Thursday, December 2, 2010

Secret Agents for Santa: Teaching Kids to Give at Christmastime

(I hesitate to share this, since we want this to be a secret activity that our family is doing this season, but the blogger in me wants to share this idea with other mommies who might want to do something similar with their children.  If you are interested, I'm sure Santa would be happy to enlist your children as well!)

We woke up yesterday to find this letter from Santa tucked into one of our stockings.  
Here is the message that he left for us:

"Hello my friends, Santa here.
I've come to check on my Guy, Scarlett, and Autumn dear,
To see if you've been good all year.
(And you least that's what I hear.)

I know that Guy has had some fun
Helping his sisters each one.
Scarlett is learning how to play
Nicely with siblings every day.
Autumn has sure come a long way
With all of the kind words she has learned to say.
Mom and Dad have been good through and through
And now I have a special request for you...

You see, this year I have so many children on the "good list"
And I don't want a single one to be missed,
So I need your help during Christmas this year
To bring these families some holiday cheer.

Now go to work my little elves
Bringing gifts, singing songs, and giving of yourselves
I'll be back Christmas Eve to see what you've done.
Enjoy each adventure, have lots of fun!


After reading Santa's note, we all agreed that we would be happy to be Santa's special (and secret) helpers this holiday season.  Guy pulled out a slip of paper and started writing down names of people he wanted to help.  He carried his list around discretely in his pocket all day yesterday to remind him who he wanted to help.

After school, we went to visit some people who were on Santa's "good list".  While we were visiting with one woman, we asked her if Santa came to her house.  She said that he did.  Then Guy asked her what she wanted Santa to bring her.  She thought for a moment and then said, "I'm hoping that Santa will bring me a BIG hug from a little boy."  Guy got this big smile on his face that said, "I'm a little boy and I can give BIG hugs!!!"  I gave him the go ahead, and he gave our new friend a nice big hug.  It was really special.  He felt so important and like he was doing something that only he could do.  I could also tell how much this hug warmed the heart of our friend.

Later, as I tucked Guy into bed I told him how proud he made me today when he hugged our friend.  (All of my kids actually do a great job serving and being a light to those we visit.)

Guy said, "We were sent there by Santa."  I said, "Yes, we were.  We were following what Santa asked us to do...and do you know who Santa follows?"  Guy said, "No, who?"  I said, "Santa helps people and comforts them and takes care of them, because Santa follows Jesus.  So when we help people, we are also following Jesus."  A light seemed to go on in Guy's head and then he asked, "Does Santa make good choices?" (Making good choices is a favorite topic of ours around here.)  I said that yes he certainly does make good choices.  Guy seemed very pleased with this and drifted off to sleep.

"Homage" by Danny Hahlbohm

(The rest of this story is not as pretty...all three of my kids caught a stomach bug at the place we've been visiting for the last two days, so they "had the throw-ups" as we say at our house, all last night, but it's a blessing that it was just a 12-hour bug.  We hope to be back to Elfing soon!)

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  1. Oh, Jocelyn. You are doing such good mothering here. And you are helping to create such wonderful people.

    I only wish every parent in the world made of their parenting what you are making of yours. Those children of yours are lucky as can be!


    PS. And, I suspect, so is everyone who knows all of you. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. Jocelyn, you are amazing! I can't wait until my kid(s) are old enough to enjoy doing things like this. Until then, I guess it's just me and the hubby with the kid in tow :)

  3. What a wonderful story and example. So sorry to hear about the sickness though. Ugh!

  4. I love that picture you posted with Santa and the nativity scene. I've never seen that before - is it from a story book?

    We've been trying to figure out what we can do this year for others also. We've done the 12 days of Christmas before and that was our best Christmas ever.

  5. Is there a way I could get this print? It is beautiful!!!

  6. I found this image on another site...the artist is a well-known Christian artist named Danny Hahlbohm...and I gather this painting is called "Homage". I'm sure you could get your hands on it!

  7. is my name on Guy's list? Can he come and give me hug in person? JK...I just hope.

  8. well you know you are on the right track with a little opposition thown (throwing up) in. lol!

  9. Oh, what a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas and teach kids what it really is supposed to mean. I love the letter and the way that you presented it.

  10. I love it! I have so many friends who have cut Santa out of their Christmas traditions because they feel he takes away from the true meaning of Christmas....and it's been hard for me to find the right words to share with them as to why I still "believe" in Santa. Now I know what to say....thanks to you sweet blogging friend. :)

  11. I love the idea that Santa is following Jesus Christ's example...thanks for sharing your thoughts and great ideas and story once again!

  12. What a great idea...thank you for being a good blogger and sharing it. I can't wait to share it with my kids...

  13. I love this Jocelyn. Can I borrow this idea for my family? We have secret sisters (family of 8 girls) where they have a secretly try to serve eachother for the month of December. It is in need of tweeking because I keep hearing comments like, "Mom, will you please tell 'so-in-so' to do something for me. My secret sister hasn't gotten me anything" So ya, we need a new focus. Love the idea and I love how you have taught your children that Santa follows Jesus. Thank-you!!

  14. This is the cutest idea in the world! I love Santa and the magic he brings to the Christmas season. I'm soooo going to be using your blog daily when we have children. As in, go through your archives all the time. You should put it all in a book! :)

  15. Jocelyn,

    I LOVE your blog! Where did you find that cute ornament. It would make a perfect gift for my children to add to their own trees and traditions. Thanks so much!