Friday, December 14, 2012

Santa Stop Here: Remembering the Students of Sandy Hook CT


I have a kindergartener.  We are planning to get out the tree and lights and ornaments tomorrow, and decorate the house for Christmas.  This morning,  as we drove over to the hospital for his brother's appointment, Jude was looking at all the decorations that houses and businesses have put on their exteriors.  His biggest concern today was that we put things outside, too: "How will Santa find our house if we don't decorate outside?"  Outside of the (undecorated) hospital, another mother and I shared a smile; even if you don't decorate, Santa just KNOWS where to stop, but Jude's not taking any chances.  There is logic in his innocence.

My day was interrupted by an AP alert sent to my phone.  "20 children dead in a CT school."  My first thought was of my own children in schools.  Logic says, "They are fine -- we live in New Jersey."  My mother's heart looked at the clock, calculated how long until the day is over and I could pick them up and hug them, and fought the instinct to go pull them out of school early and hug them right that moment.

My day was shattered when I read the accompanying story:  most of the murdered children were believed to be kindergarteners.

 Just like Jude. 

How many of those kindergarteners decorated their trees in the last few weeks, ready for Santa to leave presents beneath? How many put lights outside, or inflatable scenes, or just a "Santa Stop Here!" sign, so the Big Guy knew where they lived?

How many of the survivors will see Santa in the next few days, their parents trying to provide some type of "normalcy" and distraction?  How many will ask Santa to bring their friends back?  If they put decorations outside, he'll know which house to bring them to. 

How many kindergarteners will not celebrate this Christmas?  Faith says they are innocents taken to heaven, in time to celebrate Christmas with the original St. Nicholas.  A comfort, yes, but their parents still will have decorations outside, and no reason for Santa to stop. 

Jude has no understanding of what has happened today in Connecticut.  I'm grateful.  I am having a hard time explaining it to my older kids.  I don't understand it, either.  Even when the investigation is over,  and the "whys" are made public,  I still don't think I will understand.  They are not "adults who lived their lives," or "youths in the prime of their lives."  They were babies who believed that happiness would be found under the tree in a few days.

Tonight, I'm hugging all of my children a little tighter.  And tomorrow, Jude and I will decorate outside the house, so there is no confusion whether Santa should stop here or not.  And when we are done, we will stop and say a prayer for the families of the children lost today, and that the spirit of Santa -- the ideals of selfless giving and love -- is given to everyone's family, whether their lawn is decorated or not.


  1. I was thinking something similar this evening. Our elf on a shelf needs to find a new place to hide, and I couldn't help but think of the parents in CT that don't need to help their elf move tonight. Heartbreaking.

  2. Evil is difficult to comprehend. So grateful for the time we have to homeschool and spend with our kids!
    I'm your newest follower and fellow Crew member. A blessed Advent to you and yours!


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