When I was a little girl, my favorite part of Christmas was shopping for my family. Each of us kids were given $5-10 (not a lot!) to shop for each other and Mom and Dad. Invariably, Tim would get a puzzle. For Laura, I would pick something girlie--Barbie clothes, perhaps. Then, we would all scrape together what was left to fill Mom and Dad's stockings. We would carefully choose our gifts--a pack of gum, a Whitman's sampler or a box of chocolate covered cherries, a pen and a pencil. We giggled as we rolled those pens up in paper, picturing Dad unrolling and unrolling and unrolling--because of course he could never guess what was in that package! ;-)
To this day, it's the stockings that are the most fun for me. I love picking up the little things for the kids and for Ryan--little treats that will make them smile. And shopping for the kids is always fun, picturing their laughter and excitement as they open their gifts.
This year, Megan is questioning Santa, mostly due to a friend next door who keeps telling her Santa isn't real. "You would never lie to me, right, Mommy?" Wow! How to answer that question! Even though I knew the truth about Santa at her age, I hate to end that childhood wonder--a wonder that I still have at Christmas time. Wouldn't it be cool if there really WAS a Santa!? lol
I laid the foundation this year by telling her about the real St. Nicholas--a man who loved Christ deeply and gave out of his wealth to the poor to honor Him. In Megan's mind, it's perfectly possible that God made this man immortal and allows him to deliver gifts to all the children--or that his descendants continue his work. So the question is, are we really just pretending, or are we really lying? And for what? Is the fun of the tree and Santa worth the cost? Is it just a harmless, fun tradition? I can't imagine NOT doing Christmas, and since the early church didn't celebrate Christ's birth anyway, I don't think it does any harm. BUT I still wonder...What do you think?