Too old for Santa? I think not.
Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.
There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"
You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.
It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.
It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.
It's the magic of looking at your lumpy, stuffed stocking on Christmas morning, trying to figure out exactly what is in there.
It's the magic of visiting cousins on Christmas Day and seeing what Santa brought them. It's also realizing that Santa's toys for boys are a LOT different than what he left for you and your sisters. (A wood burning kit?? A BB gun?? Yay!)
We've been doing Secret Santa here at the office. We had a $20 limit for 4 days of gifts. I think I had more fun with the gifts FOR the lady whose name I'd drawn than with the gifts I received. However, how fun is it to walk into work every day and find a treat or a trinket or a thoughtful something waiting for you? To know that the person who gifted you these things put thought into who you are, what you like, what gifts suit you.
And then today, we meet our Secret Santas. Maybe it's a guy out in the print shop whom you've only seen in passing. Or it's the lady in proof-reading who makes homemade jellies just for this season. Or maybe it's that young man in the web department who is quiet and polite.
It's magic. It's joyful. It's fun.
At that first Christmas, it didn't seem like much to celebrate. Mary and Joseph, exhausted from their journey, have to take refuge in a stable. Mary has to give birth with only her husband there to help. But then, the guests came. The shepherds - the first to believe in and meet the Messiah. The wise men - the learned skeptics from a far away land. There were likely others: women at the inn who learned of the new baby - they must has come to offer clothes and food. Others who had gathered in Bethlehem for the census - curious about that star and the gossip about that baby.
Joy. Peace. Beauty. Wonder. Love.
No, Secret Santa is not the answer to our pain or our sin. But Secret Santa does remind us that joy is possible, and His name is Emmanuel.
So put up the stockings, pop some popcorn, light up the tree and enjoy the magic.