Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — sort of.

We are giving a lot of thought to how and what to teach our girls about Santa.  I have a real problem with the over-commercialization of Christmas in general and find myself drawn much more to the season of Advent.  I like the idea of having a season of reflection on Christ’s coming.  As our preacher said on Sunday (somehow I actually caught a tidbit in the midst of all the toddler-wrestling going on in our pew), the announcement of Christ’s coming is a kind of judgment.  In the same way that the prophets called God’s people to return to God, John the Baptist was sent before Christ “to prepare a people that shall be fit for the Lord.”  (Luke 1.17)  God had to send his Son because of our sins. The fact that He did is certainly a cause for celebration, but quite frankly, I’m not sure how a man in a red suit who brings you stuff is in any way qualified to help us celebrate this event.  I prefer the actions of Saint Nicholas, who gave generously to those who truly needed it.  (You can read more about him here.)  I like the idea of giving gifts as a way to celebrate God’s gift to us, but I have a hard time reconciling the modern-day Santa with anything other than out-and-out greed.  I’m not ready to completely eliminate Santa from our Christmas celebrations and I’m not about to tell a toddler that there is no such thing as Santa, but we are choosing to tell our children the truth about Santa Claus.  That he was a real person who set a wonderful example of giving out of his abundance, just as God so graciously gives to all of us.  Our daughters will awake Christmas morning to stockings filled with goodies, not from Saint Nicholas, but given out of love in honor of Saint Nicholas.  As they get older, we will encourage them to give to each other and to others in the same way.

So why am I babbling about all of this on my crafting blog?  Well, while researching all of this (and by “researching” I mean clicking on all the links my husband pointed out to me), I found this link for a cute craft to turn a chocolate Santa into Chocolate Saint Nicholas.

Here are our results:The before is on the left and the after is on the right.  This year, these will be stocking stuffers, but as the girls get older, I think it will be a good craft to do with them.

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