Is Santa coming?
Do you have a child that has faith in Santa? At what age did you stop believing in Santa? Samoa does not have a Santa, Christmas has always been about Jesus and not a fat man squeezing down our chimneys in the middle of the night, eating cookies and drinking milk.
We do not have a north pole or encourage our children to write a wish list to Santa. We learn about Santa through movies and happily ever after story plots.
I ﬁnd myself smiling at my four year old and all her Santa questions. She also believes in unicorns and fairies and I’m not sure what age I was when I stopped believing in those too. It is never too early to start talking to our kids about the essence of christmas.
We can do this by talking about Jesus early. This can be done throughout the whole year and not just on Christmas Day. Family prayer time and Sunday church are good times to share our faith with our family.
We can also discuss that nativity story. Talk to children about the story of Jesus’ birth and the events around it. You can also make it a family movie night with older kids by watching the Nativity movie. There are many different versions available.
Instead of focussing on the realness of Santa, we can all encourage our children to appreciate what they are given and also to show kindness to others who are less fortunate. This year hasn’t been the easiest for many of us with the cost of living. Nothing is cheap these days. Even being in Auckland this week conﬁrms that. Food is not cheap along with petrol and the high cost of living.
It’s probably why many Paciﬁc people are still planning to move to Australia or elsewhere. Those who left ten to ﬁfteen years ago are now enjoying a more stable living situation instead of moving from house to house. Those who struggled to buy a house and entered the real estate market eons ago are now better off than their relatives in Auckland with most of their income going to rental houses. Unless you double or triple your income, owning a house in New Zealand is becoming harder each year with the high demand for houses and availability.
Other ways that can show our love for others during christmas is praying for those who need help as well as praying for anyone you are buying a gift for. That they may experience Christ this christmas. A good christmas activity is hand making those creative christmas cards for family and friends. Help our children focus on others by sending out christmas cards in the mail or hand delivering them to uncles and aunties on the day. Do not underestimate the power of created art. It is much more personal than some $10 hallmark card that is mass produced and reprinted a hundred times over.
Remember also, the power of sharing food! Everyone loves a good hearty meal. If words fail then share food. You know our people will not waste that. I remember being a foreign student years ago and helping to serve food to the elderly on Christmas Day has always been a special memory.
Even though I was not home with my family, serving others who did not have family around during the festive season was well worth the time. I spent another christmas in Japan teaching English to rural children and women. It was eye opening and a mission in itself. While we enjoy another peaceful Sunday Samoa, don’t forget to look out for small gestures of kindness to help someone this season. It’s not christmas yet but plan wisely and never tire of doing good. Have a great week ahead!
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