Sunday, December 21, 2014

Monday Funday: Major Christmas Parenting Fail

Shortly after the birth of our first child, we, as followers of Jesus, were confronted with the challenge of celebrating Christmas accurately. We're NOT the hyper-spiritual, party-pooping kind of parents who believe that Santa is just a weird way to spell Satan. On the other hand, we really wanted our kids to celebrate the real reason for Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ—from which we get the word Christmas.

What to do?

For the first several years, we simply focused on Jesus and his birthday—no anti-Santa stuff—and it worked great. However, Stacy and I sensed that with each passing year—as our children grew and became more inquisitive—we would have to deal with the “Santa issue.”

As the next Christmas crept up on us, we decided to research the story of Santa. Of course, we found out that Saint Nick, according to legend, was a Christian man who lived long ago—and, in short, was famous for helping the poor—get this—by sneaking into homes and leaving gifts. With this information in hand, we patiently waited for one of our brilliant kids to ask about the fat guy in the red suit.

As fate would have it, shortly after we did our research, Billy, my then 3-year-old son, asked my wife, “Is there really a Santa?”

My wife, nervous but poised for this question, launched into something just slightly less than an oral doctoral dissertation titled, “Santa: Jolly Fat Man in a Red Suit or Good Christian Man of Old?” Throughout the informative historical lecture concerning the original Saint Nick—my 3-year-old son listened the best any active little boy possibly could—which, thanks to his father's genetics, was not too good.

After Stacy's speech, Billy asked one simple question: “Is Santa still alive today?”

Stacy thought for moment and then responded, “No. But at Christmas many people dress up in honor of him and his generosity to others.”

Billy simply said, “OK.” And with that, he went off to play happily—probably torturing his one of his sisters in some creative fashion.

The next day, as my wife was Christmas shopping with our children, one of the well-meaning grandma-type clerks at Kmart approached my son and excitedly asked, “Is Santa going to bring you lots of toys this year little boy?”

To my wife's absolute horror, my son looked the clerk squarely in the eyes and adamantly said, “Santa’s dead!”


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