in a red suit who brings gifts to children on Christmas. We searched high and low for a children's book that would tastefully tell the story of Santa without bashing today's view as well.
The Story of St. Nicholas
More than Reindeer and a Red Suit
published by Voice of the Martyrs
is the best book I've found that has beautiful illustrations for children
It's the true story of Nicholas of Myra who was born in the 3rd Century. "The real Nicholas was a man full of generosity and conviction...Nicholas is recorded to have exposed the corruptness off a government official during a famine. He uncovered the governor's deceitful actions of hoarding grain until the demand forced it into higher prices...He saved people from execution...Even though many have preserved the stories of Nicholas' acts of righteousness, few know of his sufferings for Christ." He was a man who suffered greatly for his beliefs in Jesus and how he stood for Him.
Our kids have loved the book and it's a favorite (next to our Christmas book "Morris's Disappearing Bag) that we pull out at this time of year. It's helped build the gap between what they are inundated with at school, the store, television, etc....
I was a little concerned when we attended the Breakfast with Santa this year. We've explained to the children that a lot of other kids believe Santa is real and it's not their place to inform them otherwise. Although, I discovered that last year Mr. Smiles and another little friend informed the rest of their friends that Santa was actually dead. Ooops! I hope repair work was done!
Precious Jewel shyly hopped into his lap and stated that she wanted earrings that didn't make her ears swell (heehee) and another American Girl Doll. She looked so big in his lap!
He was a very sweet and authentic looking Santa.
Mr. Smiles was next, but due to a certain curly haired little brother who thought it might be fun to launch himself off the high stage, I totally missed what he said and his cute photo opportunity.
He is my one who goes back and forth on believing in Santa because all his little friends do and then attempting to tell everyone around him that Santa is really the man who loved Jesus a long time ago and was thrown in prison for it. It draws some strange looks as well as interesting opportunities for conversation. ; )
I was a little wary about this guys photo opp. He has a history of doing or saying unsocial things, but he passed with flying colors. He was very serious about the whole deal and quite cute! I'm not sure what he said to Santa, but I think Santa did most of the talking.

Then there was cutesy-curly-top all dressed up in his red shirt (that was heavily crusted in donut sugar by the time he sat with Santa). I got all teary eyed. After seeing his siblings get their time with "the big man," he toddled right over and reached up to sit in his lap. Santa just quietly talked to him and poked his little belly when he realized that Naters vocabulary is still sorely lacking.
I remembered dear Mr. Smiles 6 years ago bursting into tears and frantically throwing himself off of the Big Man's lap. I'm sure those sweet store or event Santas have a love/dread relationship with small children.

Then he called all 4 kids to him for a "group" photo. I love Good Lookin's expression: still so serious but doing his best to behave and be up with his siblings. Mr. Smiles kept went back to adding to his list in great detail much to the amusement of our dear old Santa.

My sweet kiddos! Each of their personalities shine out in the picture!

Later they had fun in the fake fireplace while I filled out the forms for each of them.

She has learned to pose. = )

I love these guys and the little one who ran out of the frame right as I snapped the picture.

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