I was shopping for Christmasy stuff yesterday, when I saw three ornaments of children playing in the snow. They reminded me so much of my three children. I wanted to buy them for my kids. As if having those ornaments would freeze the growing up process somehow or lengthen it in some way. They didn't seem as interested in the ornaments as I was, so I decided to pass.
Then I saw this ornament of a little girl peeking out from behind a Santa mask, and my whole heart sighed. It sort of symbolized my whole approach to Christmas and our traditions surrounding Santa. I have tried strategically to teach our children who I believe Santa is, what he is about, why he gives, and how we can carry on his tradition of serving others.
Then my mind jumped to a conversation that I had with Guy the night before while we were making gingerbread cookie ornaments for our tree. He asked me,"Mom what does 'Justin Bieber sucks' mean? I mean what is 'Justin Bieber sucks? What is that?'" The boy that Guy sits next to in Kindergarten has older brothers, and he repeats what he hears from them to Guy. It was sort of cute that Guy had no idea what a "Justin Bieber" was or what the rest of that slang phrase meant (thank goodness!) We told him about slang words and that they are not nice, and that we don't repeat them.
This conversation brought the dreaded thought into the back of my mind: Soon, someone is going to repeat stuff about Santa to Guy that I am not sure I want him to hear yet. How do I feel about that?
I think the image portrayed by the ornament that I found today was an answer of sorts to speak peace to my Mother heart, because my answer to "How do I feel about that?" is this: I want to protect the magic. I want to preserve the wonder and amazement and innocence of childhood dreams. And when the time is right, I want to be the one to gently pull back the mask to reveal more of the beautiful truth.
I think of this quiet wish of my heart, and I think parents for generations have felt this way, long before I came along. And I think of our Heavenly Father. I think of how many things he would like to tell us when we are ready to hear them. I think of how beautifully he has intertwined truth into the very fiber of our beings and into everything that he has created, so that when we have eyes to see, we will see them. And that truth will not seem foreign at all, but will feel like the whisperings of our own hearts, spoken aloud at long last.
There is a pattern in all things. I am thankful for patterns.
I am thankful that Jesus Christ set the perfect pattern for us to model our lives after. And I am thankful that "ALL THINGS denote that there is a God..." even a Supreme Creator. That Supreme Creator is God the Father, who, through his son Jesus Christ, has created the world in which we live, whose birth and life we celebrate this month.
Because I believe that literally all things denote that there is a God, I can learn about God from just about anything....even Santa. So however you choose to celebrate Christmas with your family this month, I wish you the very merriest of months! By the way, Santa has already dropped off a letter enlisting my children to help him by taking care of a few people on his good list. You can read more about our little tradition of being Secret Agents for Santa here. Happy December, everyone...Let the games begin!