Christmas is almost here...and my stress level is rising. Honestly, I love Christmas, but the more I grow in my faith, the more I want to buck the system. Now, I'm sure there are some Christians that can handle the commercial side of Christmas, but for me, it's a stumbling block.
Santa and Jesus both shared the Christmas scene in my home growing up...but to be honest, in comparing a little babe in a manger and a jolly man who brought me toys every year, Santa won hands-down. So, when I learned there wasn't a Santa (as a 5th grader...nice, right?), I had to re-train my heart to focus on baby Jesus. And honestly, it wasn't as easy to be filled with joy for that gift as it was to be happy with new Barbies.
When Brad and I started our family, we knew we didn't want Santa to play an integral role in our Christmas celebration. Bah Humbug, you might say. And honestly, sometimes I hear those lies and start to believe I'm doing my kids a DIS-SERVICE...but in all reality, I'm trying to train them up in the way they should go.
I don't want them to ever worship Santa as the center of Christmas. That's just not how it is. And after I overheard a young mom in Gordman's the other day, I realized just how far off Santa really is...
I came across a little boy (probably 3) looking at a John Deere display. I was about ready to talk to him when his mom storms out of a neighboring aisle...now, maybe it had been a tough day, maybe she didn't want me to judge her because her son was out of her sight...but as the little boy began to talk with excitement about putting some tractors on his Christmas list, the mom bellowed that Santa would NEVER bring him any gifts if he kept being so bad...
And I went into the next aisle trying not to vomit.
How deceived are we as a nation to teach our kids something like that? First, the little boy wasn't being bad, but it's dangerous to make our kids think they can somehow always be good. Second, pretty sure Santa never REALLY slights little girls and boys, even if they are naughty, so kids learn quickly that the naughty and nice part is a lie. Third, why do we have to disguise our gift-giving with Santa...why can't we just tell our kids that we love them so much that we enjoy buying them gifts?
Quite the opposite, Jesus was sent because we are bad. Because our works can't save us. Because no matter how hard we try, we should all get lumps of coal in our stocking. The glory of Christmas is not a jolly, cookie-eating, sleigh driving man. The GLORY of Christmas is the gift that sets us free...that gives us our righteousness in Christ Jesus.
That is why our family will not celebrate Santa...a fun tradition, maybe...a stumbling block, most definitely...and it's a place I don't want my kids to have to battle for truth.