(I hesitate to share this, since we want this to be a secret activity that our family is doing this season, but the blogger in me wants to share this idea with other mommies who might want to do something similar with their children. If you are interested, I'm sure Santa would be happy to enlist your children as well!)
We woke up yesterday to find this letter from Santa tucked into one of our stockings.
Here is the message that he left for us:
"Hello my friends, Santa here.
I've come to check on my Guy, Scarlett, and Autumn dear,
To see if you've been good all year.
(And you have...at least that's what I hear.)
I know that Guy has had some fun
Helping his sisters each one.
Scarlett is learning how to play
Nicely with siblings every day.
Autumn has sure come a long way
With all of the kind words she has learned to say.
Mom and Dad have been good through and through
And now I have a special request for you...
You see, this year I have so many children on the "good list"
And I don't want a single one to be missed,
So I need your help during Christmas this year
To bring these families some holiday cheer.
Now go to work my little elves
Bringing gifts, singing songs, and giving of yourselves
I'll be back Christmas Eve to see what you've done.
Enjoy each adventure, have lots of fun!
After reading Santa's note, we all agreed that we would be happy to be Santa's special (and secret) helpers this holiday season. Guy pulled out a slip of paper and started writing down names of people he wanted to help. He carried his list around discretely in his pocket all day yesterday to remind him who he wanted to help.
After school, we went to visit some people who were on Santa's "good list". While we were visiting with one woman, we asked her if Santa came to her house. She said that he did. Then Guy asked her what she wanted Santa to bring her. She thought for a moment and then said, "I'm hoping that Santa will bring me a BIG hug from a little boy." Guy got this big smile on his face that said, "I'm a little boy and I can give BIG hugs!!!" I gave him the go ahead, and he gave our new friend a nice big hug. It was really special. He felt so important and like he was doing something that only he could do. I could also tell how much this hug warmed the heart of our friend.
Later, as I tucked Guy into bed I told him how proud he made me today when he hugged our friend. (All of my kids actually do a great job serving and being a light to those we visit.)
Guy said, "We were sent there by Santa." I said, "Yes, we were. We were following what Santa asked us to do...and do you know who Santa follows?" Guy said, "No, who?" I said, "Santa helps people and comforts them and takes care of them, because Santa follows Jesus. So when we help people, we are also following Jesus." A light seemed to go on in Guy's head and then he asked, "Does Santa make good choices?" (Making good choices is a favorite topic of ours around here.) I said that yes he certainly does make good choices. Guy seemed very pleased with this and drifted off to sleep.
"Homage" by Danny Hahlbohm
(The rest of this story is not as pretty...all three of my kids caught a stomach bug at the place we've been visiting for the last two days, so they "had the throw-ups" as we say at our house, all last night, but it's a blessing that it was just a 12-hour bug. We hope to be back to Elfing soon!)