Behind the Red Suit

Behind the Red Suit

How Santa Came to Be

This is my version of how Santa Claus came to be.

Is it true? It could be. I wasn't there. 

I'm just the storyteller.

One evening a group of early Christian women gathered for a night of camaraderie, a glass of wine, and a short break from kids and husbands. Their energetic conversation soon settled on how to teach Christian values to their children.

Most of these mothers were finding this task quite challenging. Their goal seemed simple enough. They wanted to teach the kids to share with their siblings, eat their vegetables, tell the truth, help others… But it wasn't as easy as they'd thought it would be.

As adults, they understood the reward Jesus promised for a lifetime of following God's commandments. But, when they tried to shape their children's behavior with the promise of walking beside Jesus after death, they discovered it was a concept a young mind could not comprehend.

One creative mother had an idea. "What if we keep the concepts but present them in a way young children can understand?"

 Agreeing on that goal, they began to throw out ideas.

"Let's make the time frame shorter. Instead of a lifetime, what about a year?"

"How about creating a character who they could see and touch? Someone grandfather-like; kind, loving, and fair to all—like Jesus."

"He could live far away, but not as far as heaven. Somewhere the children could envision but not travel there."

"What about the North Pole?"

"Let's dress him up in something bright to draw their attention." 

"Red would be a great color!"

"What if he brought toys and treats to reward each child for their good behavior?"

"How would he travel?" 

Then, somewhere between their first and second glasses of wine (or it might have been between their third and fourth), they came up with flying reindeer pulled by a sleigh. Perfect!

And so went the evening until they developed a character who would become the center for teaching honesty, love, and giving.

Today, children learn great lessons from Santa Claus, but the day will come when they begin to ask who is really behind the red suit. This is your chance to create a valuable rite-of-passage occasion to explain that behind the red suit they will find the love and lessons of Jesus and the promise of life forever after—values that will last their lifetime.

Never stop believing!

Sharon

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