I mailed wish lists. I set plates of frosted cookies on the counter. I kept watch out the living room window, hoping to spy reindeer tracks in the snow.
Every once in a while I did wonder how those elves could replicate Barbie’s dream house exactly like the one sold in stores. Eh, no matter.
Because back then, Santa was magic. And I believed with all my heart that he loved me.
Today, of course, I’m a grown woman with two kids and a Christmas tree of my own and let me tell you, this Santa business? Overrated. Nothing but toy store hype. I no longer mail wish lists; I save them in my Amazon cart. Cookies are fattening, and reindeer don’t click! click! click! on the rooftop—they get cut into tenderloins after my husband’s hunting trips.
I mean come on, people. As if there’s really some big benevolent grandpa in the sky, just waiting to shower us with gifts.
Only a child could believe that.
“But whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and he shines forever without change or shadow. And it was a happy day for him when he gave us our new lives through the truth of his Word, and we became, as it were, the first children in his new family.” (James 1:17–18, TLB)
Hmm. Maybe we grown-ups should believe in Santa again.
Not the chubby guy in the red suit. I’m so over that.
But the idea of a loving father figure watching over us, delighting in us, happy to grant us blessing after blessing—that is not fiction.
It’s what Christmas is all about.
The real magic of this holiday began two thousand years ago in a barn, when God sent his Son to you and me as a helpless, wrinkly, newborn child. The angels—like elves, if you will—they sang over him, worshiped him, and to this day they still tend to the people the babe came to save.
Seems incredible, doesn’t it? Kind of like flying reindeer and a toy factory on the North Pole. But there’s a key difference between Santa and Jesus. When you sit in the Savior’s lap and decide to trust him with your heart’s desires, something amazing happens.
He crosses your name off the naughty list—forever.
Wow. Could there be any better Christmas gift than that?
So this year, whether your family observes jolly ol’ St. Nick or not, try tuning your heart to the real Father of saints. He doesn’t plunge chimneys or disappear when we reach third grade, nor does he need a sack full of shiny gifts in a sleigh. He has already given us so much more than we deserve.
I believe that—with all my heart. Will you?
What to Read Next: Are We Rewriting the Gospel?
This encouragement comes to you courtesy of the archives.