I didn’t grow up believing in Santa Claus. It just wasn’t part of our dialogue at Christmas-time. When I had kids of my own, my husband and I decided that at our house, Santa would fill stockings, but we would get the credit for the presents under the tree. Santa is not the focus of Christmas at our house though. He just brings fun stuff and creates a little magic and suspense.
On Christmas Eve, my kids put out cookies and milk and Jason sent them to bed while I was busy with who knows what task in preparation for the next morning. When I completed said task and came into the living room, Jason told me that I needed to read the letter that one of our children had written to Santa.
I wasn’t emotionally prepared for what it said.
I am not perfect. This year I have been bad and I have been good.
I want you to bring me a friend for Christmas.”
Oh. My. Heart. I blinked back hot tears as I looked up at Jason from the crayon written message.
I knew that this child had been struggling. His best buddy from years past is in a different class this year and has understandably paired off with another boy who is in his class now. My guy has struggled to fill the void that has left. I was just not aware that it was weighing this heavily on him.
There was not a doubt that this year, Santa was writing back.
When our kids struggle with peer relationships, we can coach them to be a problem solver or a victim. We can help them to look at what is in their control and outside of their control. We can remind them that if they want a friend, they need to be a friend. We can give them confidence in who they are and whose they are so that they know that they belong and they are loved. I often quote Dr Kathy Koch at our house. “You were created on purpose, with purpose and for a purpose.” Sometimes they just need a little reminder.
My kids went back to school on Tuesday. And Wednesday morning, this kiddo said, “Guess what, I found another friend that I can play with!”
Yes, you did son, yes you did. There is always a friend waiting for you if you have courage and look for one.