Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Competition

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I had friends in school who's parents did not play the whole Santa Claus thing. They forbade any sort of Santa involvement in their Christmas celebrations whatsoever. I used to think they were weird. I couldn't see the harm in it.

Not anymore.

Our community had a tree lighting celebration this past week. We sang some traditional Christmas songs, lit the tree and then the big thing came, Santa. Let me tell you, it was like the parting of the Red Sea. Much like the triumphal entry he came, throwing candy, the kids were screaming and clamoring to see him. Many had already descended upon the building, waiting in line, to where he would finally sit and take children upon his knee. I wanted to cry. 

I wonder if sometimes Jesus cries at Christmas. Does God hurt at how Christmas has become a day honoring a fallen man, when His and His sons sacrifice is forgotten? For the first time I think I understand why my friends parents forbid Santa from Christmas. Because it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas!!

Hubby said, before we had kids, that our children would be taught the truth about Santa. And we have taught them. He says that typically when children are told that Santa does not exist they also believe the same about God. If their parents lied to them about Santa, what's to say they aren't lying about God? So we told Nadia there was a man, a good man, St. Nicholas, who gave gifts to children, but he is dead. Jesus, who was born at Christmas, is not dead. It's funny, though, when people ask her if Santa is coming to our house, she responds "SANTA IS DEAD!" Oh my. The old ladies want to fall over.

Some say it's just about the magic. I'm sorry, let's look at the birth of Christ, and see if we can see something better than magic, Miracles:
  • God coming to earth and inhabiting a human body
  • A baby concieved in a virgin womb
  • the many visits of an angel to Joseph for warnings
  • The star that led wise men over hundreds of miles to greet the new king
  • The myriad of Angels heralding his birth
  • the sheer fact that we can be saved from our sins
Oh yeah, we don't need Santa for magic at Christmas, there are enough supernatural happenings in Christs birth alone. 

The homage paid to Santa disgusts and angers me.  I will not lead my children astray for momentary happiness, when their eternal salvation is more important. 

I am reminded that even though many pay too much attention to Santa,
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:9-11
Imagine what the world would be like if we truly treated Christ like the King He is.  Some day we all will. 

Am I weird?  I guess.  Hubby says it's a heart issue and I agree.  Search your heart, see what the Lord tells you. 


Stacy said...

DH and I decided that when we have kids, we won't "do" Santa Claus either. I'm big on keeping focus on the real meaning of Christmas. I grew up knowing Santa wasn't real, I don't ever remember finding out, or even thinking he was.

Kim said...


It disturbs me how much emphasis is placed on Santa. Our children will know that Santa is a fairy tale based on a true story and adults like to pretend he's real and many kids therefore think he's real. I don't plan on getting their picture taken with any Santas or doing "Santa" in our house, although I think the spirit of the idea can be fun :)

Rachel F. said...

We've taught our boys the truth too. We will still let them get pictures with Santa, especially since their Grandma thinks it's cute, but we tell them he's not real. We've cautioned them not to tell other children, though. Our struggle has been getting the focus off of the presents and onto Jesus' birth.

Claire said...

As a non-believer, my thoughts are that God, just like Santa, is an invented entity, all-seeing and benevolent, with the power to bestow great rewards when we are good and withhold them when we are bad. It's all about keeping kids and grown-ups in line...
As an aside to the great God debate, I think there's nothing wrong with letting your children believe in magic. Childhood is a flight of fancy and it's over much too soon. If my son wants to believe in God or Santa or fairies, I'll let him. I see no reason to ram the truth OR the lies down his throat. When he's grown, he can decide for himself.

Shannon said...

we don't do Santa either, and some people get really worked up about it. We told Ellie that some people play the Santa game, but he's not alive any more, and the most important thing about Christmas is Jesus's birth and love for us. I'm glad we're not the only ones who feel that way.

Kathryn said...

Claire, thank you for being honest to comment on my blog, I appreciate that. I do have a question for you. You don't believe in God or Santa, which to you, either would be a lie? You would let your kids believe in what you think is a lie? That's where I draw the line. I don't want to lie to my kids. My thing is, we do not cram anything down their throats (dinner time included :) but we do not teach them lies. The world lies enough to them, I do not want to be one of them. It will be their choice, inevitably when they come of age to chose their road. Honestly, I pray they choose Christ.

Claire said...

Hi Kathryn
I guess it's the word 'lie' that causes the problem; for me Santa isn't so much a lie as make-believe or fantasy. I know Christmas was much more magical for me when I believed in Santa, and when I found out I was keen to keep the secret for my younger siblings as long as possible. I think there's a huge difference between lying to your children and indulging their childhood fantasies.

Karen said...

This is proving to be a point of contention at our home. My husband and I agree with you but the grandparents have issue with it. We are robbing our children according to them.. We still have a tree, presents, really all the trappings but with the true story of Christmas. My mother "teases" about Santa but it really is a passive aggressive way to get her way.

It saddens me that we have to have this conflict. In so many ways my parents easily defer to our wishes but for some reason Santa and the Easter Bunny is the fight they are choosing. Eventually I will be forced into telling my children, in front of grandma, "What your grandmother is telling you is just a story and is untrue." I have warned her that this will happen. I don't want to call my mother out but I was one of those children who were deeply hurt my parents had lied to me. It did make me question the existence of God. I was really confused.

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty but then I realize it is the expectations of others. When it comes down to it, only the expectations of my Holy Father truly matter.