Dear Santa: All I Want for Christmas is the Truth!

Photography © by Andy Coan

Our nephew Noah, 7, has a real thing about Santa. Last year he was thrilled when he and his mom had breakfast with the jolly bearded fellow at the zoo in their hometown.

The photos tell the tale. The first shows Noah with a look of ecstasy on his face as he perches on Santa’s lap, explaining in careful detail exactly what he wants. The next shot shows the boy’s expression of joyous relief because he’s delivered his important message – and Santa seems to have gotten the point.

Despite such wonderful moments, many Catholic parents face a dilemma. Should they take the kids to see Santa at the mall and risk turning Christmas into a “buy me, get me” fest?

Or should they ignore the secular Santa and disappoint the children?

For many parents, Santa has become a symbol of greedy commercialism. He is all about elves, the North Pole, the reindeer – and that big pile of gifts.

There are plenty of toys overflowing from his sack, but no evidence of a Bible. In fact, the typical mall Santa seems oblivious to the real message of Christmas – and even seems to be vying with the Christ Child for attention.

There is a way out, fortunately, and Noah’s parents have found it. Last year, they located a Santa who sent the little fellow a personalized letter. In it, Santa revealed that he knew quite a bit about Noah’s life, including the names of the boy’s teacher and his dog, Buttercup.

But what really made my day was the heart of Santa’s letter:

“Of course, Christmas Day is all about celebrating… the birth of Jesus Christ… Jesus is very important for boys and girls – He gives us hope and loves us very, very much! Keep Jesus in your heart forever!”

What a wonderful concept – a Santa who tells children about Jesus! Wouldn’t it be lovely if all parents had an option like this at Christmas time?

I think many parents would be thrilled to take their kids to see a Santa who emphasizes the real truth about the season. After all, without Jesus, there would be no Christmas parties, no carols, no trees glittering with lights, no mountain of gifts – and no Santa at all.

And a wise Santa might go on to emphasize that because Christ did come into the world, children receive a present that may not be on their list, but is still the most wondrous one of all.

You won’t find this gift under the tree, of course. You’ll find it in their hearts.


Lorraine’s latest books include “Death of a Liturgist” – a wild and wacky mystery about a layman who wreaks havoc on a traditional parish; and The Abbess of Andalusia – an exploration of Flannery O’Connor’s Catholic journey. Her web site is www.lorrainevmurray.com


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About the Author

Lorraine is the author of “The Abbess of Andalusia: Flannery O’Connor’s Spiritual Journey.” She also has written three mysteries, most recently “Death Dons a Mask.” Her email is lorrainevmurray@yahoo.com. All of her books can be seen on her website is www.lorrainevmurray.com.

Lorraine V. Murray grew up in Miami, and graduated from Immaculata Academy High School. One of the nuns there predicted that if Lorraine went to a secular college, she would be in great danger of losing her faith. Lorraine thought that was funny, but in fact the sister’s prediction came true.

Majoring in English at the University of Florida, Lorraine bid farewell to her Catholicism when she was 19. She went on to get a Ph.D. in philosophy and became a radical feminist and atheist for over 20 years.

After teaching courses in English and philosophy on the college level, Lorraine worked as an editor in a university publications office. In her forties, the Lord called her back to her Catholic roots, and she went on to write about her conversion journey in her book “Confessions of an Ex-Feminist.”

Her recent books are "Death of a Liturgist," a fun-filled mystery featuring murder and mayhem in a Georgia parish, and "The Abbess of Andalusia," which explores Flannery O'Connor's Catholic journey. All her books can be seen at www.lorrainevmurray.com (link provided below).

Lorraine writes regular columns for the religion section of “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution” and “The Georgia Bulletin.” She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband, Jef, a Tolkien artist and book illustrator. In her spare time, she bakes bread, watches hummingbirds, and chases squirrels out of her garden.

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