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.