Today’s entry is a throw-back post written by my wife, Carrie, from December of 2012. This was the year we brought our baby girls home from Congo, and was the year our family was complete. It was also the year that we had to take down the Christmas tree the same day we put it up, because JoJo kept trying to climb it. Ahhh, the good old days. And since this crazy family doesn’t have time (or energy) for family photo sessions, consider this our Wood Family Christmas card to you!
Dear Grace, Haven, Immanuel, Josias, Katriel and Louise,
No, there is no Santa Claus. That guy at the mall, he’s just a guy in a red suit. Yep, that guy at the grocery store, too. And the one ringing the bell at Walmart. Not Santa, and not the same guy.
Santa does not live down the street at the house with the crazy bazillion light Christmas display.
There is a North Pole, but people don’t live there. OK, with global warming and all people might live there by the time you’re old enough to read this letter, but as of right now, there are no elves or Claus family living on the North Pole.
There are reindeer, but they don’t fly or have glowing noses.
There is no naughty list and JoJo is not on it. But that elf on the shelf, that is JoJo. I’m not telling you all this to dash your sugarplum dreams against the rocks. I’m not trying to take away a childhood right of passage. But I want you to know the truth.
Grace, before we ever brought you home we decided that we would not make Santa a part of our Christmas tradition. We didn’t want it to just be a crazy gift getting frenzy of a holiday. We wanted it to be a celebration of Jesus’s birthday, not a competition to see who got the most presents under the tree.
And yes, we do have presents and someday we’ll have a tree. I like Christmas lights and eggnog as much as anyone. But Christmas is more than that.
We also wanted you to know that we would never lie to you even about something silly like Santa. Because someday you’re going to have some hard questions about your lives before you joined our family and we want you to know that we will tell you all the truth we know. We’ll share it with you at the right time and stage of your life, but you will know everything that we know. And when we have to answer your questions with “I don’t know” you’ll know that we’re telling the truth about that, too.
For instance, we don’t really know for sure the exact dates that any of you were born. We also really don’t know why any of your became orphans. We have some clues, some guesses, but the truth is we don’t know.
But here is another truth I want all of you to believe. You are the six most extraordinary people in the world. Each of you are bright shining blessings in my life. You all started with very hard lives and very sad stories. But now we are one amazing family writing a new story together. You are my greatest Christmas gifts ever.
The truth is no guy in a red suit could have pulled off that kind of miracle.
PS–Louise, put your dress down, this letter was supposed to have a serious ending!
Anyway. This is how we decided to deal with the Santa Clause controversy. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Carrie is a fantastic and funny writer. I will continue to share some of her posts in the future. Have a fantastic Christmas.