Friday, December 21, 2012

She's Growing Up...

Some of you who "pinterest" often have most likely seen the pin claiming to pin for later as a way to explain Santa to your children.  Yes, we "do" Santa in our home.  Many do, many don't, just a personal "thing" and we do.  BUT... we also stress the reason for Christmas... that it's not about Santa... that our Savior Jesus was born and we are celebrating His birth.  We make him a birthday cake and sing and remind one another of the specialness.
But, we do Santa, and we've had our "Elf on the Shelf" for four years now.  And my kids wholeheartedly take part in that little bit of "magic".  Just like the Tooth Fairy.  And the Easter Bunny. Sue me.

And even at age 11, Olivia swears she's seen our elf Tom move.  She was thrilled when Santa sent her a video (Thanks Portable North Pole!) telling her she was on the nice list this year! (Because last year she was on the NAUGHTY list!  So funny!  And it worked like a charm to even out some kinks in behavior we had been having!)  And she's in 6th grade this year.  And has asked a few times questions that led me to believe she was having some doubts, although I think Braeden is my bigger skeptic.  And I also know kids she's in school with and the fact that most of them "know."

I've never outright lied to the kids. When I've been asked a question I've turned it back to them and have asked them what they thought and it was left at that.  But I knew the time was drawing near.

So this past weekend I decided to "break it" to Olivia.  Because she's 11.  Because most kids her age don't believe and do know the "truth."  And partly too because I have had this blog post "pinned" for over a year and knew it was just what I needed to help in divulging this important information, on my time, in my way, without her hearing it from others first.

And I took the letter that I pinned and tweaked it and made it my own.  I typed and worked and thought and printed. And here's what I gave to my daughter...

Dear Olivia,

Lately, from time to time, you have asked me a very important question.  Oh, it’s been said in different ways, but it all leads back to the same question: “Do you move Tom?” (our elf)  “Are you Santa?”

I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
 The answer is no.  I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree that are labeled ‘From Santa’, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. 
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights as they view all the extra presents that arrived there overnight.

This won’t make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.  

It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family, in your faith. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
 With full hearts, people like me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.  

All because a little baby was born on this day so very long ago.  A little baby whom we all need to believe in, because HE is our Savior.  A little baby who saves us and our world day after day.

So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

I love you and I always will.


Remember that this note holds words just for you.  This is not something you should be talking about to your brothers or to other children.  That is for their parents to discuss with them! :) 

She took it so well, with grace and love and the intention that it held.  Of course she's always known Christmas is about God and Jesus coming to Earth for us, so it's not like this news "ruins" Christmas in the least little bit.  I think she loves being "in on it" and keeping the magic alive for the boys, too.  The other night we went out to eat because Santa would be there and Liam  hadn't yet seen him this year (Braeden won't go by him).  Olivia looked at me as if to say, "Ha ha, I KNOW."  So cute!

So, yes we "DO" Santa...

But we also know who rules our Christmas!  And we'll be singing Happy Birthday real soon!

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
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Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
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God knew all along that I’d share it all with you