Thoughts on Christmas

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So I was talking about this topic with a close friend recently, and I've been thinking about it since then. What is the first thing you think of when you hear Christmas mentioned? I bet you thought of snow didn't you? Or of Santa Clause, and reigndeer? And that is typically what we all will think of, because that is what we have been taught. Most of us can recall our parents telling us that if we were good kids that on Christmas Eve Santa would climb down the chimney, and deliver toys and presents to us. Then he would climb back up the chimney, get into his slay that was pulled by flying reigndeer, and take off to the next house...delivering all the toys before Christmas morning. Now I don't know about you, but I always wondered how it was that a man as fat as Santa could squeeze into such a small space. But that is not my point here. The idea behind this blog is to get you thinking, and I hope I succeed.
You see, we have a great problem here, we teach our kids almost from the day they're born, all about the story of Santa Clause. We build him up to be this great and glorious man, when he is just a man; in fact, he's not even alive anymore. Yes, there was a man who was called Saint Nicholas...FACT! Yes, he did believe in giving to people, especially those who were in need...FACT! But truth supercedes fact. And the truth is that all though he did exist, we, in our human nature, have blown the story way out of proportion! The truth is that we all face that day when our kids grow up, and become "to old" for the Santa story. That time when we have to sit them down, and look into their hope-filled eyes and tell them that everything we have told them about Santa isn't true, that there really is no Santa Clause. No fat man in a red suit delivering presents to all the boys and girls. And then we watch as confusion comes over their face as we attempt to explain to them the true meaning of Christmas. Oh! Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas just as much as the next person, but we should love it for what it is and not for the "fluff" that the world makes it out to be.
Christmas is a time that we set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ, though most of us know He wasn't actually born on Christmas Eve. Sure, there's nothing wrong with setting up the Christmas tree, and decorating it, but instead of using that time to tell our kids about Santa, why not use that time to explain to them the birth of Christ? You say, "But my 2 year old doesn't understand that though." Oh, I would beg to differ, they seem to understand the Santa garbage just fine, and you don't have to go into grave detail. Just have a simple conversation with them. I personally believe that one of the reasons Youth Pastors and Children’s Pastors have such a hard time getting our kids to believe the story of the Virgin Birth, and the life of Jesus, all that He did while on earth, and all that He will do, is because from a very young age we fill the kids heads with garbage, with nothing but trash. And then as they get older we look at them and tell them, "Oh, Santa Clause doesn't really exist," "yeah, there's no such thing as the Easter Bunny," "but Jesus Christ, yes, He is real. He really did come to save us." How are they to know what to believe if everything else they have been told is false? Personally, I do not plan on teaching my kids anything but the truth from the absolute very beginning, no "fluff." Because I believe that it is important for them to know and understand the truth of Christmas, like I said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with joking about Santa, just as long as the child knows it's just a joke. Yes, I know, my thoughts probably seem crazy and out there, so what? Call me a scrooge if you would like to, but that doesn't change what I believe.
I hope this got you to thinking about what you are teaching/have taught/will teaching your kids, and even possibly your grandkids.