The Grace of Santa Claus

The Grace of Santa Claus

We went to the Milwaukee Public Museum this weekend, and Santa was walking around the Old Streets of Milwaukee. My son wanted to talk to him but was visibly very nervous about it. When he gained enough courage to approach Santa, he very politely and meekly asked him for a remote controlled car.

Santa responded, “well, we’ll have to see. Have you been a good boy this year?”

There was a long pause. My son got visibly sad and his eyes filled with tears as he, very somberly, shook his head “no.”

Santa asked him what he meant, and he said “well, I disobey and do bad stuff sometimes.”

Santa looked at me, his eyes saying, “help.” He wasn’t sure where to go from here. A bit flustered myself, I struggled to seize the opportunity. “Well, Santa, we talk about grace in our house, and how we ALL do bad things sometimes, but we still get more than we deserve because of how much God loves us.”

Santa was the one to get emotional this time, and he crouched down, eye to eye with my humble, five year old son.

“You know, without grace, we would have nothing. Even Santa needs grace and forgiveness, and thankfully, the One Santa works for is always good to give it.”

My sons composure brightened. “Santa? You do bad things, too?”

Santa responded very seriously, “only God is perfect. The rest of us are just doing our best and need Him for the rest. And that’s really what Christmas is all about.”

My son smiled a HUGE, relieved grin and gave Santa a big hug. I wish I had gotten a picture as this moment was SO profound for me as a mom, and as a daughter of the Giver of all grace. I’ve never been a huge fan of Santa, but that may have changed through this sweet moment.

I am so thankful that our God doesn’t look over a naughty and nice list when we approach the gates of heaven asking for eternal life. I’m so thankful that, in spite of our failure to “measure up,” He gives good gifts to His children in abundance. And I’m so thankful that, on a Saturday in early December, my son was able to interact with a Santa Claus who could help me explain this grace to a five year old in a way he could really understand it.

And most of all, I’m thankful for the grace granted us by the arrival of that baby in Bethlehem many years ago.

Thank you, Lord. May we stay mindful of Your grace as we strive to be more like Your Son.

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