The other day my sister gave us a book entitled The Elf on the Shelf. It’s a cute story that comes with a stuffed elf who lives with your family until Christmas. Each night the elf goes to report to Santa Claus about your child’s behavior. The next morning, he always appears in a different place.

My first grader has loved the adventure of finding Eddie, as she named him, every morning. She has also been very diligent to follow the rules in the book, which include not touching the elf lest you ruin his “magic.” So, on the way home from school yesterday she asked what would happen if her little sister touched Eddie or if one of her friends grabbed him. I took a deep breath before attempting to answer that one.

“Santa follows Jesus’ example,” I said. “He would give you grace if your sister touched Eddie because he knows that her autism makes it hard for her to understand rules.”

“So, Santa won’t be mad at Rachel either?”

“I don’t think so. Santa loves people like Jesus does,” I said.

I’m not sure about the deeper theological arguments about the Santa Claus subject, but I love how the gospel of Jesus can fit into almost any conversation.

Merry Christmas. May God grant you opportunities to share His gospel this season.