In this post, I thought I’d talk about what believing in Santa taught me about Jesus. But first, I wanted to share this quote by Frederick Buechner:
“It is impossible to conceive how different things would have turned out if that birth had not happened whenever, wherever, however it did…for millions of people who have lived since, the birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life, but a new way of living it. It is a truth that, for twenty centuries, there have been untold numbers of men and women who, in untold numbers of ways, have been so grasped by the child who was born, so caught up in the message he taught and the life he lived, that they have found themselves profoundly changed by their relationship with him.”
I believed in Santa until I was in the 8th grade.
That’s right…the 8th grade.
I’ll never forget the arguments I’d have with my Algebra class leading up to the month of December. It was basically me against the future top 10% of my graduating class.
I had three go-to argument points:
- One year, I talked to Santa Claus on my cousin’s walkie talkie. It was me, my cousin, and our neighbor pal. We were headed outside to play when my uncle suggested we take a walkie talkie with us. You know…just in case something happened on that 50 ft walk to our neighbor’s house. As we stood in the street near the entrance to the woods, we began tuning our walkie talkie. We turned the dial to read Channel 7. Suddenly, the static cleared and “HO! HO! HO! MERRRRRRY CHRISTMAS!” boomed from our walkie talkie. SANTA CLAUS HAD INTERCEDED.
- Another year, we found a piece of Santa’s red suit caught on the fireplace door. We had PHYSICAL PROOF that Santa Claus existed. A PIECE OF HIS SUIT WAS IN OUR POSSESSION. Be jealous.
- And yet, a different year, Santa forgot where his manners were and didn’t wipe his feet off before entering our living room. His ashy boot prints contaminated the carpet. SO RUDE, I know. But he left presents along with his footprints so we forgave him, obviously.
Anyone who knows me is familiar with my…um…tendency to get riled up from time to time. The pitch in my voice raises *JUST A FEW* notches and I get wrinkles on my forehead. Just imagine my 8th grade self, wearing a side-ponytail and basketball shorts, of course, defending Santa Claus against 20 of my smartest classmates.
What a joy it was.
Ironically, it wasn’t the arguments with my classmates that made me stop believing in Santa Claus. I won’t call out the REAL culprit (you know who you are). They will forever be known as the one who made me (sweet, little innocent Kristin) stop believing in Santa and, quite frankly, I think that is punishment enough.
Because there’s a Friends reference for every life situation…
Joey: “I’m sorry to burst that bubble, Phebes, but selfless good deeds don’t exist. Okay? And you know the deal on Santa Claus, right?”
Phoebe: “I’m gonna find a selfless good deed. I’m gonna beat you, you evil genius.”
Phoebe: “Hey, Joey, when you said the deal with Santa Claus, you meant…”
Joey: “That he doesn’t exist.”
*Joey casually walks away*
Was I the oldest person in history to still believe in Santa? Well, according to Friends and Google, no (and yes, I asked). Regardless, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Although I couldn’t see Santa, I passionately believed in his existence. So much so, I would argue against my entire 8th grade math class. We’re talking 18-22 kids. They laughed, they teased, they spouted off facts. They had questions…I had some answers, but most certainly not all.
To be honest, at times, I wouldn’t know what to say. With a breath of confidence, knowing what the outcome would be, I’d say, “This is what I believe and this is why I believe it.”
It would have been SO MUCH EASIER (and much more enjoyable) for me if I had just lied about my beliefs. TRUST ME. But, for whatever reason, I didn’t…and I’m so, so glad I didn’t.
Believing in Santa taught me what it means to have an immovable, unshakable faith in Christ (the true reason for the season).
Let’s face it, we are not going to be dubbed Most Popular for our belief in Jesus. It’s sad, but true. Because of this, we may be tempted to ditch our morals and take the easy, less complicated route…but it is better to stand alone, and stand tall, than to stand hunched over, unrecognizable, in a crowd.
As Christians, there will be times when it’ll be us against the world (both figuratively, and literally, speaking). No matter our proof, there will always be people who try to disprove His existence.
If we’re going to do this thing, if we’re going to believe in Jesus, then we need to be all in. Passionately believing in Jesus means passionately believing in His mission, and living it out.
In The Santa Clause (one of the best Christmas movies ever), Judy (the elf…not the Denny’s waitress) tells Scott Calvin, “Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.”
I didn’t have to see Santa to know he existed. I just knew. Well…until Christmas of 2006. RIP.
In the same way, we don’t (and won’t) have all the answers about Christianity…but believing in Jesus is not about facts, it’s about faith. We can choose to believe, or not believe, but if we’re going to believe, then we must do so passionately…even if the “future top 10% of our graduating class” disagrees.
Choosing to believe in Jesus is a lot like believing in Santa as a child. Except, unlike Santa, Jesus doesn’t deliver gifts. Jesus IS the gift, the ultimate gift.
I love what this mom wrote to her son in a letter I came across on Pinterest:
“What [Santa] does is teach children to believe in something they can’t see or touch. Throughout your life you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your family, in your friends, and in God. You’ll need to be able to believe in things you can’t measure or hold in your hands.”
We may not be able to hold Jesus in our hands, but He holds us in His…and there is no greater gift we could ever receive than that of eternal life.
This Christmas, choose Jesus. Passionately take a stand for HIS existence. Be immovable, unshakable…and with a deep breath of confidence, make your case for Christ.