The delivery guy said to me apologetically "It has what it "is" labeled on the box..... I'm sorry...... "
To which I replied "Oh, that's fine!!! Not a problem at all."
His response was that of obvious relief- the poor guy may as well have wiped the sweat off his brow,
"Ya. It's really tough being Santa Claus right now...."
( I hear ya, buddy!)
Well? This is the final installment of "Convictions and Controversy". Here's the whole reason I started this set:
Santa doesn't come to our house; and our girls know it.
We've told them the "truth" from the get go. Ok. Not really. We never told them that Santa wasn't the bringer of gifts at Christmas time. We simply told them that God had blessed Mommy and Daddy with the ability to get gifts for them on Jesus' birthday- as a way to remember the amazing gift that God gave us... His son.
Here we are- the "ab"norm- on yet another subject, and up until this Christmas season- we've only had to fend for our right to "teach our kids what we want to teach them" among our family members.
Up until THIS Christmas season, our 5 year old Zoe wasn't in a kindergarten class full of Santa Clause believing peers, and up until THIS Christmas Season- we didn't realize just how strong minded our amazing little girl really was on the subject of "truth" and "not the truth".
Zoe's class began prepping for their Holiday Cheer and they were all talking about Santa. Apparently our daughter decided that they were all crazed loons for believing that Santa was the bringer of their Christmas gifts, and she wanted to remedy their illusions by announcing what all parents fear for their children to hear:
"Santa. Is. Not. REAL!!!"
The email I received from her teacher went like this:
I love this teacher. She's a perfect match for our Zoe. And because Zoe loves her so much, this was, indeed, a tough subject. Not because we didn't agree that Zoe could keep her "Santa Truth" to herself, but because Zoe (I feel the need to repeat- age 5) was NOT okay with keeping the truth to herself.
My (careful) response was this:
Her teachers response went like this:
And the remedy of all remedies occurred after this amazing teacher took the time to work with our precious daughter to ensure that she was comfortable, and secure- despite her controversial beliefs!!!
This was NOT the norm in these types of situations. Most families get angry and offended when a child announces what "they know" about Santa. My youngest sister, as a matter of fact- who's baby is 9 months old, contacted me about the situation and clearly announced that
"If your kids tell my daughter that Santa isn't real- we're going to have a big problem.....".
Ouch. That hurt. (And my sister and I are close, too!)
But it's not the first time a family member got upset regarding what we teach our children.
And the sting of it didn't burn for very long.
It's not easy to live by what you believe.
We don't think it's necessarily BAD to do Santa. It was just our personal conviction NOT to. Our choices were based on a thought process that said this:
We want our children to believe that everything we teach them is The Truth. We teach them about a Living God, and a Savior, and we tell them Bible stories, and we explain that it's "real".
We wanted to stick to a "The Truth Only" path. So that later in life- there isn't a question about what was 'real' and what was 'not'.
Interestingly, our 7 year old has decided that she "wants to believe that Santa is real...." and pretend like he comes down the chimney and brings her presents.
We said "sure" to her desire to pretend, with a reminder that Santa was "actually really truly NOT REAL".... and a bit of confusion in our self about whether it was "ok" to pretend or not.
She asked us if it would make God sad for her to pretend, and I said to her with complete humility
"Baby, I have no idea. Let's just pray about it- and if you feel like it's okay to pretend, then I think it'll be fine..."
We don't have all the answers. That's WHY we have to follow our convictions.
Controversial or NOT.