He didn’t always give presents

Stephen Caleb is now our willing accomplice in perpetuating the Santa myth. Some of you might recall my last year’s Wall Street Journal piece arguing that there’s something to be said for encouraging, for a time, your child’s belief in the magical. But there’s also a point at which a kid is no longer going to believe in Santa Claus, and for Caleb that time was a few weeks ago.

I told him that material proof should never be the only reason we believe in something, nor should its absence be a reason for disbelief. This, you might recall, was part of my reason for going along with the Santa legend in the first place. We don’t want our children to be little reason-oriented materialists, after all. I told Caleb that Saint Nicholas is certainly real, but that Santa Claus was something made up, for children (and parents) to enjoy.

He likes being in on the secret. We have a little elf in our house who is supposed to be Santa’s helper, reporting back on a regular basis about the behavior of certain children. Caleb has taken on the task of secretly moving the elf about, so that he is in a different place every morning. He has resolutely vowed not to be one of those rotten older kids who goes about spoiling the Santa myth for all the little ones. I can’t stand it when kids do that. They are the same ones who go about dispensing clinical sexual knowledge before it’s needed, and who mostly go on to become accountants and IRS agents and gossiping busybodies.

Speaking of St. Nicholas, I recently learned that he jack-slapped the heretic Arius, at the Council of Nicea. He got in some trouble for this, but divine intervention saved him. It seems that the Lord was absolutely fine with Arius getting jack-slapped. Take that, divinity-of-Christ deniers. And to everyone else, Merry Christmas.


  1. Marc V

    My Sunday School 3rd graders just got a lesson on “Believe” as part of our Romans Road series. I started out with Santa and imaginary friends, and then challenged them on their belief of who they are, as in their family roots. None were brave (knowledgeable?) enough to draw out a family tree, but they’re still fairly young. I did urge them to ask their grandparents what they did for Christmas when they were ten, while they’re still around to take questions.

    I’m wrestling with my oldest over the role I want him to play (with his younger siblings) vs. what he actually does. It may be a maturity or personality thing that I have little hope of overcoming. He occasionally surprises me, though.

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