This year marks a first in my household… everyone knows Santa is not the bearer of Christmas gifts.
In one evening all dreams of the jolly white guy and his gift giving were thrown out the window when my children (both aged 9) asked if he was, in fact, real. This question sparked a conversation about why and for what purpose we celebrate in December. We talked through our Christian beliefs and how we have the gift of Jesus and the sole reason to celebrate is because of Jesus’ birth. We had the opportunity to talk through what it means to have a generous heart and that gift giving comes in many forms. Although we only ever gave our kids a single present from the large white-bearded dude, he somehow took on the persona of all things Christmas, and at times, outshined the real star of the show.
I’m excited for this Christmas and the opportunity to engage our kids with the most special experience of the season: the true “surprise” of what is to come. We will reclaim the holiday as one focused around the miraculous birth and make the season about the greatest and only gift that matters – Jesus.
Julie Andrews, children’s ministry director