Greetings to all of you from The 7 Year Adventure! We hope you are enjoying this wonderful holiday season with your families. We certainly are.
Last week our son came home from college with his fiancé. We are anticipating a visit this weekend with our older daughter and her husband, and my teenager, Andrea, is home from high school and sick with a bad cold. Hopefully she is on the mend now in time for Santa and the rest of the family to come.
Funny thing about Andrea and Santa Claus. She has never really believed in him. She is way too practical for that. We knew such notions would be hard for her to maintain, mostly because she has two older siblings who stopped believing years before. But the magic and joy of Christmas has always been emphasized and celebrated in our home, Santa non-beliefs notwithstanding.
The Joy of Giving
Perhaps not believing in Santa Claus was a good thing after all. Instead of being so wrapped up (can’t resist a good Christmas pun) in thinking about what they wanted to get for Christmas, my kids were, and still are, frequently focused on what they want to get and do for others. I have always loved this about them.
I would ask them, even when they were young, what they wanted for Christmas. Often, they would shrug and say I don’t know because I have everything I need.
Then, they would set out to find out what other people wanted for Christmas. I was always taken aback by their willingness and eagerness to be givers instead of just receivers. One of Andrea’s favorite things to do as a young child was to go shopping for the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. She loved filling the boxes with gifts for other children who needed so much.
I also love how they genuinely want to get gifts for each other. And I really love watching them go about carefully choosing and preparing gifts for their grandparents.
So not believing in Santa is actually A-Okay with me. Perhaps there is something more. Perhaps hope, generosity, compassion, love, and the sheer joy of giving without expecting anything in return are the things I want my kids to believe in and remember about their Christmases.
During this season of gifts and giving, I am reminded of the Greatest Gift the world has ever known. The Gift of a baby so many years ago, God’s gift of love, wrapped in just a simple cloth. Nothing grandiose or fancy. Just a humble, precious gift.
What more could I ask for?
Merry Christmas, and