As children get older they begin to ask questions about Santa and other children, leaving parents to explain the situation. Sometimes the answer is quite imaginative. Such was the case years ago when our oldest, Lauren, became inquisitive.
Learning that many poor children don’t receive presents on Christmas, Lauren asked my mother, her Granny, why Santa doesn’t deliver gifts to them. Of course, it’s not because they are bad children: being rich or poor doesn’t make a child bad or good. Granny responded with an interesting explanation: poor children didn’t receive any gifts because their parents didn’t have the money to give Santa to provide the presents. You see, parents help Santa by paying into the program that allows him to deliver the gifts; reindeer don’t eat for free, and it cost money to make the toys. So those who can’t pay into the program don’t get any gifts.
To our young daughter’s mind this made perfect sense. However, that turns Santa into a con artist, an investment fraud, a huckster, a holiday schemer. Santa is a Christmas charlatan! If you want to get the goods, pay into the program. Can’t pay into the program, then you get no gifts. Based on the story Lauren heard, Santa would be Bernie Madoff’s holiday hero!
For all the children who may read this, I’m pretty sure the “pay-into-the-program” method is not how it works. There are things in this world that we cannot explain, things we call mysteries. For example: how do reindeer fly? What holds the sleigh in the air? How does a big, fat Santa fit down tiny chimneys? How does one man visit billions of homes all over the world in a single night? I don’t know how these can be possible. Sometimes there are things we can’t explain, but we still believe.
So parents and children alike — don’t worry about what we can’t understand. Just have faith that somehow it all works the way it’s supposed to work. We call that faith. The same goes for Jesus, too. How can he be fully God and fully man? How can he raise from the dead? How did he go up into heaven on a cloud? How can Jesus save his own enemies? I can’t explain these things — they are mysteries. But I can, and do, have faith anyway. I believe Jesus paid for my sins, rose from the grave, and loves me. I deserve punishment, but Jesus gives me love and salvation instead because he took my punishment for me. If you believe that, you will be saved!
When it comes to Santa, though, don’t worry about how it works out, just have faith that it does. Rather, be the best father, mother, son, or daughter you can be — because Santa Claus is watchin’ you.
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