Mommy’s Kissing Santa ClausPublished 11:00pm Saturday, December 21, 2013
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I have always been very logical. Everything has to make sense. So, at the young age of 8, I had some suspicions about Santa Claus. “We don’t have a chimney. How does he get into our house?” “How do the reindeer fly?” “How can Santa visit every child’s house in the world in one night?” “How can there be more than one Santa Claus in town?” My parents were interrogated beginning at about age 3. By 8, my questions had grown and though Mama and Daddy were creative in their answers, I needed answers for myself. So, I did what any little girl would do. I looked up “Santa Claus” in my Paw Paw’s encyclopedia.
“Mama, I looked up Santa Claus in the encyclopedia and it said he is a “myth” and I looked up “myth” and that means fake.”
I was angry with my parents. They had deceived me. And why? I wanted to tell my little sister so I could have an ally. But, Mama and Daddy asked me not to tell the first-grader. I had to keep the secret. After talking with my parents, I decided they were not technically liars or mean. They were just observing a Christmas tradition, made to bring joy to children. I just happened to be one of those children who decided not to sleep with her baby doll anymore at seven years old because she felt she was too mature.
While I had the books open, I went ahead and looked up the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, too. Those were always hard to swallow for me. A giant bunny hopping into your house? A tiny flying woman obsessed with bicuspids? It was all very strange. Plus, I had caught Daddy one morning with his hand under my pillow after having lost a tooth. I sleepily looked at him and he quickly answered, “I was just making sure she came.” Like I said, creative.
I may’ve had trouble believing in Santa Claus as a child, but I would pray at night, “God, I believe You can make reindeer fly.” This was my logical answer and this is why I believed in Santa until the age of 8. My parents played Santa Claus for the fun and wonderment it brings to young children; but I knew God was greater than Santa and had more meaning and purpose. As a little girl, I enjoyed the fun of Santa Claus, but the real meaning of Christmas never had to fade. My parents taught me about a baby born in a stable and laid in a feeding trough. They taught me that He came to save me. And He did.
On Tuesday night, little children will snuggle in their beds, hoping to hear a sleigh bell or a thud on the roof. I also hope that with the dawn, they remember the baby in the feeding trough that came to save them. Have a Merry Christmas and celebrate the birthday of the King with your family. Oh, and I would say, make sure your encyclopedias are hidden from your children, but they have access to the Internet now. Good luck.
You may write to Jessica Boyd Smith by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.