Friday, December 4, 2009

The Man in the Red Suit

My daughter has been asking a lot of questions lately. Oh, she's done this many times before but now, I find myself having to stop and really think of what to answer. This particular season, when there is Santa Claus and his reindeer in bright neon lights glowing on the rooftop of our neighbor's house, she asks, "If Santa goes down through the chimney, how does he get into our house? We don't have a fireplace, mom." This is quickly followed by, "Can reindeers fly?" I try to stall as my mind races, so I say, "It's reindeer, honey. No s. You just learned that in Language, right?"

I look at the rear view mirror as I park into the garage. She is deep in thought. Before she can ask another question, I say, "He does that in countries where houses have chimneys. Here, he probably goes through ... the window." Uh-oh, I think I just drew a picture of Santa looking like a burglar. Not good. "And maybe the reindeer ... are ... enchanted!" I use the word enchanted a lot, it still works sometimes. But then comes the next question. We are in Brain Quest mode now. "How can Santa bring all those gifts around the world in just one night?" Aha. My mind is finally working. I use this as a chance to slide in what I've been wanting to teach her about Christmas.

"God gives Santa the power to do that. See, God is Santa's boss. All those gifts come from Him -they make it in the North Pole but they can't do that without Him. Santa's just the messenger." I think it flies over her head, but she keeps silent. I know she is pondering this ... and that is a good thing.

The questions stop for now. I make a mental note to look for a book about the real story behind Santa. I know that soon I'll have to decide when and how to tell ... that a long time ago, a bishop named Nicholas gave up all his wealth to serve God, bringing glad tidings to the poor and cheer to the little ones. And when he did, everyone made it to the list.


  1. Hi Mug Mom! Thanks for visiting my blog. There is a book that incorporates Santa and St. Nicholas. I want to say it was called, "Santa Claus, are you for real?" Not sure though. I eventually told my children that there really is a Santa Claus, that he is St. Nicholas and he is in heaven. Because he's in heaven he needs our help to bring toys to boys and girls and so parents have to help him. something like that. Good luck :-)

  2. Have you seen "Santa keys"? If you don't have a chimney, you leave a key hidden that only Santa can use to get in your front door. They look like old fashioned keys...very cute!

  3. Such a tough question, 2 out of our 3 kids know the "real" story, but they are older. It would break my heart not to allow our 5 year old to enjoy the joy of Santa, for now...

  4. Yes Suzanne, it's tough - plus if I tell my older child about it, she will blurt it out to my younger one. But Rosemary's idea sounds like a good one, so we can keep the "tradition" for a few more years (and my daughter can be part of the helping out eventually.) Will also check out those keys Jenny suggested- that will make it more real for us here! :)

  5. grace Whang CruzMay 24, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    I tell my son the same thing -- pray to Jesus for the gift you want. If he decides you deserve it, he'll send Santa to deliver it. So yes, Santa is just a messenger. He and I believe this with all our heart!