When I was growing up, we did not have Elf on a Shelf. We did not wake each morning wondering where Elf was hiding and spying from or what he had reported to Santa about our behavior. We could not pick Elf up and move him into a closet where he could not see what we were doing.
However, even though we did not have Elf, we did think Santa had spies. We thought this because Mama told us the birds watched us and they would report to Santa (how we never knew) our misdeeds. They were the reporters of those things which could cause Santa Claus to bring us a bag full of switches.
I recall arguing with Ramona about something at the kitchen table and glancing up to see a house sparrow perched on the sill of the window above the sink. My heart sank as I realized I’d been caught.
What would that bird tell Santa?
How many check marks were already on my personal “Naughty or Nice” list?
To this day, I think about what Mama told us when I see birds. They do always seem to be watching us, don’t they?
As I grew older, I learned God is like those birdies Mama told us about. He sees everything, even the items we believe are hidden inside us.
On a recent trip to the beach, I spotted these three birds, cooling their feet and watching the folks around them.
Were they recording things to report to Santa?
Were they God’s spies?
Next time you spot a bird watching you, forgive me for planting in your mind the possibility you are being observed and your deeds, both the naughty ones and the nice ones, are being messaged to God.
He’s compiling an exhaustive list on each of us.
Please, in whatever way you choose, teach your children nothing is hidden from God. Nothing.
The good thing about using birds as the watchers instead of an Elf on a Shelf is that the birds don’t go off duty and into a box once Christmas is over. They watch all year long.
Did you have funny things your parents told you about how Santa knew about your behavior? I’d love to hear them.