Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Without Santa

"You're not going to teach your children about him!?"

"No, Craig and I feel that if we teach our children about him, we'd be lying to them."

"But that's unfair, you can't have Christmas without him,  your children need him!!"

As the title of my post may suggest, this conversation wasn't about Jesus.  It was about Jolly Old St. Nicholas.  But based on the reaction of some people, you would think that when I tell them we don't do the "Santa thing" that it's akin to having Chritmas without the baby in the manger.

Let's put some things into persepctive though.  Christmas isn't about presents, it's not about family, it's not even about going to church.  Christmas is about celebrating God's precious sacrifice when he came to this world in flesh (which we just so happen to celebrate with gifts, family, and church).

What happens when the celebration overshadows the meaning of Christmas though?  Well I think you wind up with what Christmas looks like today, incredibly commercialized and simply another "Holiday" in December.

When it comes to celebrating Christmas though it doesn't take a marketing scientist to realize who takes center stage.  It's not baby Jesus that's for sure.

How many Christmas movies come out each year that feature Jesus as the star?  How many come out in theaters and are played on television that star Kris Kringle?  When the message of a movie is "Believe" chances are Jesus isn't the one they are referring to.

Verbalizing this is sometimes tricky when so few understand what Christmas is truly about.  Jolene Engle does it perfectly however in her free ebook Strenthening Your Child's Faith at Christmas.  Here's a quote from her chapter on Santa Claus:

"There is nothing in my family‟s Christmas celebrations and traditions that point to Santa Claus, be-cause he is a counterfeit. This was not something that our extended family members understood, but they eventually got over. Most of them respected our decision even though it was not always easy for us at the holidays. The intent on keeping Jesus at the center of our beliefs during Christmas was not something my husband and I were willing to compromise- it was non-negotiable. At the thought of my perfect Savior dripping blood from his body while hanging on the cross, the horrific beating and mockery he endured from those he created and loved, and the fact that I deserved it all instead of Him, brings me to my knees in devotion and loyalty, with the unwavering resolve to never let Santa or anyone else occupy even a small place of honor or significance in the celebration of HIS birth."

I'd highly recommend going to her website and downloading the book if you have little ones in your home.  It is filled with ideas of making this a truly Christ-filled Christmas.


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