Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santa is for Real

Is this lie hurting our kids?

I can’t be the only mom on the planet that cringes at the Santa questions. I think most of us would agree that we hate lying to our kids. Perhaps it’s because we’re still recovering from the exposé of our own childhood when that sixth grader on the playground robbed us of our innocence by blabbing the "truth" about Santa Claus. Maybe some of you out there are really like me (I apologize) and even though you don’t like fibbing to your kids you also cherish the years you had falling asleep on Christmas eve waiting and wondering if Santa and those reindeer would really, truly come to your house and deliver those shiny new presents that seemed to be blanketed in a layer of fairy dust.  We want that for our children, we really do, but the lies… the LIES! 

Do you want to know I've discovered?  We actually don’t have to lie.  Let me explain.
You see, Christ himself taught in parables when he lived on the earth. So why not now? He’s not dead.  He’s very much alive.  So, doesn’t it make sense that he’s still teaching us today? And if he’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow wouldn't it make sense that he’d teach us in parables now just like he did before?  So the way I see it, Santa Claus, his reindeer, his kingdom up north, his midnight ride around the world, his gift giving, his naughty or nice list, his sled, his magic, his everything… is all a parable, and this parable is given to us by our Savior to provide us with a simple, child-like way to teach our children about the Savior himself.

Let’s start with Santa in the North Pole, making his list, checking it twice, finding out who is naughty or nice.  If my theory is correct and if Christ himself has truly offered the story of Santa Claus to us as a parable, what is he trying to teach and who is Santa Claus a representation of? I think that Santa Claus is a representation of Christ himself.   Our Savior, Jesus Christ, now a resurrected being, sits on his throne high in the heavens as the judge of Israel. He sees us when we’re sleeping, he knows when we’re a wake he knows if we’ve been good or bad and he pleads with us to be good for goodness sake (or in other words, for the sake of the good shepherd). 

His red suit is another symbol of Christ. I know what you’re thinking.  Santa’s suite turned red the minute Coca-Cola decided to use him as their money making mascot. But origins aside I believe things happen for a reason and I feel that this one is on purpose. The color red is very emblematic.  Not only is it one of the dominate colors of Christmas it is one of the dominant colors of Christianity.  Christ bled from every pore when suffering for our sins, he administered red wine to his apostles at the last supper and in the book of Revelations John tells us that Christ will come “clothed with a vesture dipped in blood” Revelation 19:13.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Santa Claus comes bearing gifts to all the world in his own vesture of crimson red. 

Although Christ was actually born in the spring we celebrate Christmas in the dead of winter when a good portion of the world around us is iced over and failing to thrive.  Sure this may have been a decision made hundreds of years ago to thwart off pagan celebrations but this is too symbolic to be tossed aside as a mere coincidence.  Before Christ comes again the earth will be in its darkest state.  Just when things won’t seem to be able to get any worse Christ will come as bright as the sun rising in the east.  When all things in the earth are cold, dark and dying, He will come to redeem all mankind.  He is the light in the darkness and he “cometh as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5 (D&C 106:4) It makes sense then that Santa Claus, too, would steel through the night, in the coldest, darkest time of the year bringing joy to all who believe.

Isaiah tells us (66:15) that when Christ comes again the wind and the fire will collect around him in the manner of a chariot.  A chariot in ancient times pulled by a team of horses might have looked something like this. 

Look familiar?

Coincidence, you might say.  Blasphemy, you might even accuse.  But –in my many hours of dwelling - I just can’t believe that these crucial comparisons are an accident.  Can you?

The reindeer that so valiantly pull Santa’s sleigh, I believe, are symbolic of those ancient prophets and apostles who have come in the meridian of time to prepare the way of the Lord.  Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter, James and John and several others have all been key in the ushering in of the Second Coming of our Savior.  They come before the master and prepare the way of his coming just as those tiny reindeer do for Kris Kringle.
How does Santa deliver all of those presents to all of those kids in just one night?  This is a question that every child has asked.  And parents all over the globe usually answer with one word, “Magic.”  But the same question might be asked by children and adults alike, “How does Christ know me personally?  How does he know each of the billions of people who have lived on the earth by name?  And even more importantly how is it possible that he suffered for each of our individual sins?”  Is it magic?  Well, no, but it is beyond our understanding.  I won’t even try to answer this question because I have no idea but I know that God’s comprehension of time far surpasses ours and I feel that Santa and his “magical” ability to deliver gifts to all the world in so little time is symbolic of Christ suffering for the sins of the world during his time in Gethsemane.  His suffering was for all and this gift, this sacrifice that he made was an individual ransom for our sins, our pains, our sufferings.  It’s hard to wrap our mortal minds around how that is possible.  But as children we learn to have faith in things that we don’t understand and as adults that faith is fueled by eternal truths. 

Finally after a long, dark slumber children awake to the hope that Santa has left presents for them under the tree.  We, as Christians, also have this hope.  We hope for the gift of eternal life and happiness that can’t be imagined in this life time.  We hope for a time when our sorrows, pains and both physical and mental ailments will be a distant memory and the gift of resurrection and a brilliant forever will be ours to have and hold.  And as the children descend the staircase and peak around the corner, their hopes are realized.  For in front of the fireplace lies a plate full of crumbs and under the tree are the gifts that were asked for each labeled by name. Christ too will come; he will bring gifts of an eternal nature that we can’t yet understand.  But his gifts are personal.  He knows us all.  He knows our faith and our struggles.  He knows the good and the bad.  And he’s merciful to all who can only believe.  
Of course there is a caveat.  Because just like any gift from God that is handled by man, the parable of Santa can be twisted into something ungodly that would distract us from our belief in Christ.  But if used properly and in the way Christ intended I believe the parable of Santa Claus can be an instrument in teaching our children about our relationship with our Redeemer.  I think it’s natural that as Christian parents we grow concerned that if our Children find out we were “lying” to them about Santa they might also think we’re “lying” to them about Jesus.  But Jesus isn’t a lie.  He lives and he will come again and we can teach our children that Santa Claus is a symbol of the true and living Christ.  And by so doing my hope is that as our children grow they will remember the lessons taught to them as children, they will remember the lessons of Santa Claus and they will have a more palpable and fortifying understanding of their relationship with our Savior. 

So the next time your kids ask you if Santa is real you can answer the way I do, “Yes, he is very real.  He is a symbol of Jesus Christ.  Christ has given us Santa’s story as a fun way for moms and dads to teach their kiddos about the wonderful things Christ has done for us.” They’ll only get about a third of that but when the time comes for them to understand they will have a deeper and truer understanding of their relationship with Jesus Christ.  I hope this has helped you the way it has helped me.  If you’ve made it this far in my stream of consciousness you may argue that this is simply another mom’s justification to help ease her anxiety and maybe you’re right.  But I feel in my heart that this is more than that.  I feel that I’m on the right track.  Thank you for reading, enjoy your Christmas with your children.  Learn from them what it is to believe in something they cannot see and have a very wonderful and very merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I Believe!

Christmas is in the air and I am so excited to get the word out about my books so teens everywhere can enjoy a good, clean read.  Pretty, pretty please share this post on your own blog, Facebook and Twitter. I really and truly believe that my books can uplift teens in a world full of confusing media.
Thanks for believing!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

10 things that are Not Okay

I repeat these three words somewhere around a million times a day as a less aggressive way of telling my three thriving offspring that what they're doing is bad.  "It's not okay to hit your sister,"  "It's not okay to play in the toilet,"  "It's not okay to squeeze the babies head between your knees," and so on.  

I use this phrase because it feels kinder to say "That's not okay" than to say "That's bad" or even worse, "You're bad," which wouldn't be true anyway because they are not bad kids, not at all.  They are beautiful, innocent, sweet, loving little kiddos that just make a ba-jillion not-okay choices every day.  But don't we all?

As I live side by side with other members of our human race I can't help but wonder if we're not also just a bunch of well-intending little kiddos making our own ba-jillion not-okay choices.  There are so many good things in our world... so many people trying to do the right thing and trying to make a positive difference, and this is why I'm so confused about the universally accepted "not-okay" things that are being overlooked. 

For instance it's not okay for teen driven movies to portray adolescent sexual activity as not only awesome, glorious and amazing but totally normal. 

It's also not okay that I rarely read a young adult novel these days that doesn't portray sex, swearing, drugs and violence as acceptable. 

It's not okay that public broadcasting stations don't allow most swear words to be said by those working or performing on the network but taking the Lord's name in vain is completely fine.

It's not okay for Victoria Secret to display larger-than-life photos of pornographic images in front of their store for the whole universe (including children) to see.  "Pornographic is a bit strong" you say?  Have you seen the posters?  They totally are. 

It's not okay to say demeaning and derogatory comments about anyone: male or female, black or white, homosexual or heterosexual, Muslim, Christian or Jew... But its also not okay to say demeaning and derogatory comments towards Mormons (who by the way are very much Christian).  And its not okay that this isn't universally understood. 

It's not okay that "living together" before marriage has become not only the norm but deemed as necessary. 

It's not okay that my five year old son has already been taught the word "sex" (though to be clear he thinks the definition of sex is to kiss a bug... and we're leaving it at that).

It's not okay that teen directed radio stations are playing a constant stream of music with lyrics degrading sexual purity.  Last time I looked the #4 song on Billboards was a song called "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo.  I have never listened to this song myself but for the purpose of writing this post I read some of the lyrics (and wanted to throw up in my mouth).  It makes me physically sick to think that this song is being listened to by millions of kids every day.  I won't even get started on Pitbull. 

It's not okay that a book review site geared towards educating parents on young adult books rated a certain book acceptable for 14 year old teens while describing it in the following way: characters use strong language pretty regularly ("f--k," "a--hole," "d(--)che," "s--t," etc.) and discuss their sexual experience. The actual sexual content is fairly tame for a college-set story: limited to kissing and making out partially undressed in bed.
Fourteen?  Really?  That is so not okay. (btw this book was voted #2 on GoodReads top YA Novels of 2013... so yeah, a lot of kids are reading it.)

It's not okay that women today think they need to show more of their body parts in order to gain respect.  Just because men have wrongfully been revered for their sexuality in years past doesn't mean women should become more sexual in order to become equal.  It should be the other way around.  (I learned this from https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/the-moral-force-of-women?lang=eng and totally love it!)

What is okay, however... is for you to have your own opinion.  And yeah, I know that it's a free country and the body is beautiful and we should express ourselves and yada yada yada.  I've heard it and I agree.  Our bodies are beautiful and this is why we should be modest and chaste and teach our children to be the same.  And yes, this is a free country and we are free to stand up for what is right.  It is so easy to stand back and let the world go on doing what the world wants to go on doing but it is incredibly important that we stand up and say something.  That we do something.  That we try to change Some Thing.  And the only way we can change is to open our eyes, look around and admit that some things are not okay.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It's no joke...

Today is my husband James' birthday and I have been banging my head against wall for the past few weeks trying to figure out what to get him.  And then it donned on me... the thing James likes most in this world is for me to buy... LESS! 

But it's boring to get him nothing so instead I'm making an extra effort to earn him money for his birthday. 

How do I do that?? By selling books!

So I'm offering my special $15 book price (plus shipping) to the world for the next three days so that I can make some extra cash to give James on his special day.  I know this is a random picture for me to post of him and me but riding Splash Mountain at Disney Land is one of my favorite things to do with this guy.  He is such a fun, awesome and loving husband and I really hope I can get some extra book sales to show him how much I love him. (No pressure...)
So click away on the "Happy Birthday James - Buy Now" button on the top right corner of my blog.  AND PLEASE VERIFY IN THE SPECIAL INSTRUCTION SECTION WHICH BOOK YOU ARE BUYING (OR BOTH) AND WHO YOU WANT ME TO SIGN THEM TO. 

Thanks in advance from me and James on his special 31st birthday! :) Love you James!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


I have this thing with Victoria Secret.  I guess we all pick our battles and this is one that I've picked.  I get that the world is in need of lingerie and so I'm not against them as a retail store but I feel that the way they choose to market their product is polluting the minds of our children.  I won't get into the details... because they're messy and controversial and that's not what this post is about, but what I'm trying to say is that I feel this surge of energy to try to change what I think is wrong in the world.  I want to make a difference.  I want to stand up for what's right.  My mind goes wild with thoughts, ideas and possibilities and then I try to move.  I try to put those thoughts into action and its like... well its like I'm standing in quicksand. 

I write clean teen fiction.  I feel passionate about this because I know from first-hand experience that every teen in the world needs a place where they can look for a good example... a moral hero.  And I also know from first-hand experience that there is a ton of garbage in the world that is standing in the way of the good.  So I write.  I write with purpose.  I write with the hope and the intent that my readers will see the good choices of my characters and how it positively affects their lives and I hope with every breath that I take that it will stick.  That it will do some good.  But writing books is hard and marketing books  feels impossible.  And right now I'm standing in the middle of that quicksand trying so hard to move forward but mostly I just feel like I'm sinking. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Write a Book and Be a Mom... at the same time?

Okay, not all the kids in the photo are mine but I do have three kids under the age of six and I'm desperately trying to figure out how to make this all work.  I used to write after my kids went to sleep but three kids leave me trying to catch my breath at the end of the day and if I can still hold my head up by the time they're asleep then opening up my computer and punching out a novel (while totally fun) tends to get nudged down the priority list (below clean the house, check my email and shave my legs...ha ha ha, as if).

So what's the answer?  How do I take care of three growing kids and finish my three book series at the same time?  Oh you probably thought this was a "How to" post.  Nope, it's a question.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sold Out!
All 10 of my black Friday sale books are gone!
(Plus some... since a few of you snuck a few purchases while I was out at dinner! :)) 
Thanks for taking advantage of this deal. 
Please continue to spread the word to your friends, family and communities! 
I'm so close to reaching my goal of Second Kiss sales and well on my way with Second to No One
My entire purpose in writing these books is to show teens that good wholesome decisions can lead to an amazingly fun life. 
Thank you for all your support!