It’s December. The hustle and bustle [are] in overdrive. Everything smells of Fraser fir. Pinterest is a holy grail for moms everywhere. It’s that time of year where decorations, fashion and even radio music all have the same focus. I find this time of year magical. I always have. That span of calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas is, in my opinion, the most wonderful time of year!
Now that I have children of my own, this time seems even more precious. I get to see Christmas through the eyes of a child. Two actually, an -month-old and a -year-old. And now, those children are being raised up in our Christian home and it seems I am asked almost daily, “Do Y’all do Santa Claus?”
Here is my answer: Absolutely! And we don’t do anything halfway.
There are countless articles out there explaining how different families have chosen to go about handling what is apparently a huge holiday predicament. This blog is simply that, MY family’s choice and how we came to it. I have appreciated ALL the articles I’ve read. Like anyone, I agree and disagree with various points. I expect any readers to do the same of me. I just wanted people to know why we do our thing. It’s not a holiday predicament. It’s a tradition. Like eating turkey on Thanksgiving. It doesn’t kill you. It doesn’t make you any less spiritual. Has today’s culture made it consumeristic? Yes, but they’ve been doing that for decades. They do the same for birthdays and back-to-school.
Now, my family does our best balancing the reality of the TRUE meaning of Christmas with the magical aspect of Christmas. I have amazing conversations with my -year-old when she sees our Christmas tree ornament with Santa kneeling before the manger. She asks why Santa is praying and I explain that he is thanking God for the greatest gift of all, Jesus. Santa is NOT a God. Santa, real or not, bows to Christ because Philippians 2:10 tells us we all will. She asks why Santa brings gifts. I explain that Santa was so thankful that God gave the gift of Jesus that his heart wanted to bring gifts to others. God set the example of a giving heart and we are to have a giving heart. All these lessons must be taught to our children, though.
Simply, Christmas is about giving – because God gave.
After Chris and I went through Hurricane Katrina, we experienced the body of Christ and how they give. We received gift cards, gifts, and it seems every time we shook someone’s hand they were slipping us cash. It was uncomfortable. We were vulnerable. I wasn’t sure how to receive help. I spent so much of my ministry giving that I’d abandoned the power of receiving. That time was a great reminder to me of the importance of receiving. God gave His Son and we are to receive Him.
There’s a balance. It is learned. It must be taught. We are to teach our children both: The importance and joy of giving and the humility and heart of thankfulness from gracious givers.
It is hard to compete with Santa if you are letting the culture dictate what is important to your family. My 18-month-old has NO idea that Santa brings gifts. She just knows that Santa is funny and we get excited when we see him. She gets just as excited about singing “Jesus Loves Me” or going outside to play.
“But Santa is make-believe and it supports an unhealthy view of reality.”