Santa will be visiting our house this year. My girls (age 9 and 6) still believe, and until they ask me point-blank if I am Santa, I will continue pretending each year. I love it! I have heard all of the arguments on why, as Christians, we shouldn't make it about Santa, and some of them make good sense. I can totally understand why some families choose to take him out of the holiday--and I don't begrudge them that.
I found a quote that I just love: "There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the magic in the eyes of a child who believes." It is a fine balance when you celebrate Christmas with Santa. I don't want our family traditions to revolve around his visit. We talk about the reason we celebrate throughout the season. We read the Christmas Story (last year, on Christmas Eve, it was read off an iPhone). We have a couple of different nativity sets (I finally had to buy Caroline her own last year so she would leave mine alone--she LOVES to move them around and tell the story--she sometimes adds Barbies, Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop creatures, but I think God understands that). We talk about giving to others.
I have been so proud this year watching my girls spend their own money to buy presents for the people they love. They "get" it--at least most days. Some years they make lists of what they want, others they don't. This year, Santa's gift will be a little bit more mild than last year (how do you top a trampoline???), but each gift will be hand-picked for each girl. They will continue to believe that Santa, a man who doesn't know them, loves them anyway.
They get that about Jesus. They know what he did for them and they fully embrace the gift of Life he's given. In this world, when they see so many people who don't live that out (especially in North Dallas where so many are so privleged), I'm okay with them believing that a stranger cares about them. In fact, I choose to believe that Kris Kringle was a Christian. If he wasn't, we, as Christians, have a lot to learn from him about giving away our faith in tangible ways.
So , Santa will, once again, make an appearance at the Royal house this year. He'll eat the gingerbread men cookies, leaving some crumbs, drink the milk, and his reindeers will gnaw on the carrots. My girls will wake up Christmas morning and I will get to see the beautiful magic in their eyes, as their belief is proven once again another year.