I’ve been told there are 4 stages of believing in Santa Claus. Have you heard of this?  Unfortunately, I believe I’ve reached stage 4.
Wanna know what they are?
The first stage of believing in Santa is that you believe that he is real and that he is going to come down your chimney on Christmas Eve and bring a bagful of toys just for you…Only if you’ve been good.  Of which I always had to ask myself the question?,,,Good for how long?  The day before Christmas or the whole year.  Well for me, that was an impossible task if was for the whole year.  So I understood why there were years we didn’t get much.  But somehow everything we received was just right and I knew that Santa must really be watching, because he knew just what I needed.

]The second stage was that you don’t believe in Santa anymore. I was about 9 or 10 when I remember on a hot summer day we had taken tomatoes out of a friend’s garden and hidden ourselves in the friend’s tool shed and were eating the tomatoes.  I don’t remember if one of us mentioned that maybe Santa would see us “stealing” the tomatoes and he wouldn’t bring us anything for Christmas or not. My friend told me I didn’t have to worry because my parents were Santa.

I remember I was in disbelief and ran home to ask my mother if she was lying to me or not.My mother was standing at the sink when I asked her and she never confessed to the whole made up scenario. She just said, “Santa was the spirit of Christmas”– whatever that means.  It ruined the rest of the summer because I felt like something I had believed in had been taken away from me.

So when we had children I decided I would not tell them that Santa was for real. We still had fun with Santa. We always emphasized the true meaning of the holiday. But Santa was just a fun little mythical character that did magical things on Christmas Eve. At times I felt as though they missed out on some of the magic of Christmas. But at least I didn’t have to tell them that I was Santa.
Which brings me to the third stage:  I am Santa!!!!  And that part was for real.  I realized early in our marriage how busy the real Santa really is at this time of the year. How not only was I Santa, I was also the chief cook and bottle washer for the holiday.
Not only was I in the kitchen about 8 hours each day before Christmas, I was in charge of making all of this food we were going to consume was the tastiest ever! Which now I know why the fourth stage of Santa is:  You look like Santa. The belly truly does look like a bowl full of jelly and you have to ho ho ho all the time so that everyone will think that you are having fun.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I love Santa. He makes me smile and remember how my parents tried so hard to make us happy that special time of the year. He brings a lightness to my spirit and a little magic to the holiday season.
But, what I truly love about the season is the truth that Christ brings to a world full of lost sinners like myself. How He came to a lowly manger as a human being knowing of his mission to satisfy a Holy God for my sins and failures. Yes, most of the time the seriousness of the season is celebrated in private as I escape to my room amidst all the Christmas guests….Just to be alone and say, “Thank you Jesus that I have family and friends to celebrate Your life with! Thank you that I have a home and food that I can give to others. Thank you that I have a salvation from all my sins, mistakes and failures. Thank you, Jesus that you love me anyway. Thank you, Jesus, that I don’t have to worry about how good I’ve been before you’ll love me. Thank you that you paid the price for me and to all who believe.
The season leaves me with just one thing to say, “I love you, Jesus!” Now that’s something to celebrate!
Have a Merry Christmas and I give thanks for you all!
– Debbie