Bensten_Santas Sake_Large

For Santa's Sake

Author: Jessica Bensten
Published Date: Thursday, December 22, 2016

There’s a lot of excitement going on at our house. In case you don’t have daily reminders like I do:

Santa’s coming!

I have one particularly exuberant 8-year-old boy, Jackson, who keeps our advent calendar – and his mother – updated daily. To add to December’s splendor, he also celebrates a birthday three days after Christmas.

That means:

  • We’ve got all the toys ever made and marketed circled in our circulars. Walmart. Target. Toys “R" Us.
  • He stayed up one night sitting beside me in the same chair and said, “Mom, let’s create my Amazon gift list.”
  • In the car, he filled my work notepad with what is now a double-sided page of gift suggestions.
  • There’s a “Notes” entry saved on my iPhone – and it includes coordinating pictures.

Someone pass the offering plate.

With his Christmas and birthday wish list under control, Jackson has now honed in on his behavior. My conscientious, generally well-behaved son has taken to apologizing every night at bedtime, in case there was any time he was bad during the day. The first time, I was really touched.

But I’m a bit wiser now to his nightly, full-sweep confessional. He’s apologizing in case any arguments with his little sister, or an attitude over cleaning his room, put him on the “Naughty List.” A small portion of it is sincere … but the rest is for Santa’s sake.

We visited Santa for a picture this week, and Jackson was ready, list in hand. I stood back and heard him tell Santa only three things: pencils, a pencil sharpener and a replacement for his broken computer mouse.

What in the North Pole?

Walking away, I asked him why he didn’t mention all the Legos, the remote control helicopter, the drone or Nerf guns he’d been telling me about for weeks. He shrugged. “Santa asked what I needed, not wanted.” Then he moved on to talking about something else.

He may run me ragged, but Jackson is definitely on the “Nice List.” And I’m pretty sure that in addition to the things Jackson needs, Santa will bring a few things he wants, too.


Check out the book “How Much is Enough” by Jean Illsley Clark or attend the FREE workshop, Guilt Free Parenting coming in January

About Jessica Bensten

Jessica Bensten is a native of Hampton Roads and lives in Hampton with her three “miracles” Jackson (9), Abby (5) and Henry (1). As a mother to a childhood cancer survivor and a micro-preemie, she began the blog Mothering Miracles in 2014 to support other families dealing with health issues. Jessica also works as Creative Director for Rubin Communications Group and enjoys mixing her talents for graphic design and creative writing with community relations. She is a past member of both the CHKD Family Advisory Council and the CHKD NICU Family Advisory Council.