Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

When Santa Came for Dinner

Before Christmas 2008, I was a vocal opponent of Santa Claus. I felt he distracted from the true meaning of the Christmas. I considered him a usurper and a fake.

December 2008 everything changed. That’s when Santa came for dinner.


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When Santa Came For Dinner: What the man in red taught me about the baby in the manger

This short e-book is the true story of my young family’s encounter with a mall Santa during Christmas 2008. Not only did he come for dinner, he lived with us for three weeks. I hope it adds meaning and purpose to your Christmas season.

It’s my gift to you. That means FREE.

Join my exclusive newsletter below (also free) and follow the instructions to get your copy today. If you are unsure, you can read the beginning of the story below.


{Excerpt from When Santa Came to Dinner}

Bah, Humbug!

I never liked Santa Claus. Growing up, my family celebrated Christmas but avoided anything that might distract from its real meaning. Our stockings were full on Christmas morning, but Santa had not made it down our chimney—the flue was closed.

“If we lie to them about Santa Claus, they will think we are lying about God also” my Father often said.

I adopted that mentality. I confess that I have called Santa a “big fat faker” and a “usurper.” I have even made the following

comparison in my best church-lady voice:
“Santa’s favorite color is red, hum. Who else’s favorite color is red? Let’s

see. Take the letters of his name, S-A-N-T-A, and move them around. What do you have? S-A-T-A-N!”

I disliked the fact that he got all the attention on Christmas when it is not even his birthday.

So, when we walked into our local mall a week or so before Christmas 2008 and my wife—who grew up with the reindeer tracks, half-eaten cookies, and notes left by the fireplace—saw Santa sitting at the photo booth, I headed upstairs to the food court. Our two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was scared of the bearded stranger, so she came with me. My wife, Taylor, took our 1-year-old son to meet Santa.

Fifteen minutes later, Taylor came up the escalator with a wide smile on her face. My son seemed happy too.

“Great,” I thought, “the usurper has weaseled his way into our family.”

“You won’t believe what happened,” Taylor began. “When we walked up to Santa he asked Elijah his name. When he told him, Santa replied, ‘Elijah, what a beautiful name. That reminds me of God’s faithfulness to his people Israel in the Bible.’”

I was shocked. “Santa said that?” Santa likes Jesus too?