I don't have a lot of memories from my very young childhood. However, many of the ones that I have are very vivid.
I remember when I was about 5 or 6, I desperately wanted one of those little kitchen play sets that all my friends had (one of these). Christmas was coming, and I was sure I would get it. I wanted it so bad. *SO* bad!
Also, I had been a good girl, so I figured Santa would reward me for my good deeds and get me my heart's true desire (the kitchen thing).
Christmas morning came, and I clearly remember the pajamas that my grandmother had made for me. They were light blue, and I remember feeling like Princess Jasmine from Aladdin in them (which will come to be ironic later on). I went out to the living room, filled with presents, and there it was: a huge box, just the right size to fit a kitchen play set. And it was for me! I knew right away that all my dreams were about to come true.
I saved it for the very last. I wanted it to be the grand finale to everything that I had received. It finally came to that moment. I was elated, overjoyed, as I ripped the paper from the box, ripped the tape off the box, and opened it to find:
That's right. A huge Aladdin themed blanket.
Needless to say, I was crushed.
I've since recovered from the emotional trauma caused by this event. Whenever I tell this story around my mom, she says to me, "Well you should have asked for it. We never even knew you wanted it!"
I was thinking about this last night, and I came to a realization. There were two men in my life who I had never met, but were very important to me: Santa, and Heavenly Father. I'd learned all my life about my Heavenly Father. He lived in heaven, so I couldn't see him. He loved me. He wanted me to be happy. He knew everything that I did, even if no one saw it. He knew everything about me: my hopes, my dreams, my desires, etc.
Then there was Santa. All you really get told about Santa is that you never get to see him, that he knows whether you're bad or good (even if no one saw it), and he knows what you want for Christmas (although somehow I missed the "you have to ask him" part).
So you can see, that as a child, I could have easily paralleled the two in my head. It wasn't necessary to ask Santa for a present, because he already knew!*
So next time you don't know what to get your kids for Christmas, maybe ask them to write a letter to Santa asking for what they want. They might not realize that that's necessary.
*I know, I know, the Lord knows what we want but we still have to ask him for it, but think of this from a 6 year-old's perspective. It makes a lot more sense that way.