I heard this read on one of my talk radio programs and loved it so much that I want to share this interesting story about a mom and her explanation to her son Frankie when asked, "Do you believe in Santa Claus?"
It was one of THE questions parents face. In the category of questions like, "Why do people die?" and "Where do babies come from?" "Mommy, do you believe in Santa Claus?"
The mom prayed for the right words. "What do you think?"
Frankie shrugged. "Some kids at school said Santa wasn't real. They said parents put the gifts under the tree." "Are you asking me if there is a Santa, or if parents put the gifts under the tree?" Frankie hesitated. "I guess I'm asking both."
The mom wrapped her arms around Frankie and gave him a big hug. "I am so proud of you!" "For what?" Frankie looked puzzled.
"You're old enough now! You see Frankie, while there isn't a man in a red suit, there is something called the Christmas Spirit. But when children are very little, it's hard for them to understand the Christmas Spirit so we say that someone named Santa is responsible for Christmas. Parent's know when a child asks whether Santa is real that they're old enough to understand the Christmas Spirit."
Frankie looked surprised. "What's the Christmas Spirit?"
"The Christmas Spirit is love -- pure and simple. Every year, right around December, there's a special feeling in the air. People are kinder, they give to those who have little and spend time with friends and family. Have you noticed a change recently?"
Frankie thought for a moment. "Everything seems prettier. People seem happier."
"That's the Christmas Spirit at work. The Christmas Spirit is a gift we all receive every year. And those who are most blessed, carry it with them all year."
"Parents want their children to remember the gift of Christmas every year, so they put presents under the tree and say a man named Santa is responsible until each child asks the question you asked me tonight. Then they get to share the wonderful secret of the Christmas Spirit."
"A secret?" Frankie's voice was hushed with awe.
"Yes, now that you asked about Santa, I know that you're old enough to understand the Christmas Spirit. But until other children ask their parents, you shouldn't tell them there's no Santa because they may not be old enough to understand yet."
Frankie nodded and winked. "I won't tell, I promise."
"When people ask if I believe in Santa, I say yes. I absolutely believe that there is a Christmas Spirit that visits each house at Christmas. Does it matter whether that Spirit is wearing a red suit? Or what we call it?"
Frankie shook his head. "Nope!"
"So congratulations! You are officially old enough to start learning about the Christmas Spirit." Frankie crinkled his nose. "Start learning?" "Yes. It takes the rest of your life to figure out how to keep the Christmas Spirit in your heart all year long."