Her parents have told her relatively little about the whole Christmas tradition compared what she’s picked up from her friends. She knows, for instance, a whole bunch of Christmas songs that she learned at day care, some of which the kids sang at a local hospital’s geriatric unit. (“Going to see the grandmas and grandpas” is how it’s put.)
One of the songs she knows is “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” She may have known about it before from a “dancing snowman” one of my in-laws cursed us with a year or two ago. In any case, she’s taken the words to heart.
So much so that one day, the day after a night when Lydia was slow to get to bed, Lydia started crying uncontrollably for no obvious reason. After the paternal investigation, it came to light that she thought she wasn’t being very good the night before, that Santa could “see” that she was being “bad” and she would get no gifts for Christmas! I had to reassure her that she in fact was a good child and that Santa would not “stiff” her.
One of my pastors preached on his disdain for that particular song. It might have been based somewhat on that omniscient thing.
Still, a parent can be tempted, when a child is slow to wash her hands before supper or hasn’t picked up her toys to ask her, “Do you think Santa would think you are being good?” I’ve declined that option. This year.