December 12, 2008

The Santa Clause

This post by His Girl and this one over at 5 Minutes for Parenting, and the comments on both, made me realize that I may be in the minority of Christians who "Santa" (I'm using it as a verb because, as you know if you participate in this tradition, it's hard work).

I have friends who Santa and friends who don't, and respect the choices they've made. I love Santa. I loved him as a child, and I still do as an adult. I think he's great fun and a magical part of childhood.

Do I believe some people worship Santa more than they worship Jesus? Without a doubt.

Do I believe that if there were no Santa, the world would celebrate Christmas for the holy-day it is? Not really.

Before CJ was born, R and I discussed whether Santa should be a part of our Christmas traditions. Both of us enjoyed Santa as children. Neither of us were disappointed to find out the truth. We agreed that when CJ asked the question, we'd answer honestly. I guess you could call it The Santa Clause.

We also decided that Santa is most definitely not the center of our celebration. We have more nativity scenes than Santas. We have family Advent readings and an Advent wreath. We've never put an emphasis on Santa...asked CJ what she wants Santa to bring, stood in line to have a picture taken, or told her she better watch out because Santa is coming to town. When CJ wakes on Christmas morning, she comes to our room to read Luke's account of Jesus' birth before we look at the presents. We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

We don't balance Santa and Jesus...we don't even try.

We enjoy the fantasy of Santa. We cling to the reality of Jesus.

Santa brings to gifts, but we give others to those in need because Jesus commands it.

We have Santa in our home for a few weeks. We have Jesus every day of the year.


much2ponder said...

Nice post BOL. We have Jesus in our lives every day of the year...I like that:)

His Girl said...

I totally love the pretend game of Santa... We did as kids and I never ever felt betrayed when I found out that he wasn't real. I fully intended to play that game for as long as the kids enjoyed it, but like I mentioned in my post, I had no real choice. When my son asked if God was real immediately after he asked if Santa was real, the jig was up.

We do still pretend, though. We put cookies out for Santa, we put out stockings, if we're at a place with a Santa, we may even take a picture. I don't think it hurts our kids a bit. We emphasize Jesus way more than Santa, I just like the tradition of st. nick... it's fun and I don't judge people whose still can play Santa with their kids. I kind of envy them :)

His Girl said...

ps: I love this line:

We enjoy the fantasy of Santa. We cling to the reality of Jesus.

Jillian, Inc said...

I totally agree. The world is filled with delightful little things meant to be fun. There's nothing wrong with that. And part of life is figuring out "the truth" whether it be about Santa or many other things. Santa still fills a stocking for me, too. He's the only one who know that particular kind of running sock I need every year.

Lisa writes... said...

We do Santa, sort of. I mean, we put out gifts that are surprises on Christmas Eve and all that, but we never talk about him much nor have we ever (to my knowledge) warned the kids that they had to be good or Santa wouldn't come. We also do little to perpetuate the notion; for instance my husband will almost play devil's advocate, trying to get the boys to think for themselves: "How WOULD somebody come down the chimney?" "Do YOU think he could possibly be real?" Thus we've never had to break the news; the boys pretty much figure it out on their own. This seems to be a hot topic, just one of those areas where we must each follow our conviction!