A month ago, the kids were all gung ho to be perfect for Santa. They would clean and dust their rooms every day. They would do all their chores without asking. The dishwasher would be unloaded before I even noticed it was finished and so on. And for a few days, it was really like that. I was, like, hey, I like it! I just knew that the days leading up to Christmas would be truly joyful if this kept up. And why wouldn't it? As Christmas approaches, the need to behave for Santa increases exponentially, right?
So now we're in the final days of Christmas and I'm hearing things like this.
"Santa knows I'm on vacation"
"Santa needs to focus on making toys not checking to see if I vacuumed."
"I'll do it extra good tomorrow, and Santa will see it then."
or my personal favorite, performed with a whine and a twist, "I AM being good."
Now funny enough, I'm not the one reminding them about Santa watching, it's my youngest son, self-appointed santa-police. Since we've been on NORAD.com and Claus.com, he parrots, "I know Santa's e-mail." He now considers the nagging of his sibs to be 'helping' the cause.
A friend told me a funny story. She said her son was just the perfect angel 'for santa' until he went to sit on Santa's knee. Santa told him that "he could tell by looking at him that he'd been a good boy and would definitely get a visit on Christmas." So her son is, like, "Mom, he already decided. He's coming. I don't have to worry." And all that angelic behavior fell by the wayside.
So here's the lesson. Kids have to feel good about doing the right thing, so they're not dependent on external circumstances for their rewards. Then they'll continue to do the right thing all the days of their lives. Sorry, Santa. Temporary behavior changes for your benefit just don't cut it.
May your days be merry and bright. Enjoy these precious days leading up to Christmas. Remember that peace begins in your own heart. xox
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.