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The Santa Dad thing

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The Santa Dad thing


The Santa Dad thing
December 26, 2019

Like many fathers the world over, I scrambled into the finish line just before Christmas eve to finish up the last minute shopping, decorating, and gift buying like so many do.  That said, my boys have reached the age of 'Discovery' - they are no longer the little boys constantly scurrying about, but rather, those little boys have been replaced with their doppelganger selves in pre-teen/teen form. Like nothing short of something miraculous from the Marvel universe, my superheros have grown.  With that growth came the 'Santa Clause" question. 

Oh, boy. 

Here.we.go.

I'll cut to the chase, and when confronted by my boys regarding the very existence of Santa Clause, I told them the truth.  

I Lied. 

I have been lying to them for years.  

I am proud of the fact that I lied, and that whopper was the one that got them.  When they both realized I was boasting a bit, they knew something was up, and they have both long learned that when I act this way, there is yet another trick up the dad sleeve.

I took them back to the first time I made them do 'five and five'  In our home, I began a tradition with both of my children when they began Kindergarten. ‘Five and Five’ works like this:  The boys need to go into their closets and find five toys that are in excellent condition, with all of their parts, the box, instructions, etc. and they are to bring those toys to me so that we may donate them to our church and the local shelter.  In turn, they may then ask Santa for five items for Christmas. To be sure, the first few years of this were painful experiences, with one or both crying and fighting the process all the way (with dear old dad waiting in the wings to help). Before I knew it, they were prompting me for our holiday tradition (usually the first weekend in November).  The pain of the process was replaced with pride in two boys who were growing to understand why their old man was making them do this. One year, my oldest put a prized toy into the hands of a child at our church's thrift store.  

Magic, man - just magic.  

As the boys recalled their struggle and reminisced about how hard that process was, they reflected that it did get easier  and had now grown into just one of those things we do. Natural. Fun.

As the conversation shifted from the pain of that first 'five for five' to now, I asked them how they felt that fit the Nativity story, and they both correctly recalled that age old tale and the symbolism of gift giving by the Magi.  The gifts the Magi provided were indeed fit for a king, but more importantly, they boys surmised that dad was working up yet another life lesson...and I was. 

I then asked them both why I would lie to them about Santa and out it came. The whole 'five for five', gift giving, Santa thing at Christmas was the vehicle for learning about Christian charity and genuine giving.  The kind of giving that hurts and is a true sacrifice. The kind of giving that really means something to someone else. Being a servant.

Yep, I lied.  A whole bunch.

Dads do get it right sometimes.


from
The Santa Dad thing
December 26, 2019

Like many fathers the world over, I scrambled into the finish line just before Christmas eve to finish up the last minute shopping, decorating, and gift buying like so many do.  That said, my boys have reached the age of 'Discovery' - they are no longer the little boys constantly scurrying about, but rather, those little boys have been replaced with their doppelganger selves in pre-teen/teen form. Like nothing short of something miraculous from the Marvel universe, my superheros have grown.  With that growth came the 'Santa Clause" question. 

Oh, boy. 

Here.we.go.

I'll cut to the chase, and when confronted by my boys regarding the very existence of Santa Clause, I told them the truth.  

I Lied. 

I have been lying to them for years.  

I am proud of the fact that I lied, and that whopper was the one that got them.  When they both realized I was boasting a bit, they knew something was up, and they have both long learned that when I act this way, there is yet another trick up the dad sleeve.

I took them back to the first time I made them do 'five and five'  In our home, I began a tradition with both of my children when they began Kindergarten. ‘Five and Five’ works like this:  The boys need to go into their closets and find five toys that are in excellent condition, with all of their parts, the box, instructions, etc. and they are to bring those toys to me so that we may donate them to our church and the local shelter.  In turn, they may then ask Santa for five items for Christmas. To be sure, the first few years of this were painful experiences, with one or both crying and fighting the process all the way (with dear old dad waiting in the wings to help). Before I knew it, they were prompting me for our holiday tradition (usually the first weekend in November).  The pain of the process was replaced with pride in two boys who were growing to understand why their old man was making them do this. One year, my oldest put a prized toy into the hands of a child at our church's thrift store.  

Magic, man - just magic.  

As the boys recalled their struggle and reminisced about how hard that process was, they reflected that it did get easier  and had now grown into just one of those things we do. Natural. Fun.

As the conversation shifted from the pain of that first 'five for five' to now, I asked them how they felt that fit the Nativity story, and they both correctly recalled that age old tale and the symbolism of gift giving by the Magi.  The gifts the Magi provided were indeed fit for a king, but more importantly, they boys surmised that dad was working up yet another life lesson...and I was. 

I then asked them both why I would lie to them about Santa and out it came. The whole 'five for five', gift giving, Santa thing at Christmas was the vehicle for learning about Christian charity and genuine giving.  The kind of giving that hurts and is a true sacrifice. The kind of giving that really means something to someone else. Being a servant.

Yep, I lied.  A whole bunch.

Dads do get it right sometimes.
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