Skip to main content

letters to jesus and santa

as you may remember from past years, i absolutely believe in the power of myths as not only valuable for a imaginative childhood, but for a fully-enganged thinking adult.  there may be no better tool than myth to help us make sense of the world around us, dark and confusing as it can sometimes be.  i don't believe that stories have to be dictated to us by our culture, but that we have the power (and the responsibility) to interpret them and tell them to our children in ways that are faithful and responsible to both the terrible brokenness of life, and the magnificent magic and mystery of it.  and i believe that when we rob our children of the power of myth by calling them fantasies and castrating the magic from them, we cut off an important appendage of their growth process. 
or, to those evangelicals that are struggling with the above paragraph, let me put it in a way that you might understand:  i have a better understanding of God because of Aslan.  I don't believe Aslan is real: he is a character in a book.  and yet, i absolutely do believe aslan is real. 
in almost the exact same way, i have a better understanding of God's character because of Saint Nick.  i don't believe he is real.  and yet, i absolutely do believe santa is real. 
and, as an added bonus, in c.s. lewis' mythology, father Christmas makes a brief but very important appearance, giving gifts and spreading hope, just like any saint worth his salt would do. 
so, we write letters to santa and to Jesus at Christmastime.  to say hi, and thank you.  and to keep the hope alive and pulsing in our veins during this crazy season.  it's all part of learing to believe in One who can give us everything we need. 


Emoly said…

I think your three boys got all of the cuteness.
Mary said…
so sweet! I love jack's picture "eat papa eat!" I love that part of the movie. :o) such a wonderful tradition. love the christmas tree pics in the other post too...quin is looking older!

Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …