On the horizon, shining like a supernova, is Christmas. My five-year old cannot wait for Santa to land his flying sleigh on our snow-covered rooftop and deliver a gigantic load of toys in our living room. Nevermind the minor fact that we rarely have a rooftop covered with snow, especially on Christmas Eve. And nevermind the glaring major fact that we do not include Santa in our celebrations.
I have no personal grudge against Santa Claus, but I also have no photographs of myself ever sitting on his lap, nor did he ever give me a present of any kind.
Santa is like someone else’s uncle. I admire him from afar, knowing that he is said to be a jolly, kind, bearded man, but he doesn’t come to our family gatherings because he’s not our relative. We just don’t do Santa.
That doesn’t stop my kids, though. Each of them have gone through the fervent-Santa-believer stage of Christmas wonderland. My daughter suspects Santa is not real–she’s five, but she has older siblings who cannot keep the truth of these matters to themselves. Because she teeters on the brink of focusing on Santa Claus and presents–lots and lots of presents–I have begun my annual Let’s Remember Whose Birthday Is Coming reminders.
Yesterday, as we drove along, I said to my daughter, “You know, Jesus’ birthday is coming. That’s why we celebrate Christmas.”
“What does Jesus look like?” she says. “Does he look like God?”
Huh. I say, “Well, probably. Sure. But no one really knows what God looks like.”
And she says, “Does God look like an old man?”
“Well, God doesn’t have a body,” I say to her, knowing that I sound like a lunatic.
“So,” she says, “God only has a head?”
And here is what I should have said: “Go ask your father.” But I was too busy biting my lip to keep from laughing.