This morning on our way to school, the kids and I were talking about our plans after school was out today. I told them we were going to head in to the city to do our shopping for our Salvation Army angels. Robby and I used to always adopt an angel from the angel tree, but the last few years it seems they have been gone before we got one, or we just didn't get by to get one. When we were in town on Sunday we noticed there were still plenty and decided to adopt two, a boy and a girl the ages of our children. It is our intention that they begin to understand that Christmas is about giving and not just receiving.
As we are driving to school and discussing what is means to adopt a Salvation Army angel, the kids had many questions.
What does it mean to adopt an angel?
Why are we adopting an angel?
Will we ever meet the kids?
What are their names?
What do they want for Christmas?
I explained that some children were not as fortunate as we are at Christmas time. Their families didn't have a lot of extra money to buy Christmas presents, so by adopting them we are helping make their Christmas a little better.
What do we buy them?
Well, mostly the kids need clothes, shoes, and maybe even a coat. Some of the kids have asked for special gifts like a dsi, or other toys, but mostly it is just necessities.
Does Santa not come to their house and bring them the toys they want?
What??? I mean, well, yes....Santa does come to their house as well? What am I saying? How do I answer this question?? Um....
Thankfullly, we pulled into the school parking lot and it was time to get out of the car.
But, I began thinking, are we doing the right thing by telling our children in Santa?
This is my pre-conversation thinking...I know there is debate about whether it is right or wrong to tell kids about Santa. I love doing Santa. I don't believe that we are making our children believe in a lie by having them believe in Santa. I realize Santa is not real, but it is meant in good spirit and not intended to lie to our children. So, yes, Robby and I have always done Santa with our children and plan to do so this Christmas. We write Santa letters and visit Santa when the opportunity arises.
This is my post-conversation thinking...I still love doing Santa. My family is very blessed and my children usually get at least one gift they ask Santa for. Robby and I talk with them in the days leading up to Santa's arrival, and they pinpoint that one gift that would be special for them on Christmas. Sometimes they get a little greedy, and we try to talk to them about greediness. "Santa has to buy gift for boys and girls everywhere and Santa doesn't need to spend his entire budget on our household." But yes, we are blessed to have many nice things.
As they are questioning me about whether Santa came to visit these "angel" children, I wondered if I am doing the right thing by having them believe that Santa does come to visit all girls and boys...so you better be good. In reality, I don't know that Santa does come to every house. My heart breaks for this thought. As I looked around my classroom this morning, I wondered what houses would Santa be visiting this year. There all good kids!!! But some families just can't afford it...this is real!!!
So my great debate...should my kids continue to believe in Santa? Not because he is make believe, but to realize how blessed we are and there are others in this world that just don't have the things we have. I know being blessed doesn't mean we have to have things. Blessings are in the form of family, friends, love, friendship, salvation, grace, mercy, etc... Should my kids continue to believe in Santa? Not because it is not real, but to realize how exciting and rewarding it is to give at Christmas time. How special it can be to help make someone's Christmas time a little merrier.
I have so many thoughts rambling through my mind. I really don't know the right answer. I am eager to share my thoughts with Robby tonight. I would love to hear your thoughts about this as well.
But for now, I am off to town to shop for our angels. Be blessed!!!