‘Tis the season

Becoming a mom has made Christmas my favorite holiday. There are instagram jokes going around where the dad is just as surprised as the kids to see what the kids got for Christmas, and that has been true in our house, especially with Andy’s crazy schedule during residency and medical school. However, this year he has definitely been more involved and even made some purchases of his own. I used to be kind of a brat (Andy and my parents can both attest to that). If they didn’t get me thoughtful gifts for Christmas I was super disappointed and had no problem showing them that. But, as a mom, the joy has shifted to gift giving. I LOVE finding the perfect gift for those I love. It makes my day when I see them light up when they open the gift I thought of just for them. I get this talent from my dad. He has always been a very good gift-giver. But I would say Andy is definitely the more generous of us two. My kids even contributed to a secret Santa this year and I think they began to feel the joy that is in giving. I think that I am way more happy and blessed when I give to others than when I receive. Aside from the gifts on Christmas morning, I love creating the magic for our children. The gingerbread houses (maybe one year I’ll be brave enough to make the ginger bread myself), the advent calendars, the Christmas decorations, and the moving elf. This year, our Elf, Alfred, has a new helper– Max. Since Andy and I were gone the first week of December and I didn’t want to add one more thing to my mother-in-law’s plate, Andy and I decided to tell Max about the Elf. I thought it meant I’d have to tell him that Santa wasn’t real either, so I started it off with, “Do you believe in Santa?”

Max replied, “Yes.”

My heart sunk, I didn’t want to be the one to shatter the magic, but I felt he was old enough, and we needed his help with the elf, so I went forward. “Well, Santa is more like a symbol that mom and dad use to show the gift of our Savior’s life.”

Max looked confused. “But, Christ is real, right?”

I hadn’t thought how to separate the two, so I kind of scrambled, but I asked him, “Max, what do you feel when you think about your Savior?”

“Good.” (He’s not a man of many words).

“That is a testament of truth. When you feel good about Santa, it’s because what he represents is the joy of giving. We use him to remind us of the gift of our Savior. So Jesus Christ is very real, while Santa is a symbol of all that Christ gives to us.” He still looked a little confused. I continued, “So you know the elf isn’t real, right?”

He looked up at me, a slight smirk on his face, “Uh yeah. I knew the elf wasn’t real. I saw my teacher move ours, so I knew it wasn’t real.”

I loved the innocence in his reply. I loved how he still believed in Santa even though he knew these moving elves weren’t real.

“Well, don’t tell anyone at school, we don’t want to ruin it for them.”

“Oh, no one at school believes in Santa Clause.” But he did! I really love how innocent this kid is.

“Does this make you sad?”

Max shrugged. “Kinda.”

“Well, we needed to tell you, because we need your help with the elf since we’re going to be out of town the first week in December.”

He looked up, a smile beginning to spread on his face. “Can I do it after you get back too?”

He has been doing it every night (honestly, I’ve forgotten and he’s done it without me even realizing it!). Making magic for others truly does bring joy.

After the kids gave us their explanations of their gingerbread houses, Andy asked, “Why are so many of your gummy bears struggling with Christmas lights?” Kids like to mirror what they see ;). To be fair, Andy only “struggled” this year because he put up hooks all around the front of the house to help make it easier in the future, so next year should be much easier.

Bev had her monthly show and tell. She is getting to be quite the dancer!
I had to miss church today because Harvey had a nasty cough and Max was running a fever, but I got to watch Maverick and Beverly sing their musical number virtually. I love the addition of virtual church for those who can’t make it, a remnant from the horrible COVID era.

Leave a Reply