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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Santa and Jesus

I realized why I hadn't posted the entries in the Unposted Blog Entry file. ACK! So much for the magic file.

I broke my little girl's heart today. We were talking about Christmas, and she told me about this toy she wanted. I'm sorry, but I think it's inappropriate to spend $300 for a toy horse for a child for Christmas. Frankly, I think people are going waaaay too overboard with Christmas spending. Which is why we're scaling down.

So, we had to have a talk. I finally explained to her that the horse she wanted was too expensive, and there was absolutely no way she'd get it. In a tearful voice, she asked, "But Mom, what about Santa? Can't he bring it?"

Now see, we do Santa in our house. But for us, Santa is a fun tradition, and the focus is Jesus. Santa is not a miracle worker. And my kids certainly aren't getting things from Santa that we'd never buy.

I told her again, "it's too expensive. We can't afford it."

My daughter said, "you have to PAY Santa?"

"Yes."

She spent a good hour crying. But when she finished, we talked about other gifts she might like. And we talked about what's important about Christmas.

On one hand, I feel bad for making her cry. But I also know that if that horse isn't under the tree on Christmas, it'll completely ruin her day. It's best she understands now.

A friend of mine and I talked recently about how God isn't Santa. He doesn't give us the nice gifts on our wish list just because we're good or because we really want them. But I'd like to add something. Santa isn't God. We shouldn't be looking for him to do things for our families that we can't. Our kids shouldn't be looking for him to give miraculous presents mom and dad have already said no to.

I'm not one of those anti-Santa Christians. I think Santa is a nice story and a nice tradition. Just like any one of the other stories I grew up reading. And I think it's okay to play pretend and play Santa. But I also think we need to keep Santa in perspective and make sure his importance isn't at the center of our holiday. He's not a miracle. The miracle is in Jesus, and that's where we need to keep our focus.

So this Christmas season, rather than wondering about what Santa can do, ask yourself how you can be Jesus to someone else. It's a whole lot better than Santa.

5 comments:

Jan Parrish said...

Santa can be a very controversial topic. We told our kids that Santa wasn't real - it was just a fun game we played but some children don't know it's just a game so don't spoil their fun.

Kay said...

We don't do Santa, but we didn't do it when I was growing up, either.
Well, we did... but we didn't ever believe he was real. Mom always signed "from Santa" on our presents, but we always knew it was her. So we didn't boycott him, we just didn't believe in him.

Our kids don't even want to play along. They constantly tell me, "He isn't real, mom." Party poopers.

Robbie Iobst said...

We "do" Santa. But my son is 8 so I think we might be having the "Mom, is Santa real or not?" talk this year or next. When he asks I will be tell him the truth. I think Santa is a wonderful fun and totally harmless celebratory figure IF he is kept in spirit where he should be - kneeling before Christ. My boy knows first and foremost, Christmas, not Santamas, is about celebrating Jesus birthday!

Jan Parrish said...

Join my thirteen meme!

Sandy Carlson said...

Santa teaches kids about unconditional love and giving for the sake of giving in a concrete way that helps with understanding divine love and the importance of loving one another just because we can. In this way, he is quite real!