Santa’s Last Summer 

Our youngest daughter, Rebecca, has had a very busy summer. There have been cinema outings, trips to the seaside and lots of visits to her grandparents. She has covered countless miles playing football and riding her bike. And she has eaten superhuman quantities of Haribo, bubble gum ice cream and other sugary treats. She has been a very busy young lady indeed.

One activity, however, has formed a consistent theme throughout her holiday break. Her letter to Santa Claus. Because one can never start soon enough and why wait until the last moment (say mid-September) when you can have it all done and dusted now. The ‘Big Man’ will be busy enough come December so best to get your order in early.

And what an order. The Normandy beach landings required less planning and preparations. There have been drafts and redrafts as she has waded through a forest of paper in order to pen the perfect letter. Parental advice and approval has been sought at all stages of the editing process. Accompanied by drawings, screenshots and countless WhatsApp conversations she has studiously chiselled away at her Christmas list which unfortunately weighed in at £150 over budget first time round. 

I anticipate Rebecca will be a qualified accountant by the time she is 12. She is a financial mastermind. Constantly conjuring money out of nowhere in order to finance her jet set lifestyle. If there is money to find down the back of a sofa she will find it. She cleaned her bomb site of a room the other day and emerged triumphantly with £8 in various coinage. She is our village shop’s best customer. It won’t be long before she has shares in the place.

The Santa letter has not been a totally smooth experience however. There have been tears and tantrums along the way. And I’m just talking about the parents here. Sample replies to her myriad of questions have included ‘How much?’, ‘Leave me alone’ and ‘For the 45th time no you cannot get Grand Theft Auto for your PS4.’

It has been a long and winding road but the finished product now sits on our fireplace awaiting collection. Santa may still be lounging on the beach in the Maldives but he had better get his sleigh charged up soon  and recall the reindeers from pasture as there is work to be done. There are no excuses. The weather outside is most definitely not frightening. It’s 17 degrees centigrade for goodness sake. That’s a heatwave by Irish standards.

I have wanted to write about Rebecca for a number of reasons. Firstly I have already written about our other two hatchlings, Adam and Hannah, so she was long overdue a mention. She is the firecracker of the family, full of fun, energy and laughter. There is never a dull moment when she is around and for that we are blessed. She loves her Bible stories and has a huge heart for others. 

Secondly this will most likely be her last year writing to Santa. And so will end a magical period of our lives as parents. The other two stopped believing years ago so we have clung on to Rebecca and her love of all things Claus. The way she has jumped full length into this year’s festivities makes me think that she too realises that this is the last hurrah. We will make the very most of this last Christmas and then hope we are blessed with grandchildren in years to come so that we can relive it all over again. 

Thirdly her excitement over the letter made me think. She has written it so expectantly, truly believing with all her heart that when she charges down the stairs on Christmas morning the gifts she has asked for will be sitting waiting for her. There is no doubt in her mind. Her childlike faith is both humbling and inspirational.

I envy her faith. When we pray, part of that process is asking God to provide for ourselves and others. It is not a selfish act as God is delighted that we are approaching him with our needs. And if they are in accordance with his will they will be provided. How many times, however, do we approach prayer with a lukewarm mentality? We hope that God listens to and answers our prayers but do we believe he will with a rock solid confidence?

Being honest I know that I do not. Often my prayers are half hearted. I have prayed for family members and friends to be healed while at the same time doubting that it will ever happen. By doing so I am doubting myself and in the process doubting my God.  That is an insult to a God who created the universe and knows me inside out and back to front. To a God who has answered my prayers before on countless occasions and performed daily miracles before my very eyes.

So today I pray for Rebecca. I thank God for giving us such an amazing girl. And I also pray for her faith. That when I next place my requests humbly before God I do so with the faith and confidence with which she writes her Santa letter. He might not truly exist and you might read this thinking that God does not either. But I do and pray that you will one day as well.

Take a chance. What’s to lose. Believe. In the true Christmas miracle. Over 2000 years ago. In a stable at Bethlehem.

Philippians 4:6 – ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’

*SPOILER ALERT* When did you stop believing in Santa?

Are there still Santa believers in your house? When do they write their letters?

Do you ever read the Christmas story during the summer?

17 thoughts on “Santa’s Last Summer 

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  1. I struggle, too, with praying and believing with that childlike mentality of “of course it will happen!” Your post reminds me of the verse in Mark (I think) “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” I have childlike belief in some things, and maybe that’s my saving grace (so to speak). I pray for that belief every day, especially now. I truly loved your insight here.

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      1. I think so, too. I definitely am. I still have a lot to learn, and it seems the challenge actually opened me up a lot more than I anticipated. So stay tuned. 🙂 I’m looking forward to continuing the journey.

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  2. After we finally answered my oldest’s “Is Santa really real??” question honestly, he was so crushed, he told all his brothers. They were too young to be crushed, and he wanted to make sure it never happened to them…sigh…right or wrong…that’s what happened…Ha!!

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  3. Haha! I thought our boys were the only ones. They actually made a “countdown to Christmas” the other day and considerable discussion has gone into their burgeoning lists. Rebecca sounds lovely and this is a likewise lovely post, thank you. I am so grateful for this second season of magic in our lives – it is even more fun making it for them than it was when Santa was real to us.

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  4. We just had the conversation with my 13 year old this past April, after he surmised the Easter Bunny was us. I was heartbroken more than he was. Our almost 7 year old will not believe as long as he did because she is just more intuitive. But his disbelief in the big man in the red suit never even connected to a disbelief in The Big Man.

    I too don’t pray with expectation of the prayers coming true, in fact almost all my prayers end with, but if that’s not what your will is then help me to accept your will.

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  5. Santa-wise, as a kid my parents never told me he wasn’t real. Friends’ parents seemed to have a “talk” with them about Father Christmas’ nonexistence. It was just one of those things for my family, one year we all crowded around the door asking “do you think santa’s been?” and I’d grin and believe it. Then one year, my parents didn’t ask that question anymore. I can’t pinpoint when I didn’t believe that anymore, and that’s exactly what I would want for the kids in my family, kept Christmas magical for a bit longer, because I don’t have the sad memory of “that’s the Christmas I didn’t believe in Santa anymore”.

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