Saturday, December 25, 2010


One of Jacob's friends doesn't believe in Santa Claus.  We know, because a week or so ago he told us that his friend told him so.  He also told us not to worry, because he told his friend, "It's okay, Santa Claus comes in lots of different ways."  I can't say I understood exactly what he meant, and, like any normal adult, brushed it off; after all, I really only ponder what I don't immediately understand when it comes from someone John Steinbeck, James Joyce, or T.E. Hulme.  Well, chalk my boy right up there with the great and wise ones.  Last night, I understood what he intended.

Santa Claus came to our home, but not in any way we anticipated (we: my wife and I), and despite our children only seeing enough to believe nothing more than the occurrence of the conventional visit.

Christmas Eve:

I was on guard duty, which means I sat on the couch and watched movies while my wife was in the basement wrapping presents.  To keep from feeling guilty for sitting on my butt while my wife worked hers off (though I did redeem myself by mighty application of a deep tissue back rub to her aching muscles two hours later), every ten minutes or so I checked on the kids and delivered a report downstairs.  From ten until just after midnight, the report was same: "One down, the other still pretending" (the latter determined to spy on Santa, just to make sure).

Finally he fell asleep.  I was without further excuse to stay with my movie, so down I went.  Thankfully, Angie had just finished the wrapping.  She stood up and came over to me; we stretched arms across each others' shoulders; and we look at the loot.

Now, if you've been keeping up at all (and really, all you have to do is look at the title of the blog), you'll recognize that putting together any kind of a Christmas (inasmuch as Christmas is gifts for the kids and the maintenance of general childhood illusions) was pretty much little more than impossible.

Well, like I said, Santa Claus came.

We didn't see him come.  We didn't hear reindeer on the roof or spy a red light jetting across the sky. Angie and I ate the cookies and carrots and drank the hot chocolate.  We placed the stockings and arranged the presents.  Dutifully--and thankfully she claims to love it--Angie tied every bow and stuck every strip of tape.  But man!  The stuff that stuffed the stockings!  The boxes Angie wrapped filled with stuff and stuff and stuff!  The decorations!  The food!

Humbling it is, and miraculous; and how it reaffirms that we are not in control, and that someone greater and more generous than I'd previously recognized, not to mention clearly almighty, thankfully and beautifully is.  It was He who sent the wise men bearing their gifts to Jesus; and how generous and awesome that he might similarly send a wise man to us, bearded and jolly, even if we didn't get to see him and my son couldn't catch him.  Most humbling of all: He saw fit to send it to us.

And my kids were in heaven.  And isn't that what Home is supposed to be?

What a great day!


  1. I hope that you enjoy the questioning stage while it lasts. Afterward is the prolonged 3-4-year period in which the child has to make fun of the idea of Santa Claus in order to prove to everyone (maybe even him-/herself?) that he doesn't exist. Kind of like a former Christian turned disillusioned atheist.

  2. Oh I'm sure you'll be able to. I have a shockingly low threshold for being annoyed by something. That and my little brother making Santa jokes for three weeks straight. Ugh.

  3. You know, my boy is such a defensive and loyal kid that I expect once he's learned the "truth," he will yet go to great lengths to protect his sister and any other siblings which may be hanging around by then.

  4. Elves 3:16 (no doubt one of those books hidden away by the Vatican)

    "For God so loved the world that he sent a bearded man with rosacea to exchange presents for cookies."

  5. the fact jacob told his friend that santa comes in several different ways cements the notion that children know more than we give them credit for. that was a very mature answer for a 6-year old. i'm impressed.