Today my heart is very full. It may be a new year but, I want to share some of our Christmas joy because we’re still feeling residual effects from our Christmas break. I’m feeling very blessed, to a depth I’ve not felt in a long, long, time.
You see, the last few years have been hard. Like an elephant sat on me, ate a couple tons of thanksgiving dinner, polished off dessert-Merry and Pippin style, and then forgot to get up again—ever again.
There were the financial difficulties of living on $13,000 of course, and finding out little man’s medical issues, but the real enemy has been far more stealthy and internal. So stealthy we still don’t have a diagnosis for my chronic fatigue or fuzzy brain.
We’ve started to make some drastic lifestyle changes in the last few months, cutting out all sugar, grains, and dairy. We’re doing this in hopes to help both the Sir and myself, but we’ve seen only slight progress—no real improvement, until Christmas break.
After some slight routine changes and new sensory input our son has started to imitate! He listens! He’ll follow simple directions! I see him growing and I’m in awe. We’re not sure if it’s the diet or all the new sensory input Christmas décor brings (more likely a combo of both); either way we’ll take it!
We put our Christmas decorations up the day after Thanksgiving. It’s been so wonderful, seeing Sir Ring-a-lot experiment with all the different bells, having a touchable Christmas tree, and helping Sunny make awesome presents for her teachers. It’s also been fun to go Christmas light looking, failing at making anti-candida treats, rough housing, crafting my life away, caroling, acting out the nativity story, and being with family. It’s all been a joy.
During all the hub bub and bustle of Christmas this past month, a friend asked an interesting question on Facebook:
‘So, just out of curiosity, how many of you current mothers of young children—DON’T do Santa?’
My curiosity was peaked—was this a new trend? I sorted through my thoughts, trying to figure out how I felt and followed the thread. Several people claimed to have never believed, many explained how to handle the jolly fellow, there was a lot of talk about respecting other people’s belief’s and the like. Not one person spoke for the benefits of inviting Santa to join their Christmas. That really bothered me, but I couldn’t seem to express why. Today, I can.
I don’t feel that believing in a jolly, gift giving elf diminishes the birth of our Savior in any way. At our house we view him as an extra wise man who continually gives in an effort to spread Christmas cheer. Santa has helped my son understand the joy of giving. He’s an iconic figure that has greatly helped Sir bounce-a-lot get into the Christmas spirit and inspired us to talk about Christ more often.
Christmas is a time for miracles and magic. The miracles belong to Christ; I thank him for my son’s developmental leaps and the atonement while I also thank Santa for amplifying the inherent magic of the season.
I believe in Christ.
I believe in miracles.
I believe in Santa.
I believe in magic.
…and here’s why.
Our world is stressful! Our schedules are overloaded and our words are analyzed at a level never seen in the history of man. I deal with anxiety and my head constantly feels like it’s about to explode.
Believing in Santa has brought me joy, a rarity in my life of late. So, I don’t care if I’m right or wrong about his existing. So long as I believe, this season is magical. I don’t care how the presents get under the tree. If I believe, those gifts have an added sparkle. Because I believe—I’m happier—so I believe.
Magic is imperative to a child’s imagination. Magic opens new worlds and vistas. Magic brings wonder and joy. So I support magic.
The Santa I know honors the Christmas spirit and encourages giving, he loves the Savior. The Santa I know doesn’t use coal as a ‘be good stick’. He gives a yearly reminder that obedience is important, that good and bad do exist and matter greatly. The Santa I know brings wonder and joy. He fires the imagination and encourages creativity.
I don’t care if it’s just a story, good stories are worth believing. That’s why I’m a geek after all.
The Hobbit was the first (and only) chapter book my father read out loud to me.
I was in first grade when my dad read Tolkien’s work out loud to all of us girls. I remember the anticipation, the agony, waiting to find out what was going to happen to my friends. I loved it, until the end when my little world crashed. That was the first time a character ever died for me. In my then perfect world, my friends didn’t die, everyone came out fine. Endings were supposed to be perfect, or perfectly happy. I cried for days, because it really affected me.
Apparently it still does. This Christmas season we got free tickets to see The Hobbit and I totally balled in the theater. I knew that dreaded scene was coming, I had steeled myself for it, and I still cried. Afterward I felt tears prick behind my eyes in the restroom and on the walk to the car. Why am I such a blubberpuss!?
It may be just a story, but it’s a story that lifts me up. It’s a movie that had me crying and helped me release pent up feelings. For the first time in months, I felt stress leave my body. My head relaxed and cleared. It may be ‘just a story’ but that story had real chemical benefits for my body, because I chose to believe it. I choose to believe in stories that encourage, up lift, inspire, and instill magic.
I know few who do it better than Santa Claus. Does any other figure give that bright of a sparkle and wonder to a child’s eye? Sunny was constantly making up stories about Santa and I loved it. If she were to do that about Christ it would have felt sacrilegious. So we honor and love Christ while leaving the make believe to Santa. Both are needed and both are loved.
So I choose to believe.