Seeing Santa Through My Daughter’s Eyes
December 11th, 2011
I remember believing in Santa Claus as a child, but as an adult, I’ve been a bit ambivalent about the man in red. I’m okay with the pretending (some people throw the word “lie” around) and I’ve never gotten too worked up over the “Jesus vs. Santa” thing that some Christian parents struggle with (although don’t get me started on the “Santa at the manger” figurines!). I think it was probably the super-commercialization of Christmas that had me feeling a bit underwhelmed by the chubby guy in a suit encouraging parents to buy way more toys than their kids need.
But now I have a three-year-old and I suddenly get it, because this year I’m seeing Santa through Miss Mouse’s eyes.
And to her, Santa Claus is magic.
Our church has the somewhat odd tradition of having Santa show up at the annual congregation Christmas party. We prepped Miss Mouse that He might be appearing and she was giddy at the thought. When getting dressed, she requested pigtails — “to show Santa.” Then she asked if she could borrow a necklace of mine to wear, because she wanted “to show Santa.” On the way to the church, we talked through the interaction, and she announced her intention to give him a big hug.
When the time came, she was a bit nervous, but in a shy, awed sort of way (in contrast to the abject terror expressed by my son). She didn’t sit on his lap, but inched near to him and whispered her desire for a puzzle. It was adorable.
On the ride home, she replayed the event to herself and I’d hear small snippets of monologue from the backseat:
“…I said ‘ho ho ho’ and then he said ‘ho ho ho’ back to me!“
“…He’s going to bring me a puzzle and a baby doll on Christmas Eve.”
“...Santa was there!!“