We took the kids to see Santa. Leah was excited. Jack was not. As we stood in line we asked Jack if he would sit on Santa’s lap with Leah, and tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. His response? “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Leah gladly hopped onto Santa’s lap when it was our turn. Jack clung to Daddy, and we thought that was it. Then Santa in all of his real-bearded glory calmly asked Jack what he wanted for Christmas while offering him a candy cane.
A second later Santa had convinced Jack to sit on his lap AND smile for the camera. Wow. Santa is good.
The kids are really excited about Santa bringing them Christmas presents. We may have used that to our advantage a few times during this holiday season to encourage good behavior. Peter’s favorite line these days: “Should I text Santa?” It works every time.
Santa may bring us gifts, but they can never compare to the wonderful gifts our Savior has given us. This is what we try to teach the kids, and remember for ourselves. President Monson summed it up nicely at the First Presidency Christmas Devotional:
“Because He came to earth, we have a perfect example to follow. As we strive to become more like Him, we will have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year. It is His example, which if followed, stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others.
Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence.
Because He came, we know how to reach out to those in trouble or in distress, wherever they may be.
Because He came, death has lost its sting, the grave its victory. We will live again because He came.
Because He came and paid for our sins, we have the opportunity to gain eternal life.
Because He came, we are gathered tonight to worship Him in bonds of brotherhood and love.
May His precious Spirit be with us, and may He ever be the center of our celebrations and indeed of our very lives.”