There are so many people who get so legalistic about Santa...the time of year! Please give me a Holiday Break! (Hahaha! See what I did there?)
Look- let me simplify: Jesus was born one day long ago in a manger in Bethlehem. Christians know this, though we may not necessarily know the exact time of year it actually took place, which is another thing people worry about. My thoughts on that: That God hasn't seen fit to help us nail down the exact date He was born should tell us something. If someone does know the date please fill us in. Personally, I think if God was as concerned as some people are about the specific date, He would have revealed the mystery in His Word to us all as one of the foundational tenets of our faith. After all, all mysteries of God are hidden FOR us: Not FROM us!
I learned some things in a recent conversation with some folks in answer to a question about whether or not we should allow Santa in to our Christmas celebration or tell our children about him. Good question, and one I have some good thoughts about, which I would like to share!
I learned in this conversation from someone who has done more research on it than I, that Christmas as we know it only began being celebrated in the 1800's. It began because Christians wanted to commemorate the birth of Christ.
Somewhere during that time a man named St. Nicklaus began GIVING things to the poor and less fortunate. St. Nicklaus was a real, Christian man.
Somewhere after that, Clement C. Moore sat by the bedside of his little girl who became very ill with an extremely high fever and prayed for her life to be spared. He fell asleep at her bedside and had a dream. When he awoke he penned the famous T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS story, which somehow probably gets told more often than the story in Luke 2 of Jesus birth.
We know & GOD knows that CHRISTMAS (as we know it) is not in the Bible....but the celebration began by Christians with a heart to remember that Christ was born as a man, and brought the greatest gift ever to mankind. I personally believe with all my heart that God, as a Father, loves the motive of our hearts to celebrate the birth of a his Son, even if it MAY even be at the wrong time of year, or that a lot of the celebration might sometimes be more focused on us, but then we were His focus when He sent Jesus to us that very first "Christmas"!
If MOST Christians are honest, we SAY it's about Jesus, but most of what we do focuses on the family meal, the buying of gifts, FOOTBALL: A sacred tradition!! (😜), etc., and very little is actually done to dominate the celebration towards the birth of Christ. That is NOT a judgment, but IMHO, an accurate observation. I'll be honest and admit that, though my heart is heavenward about the birth of Christ, and my favorite songs laude His heart to send us a savior, like O HOLY NIGHT, ORDINARY BABY, MARY DID YOU KNOW.....At the same time I'm reveling in the precious family events we will share at this time of year, and the traditions that have become cherished to us as a family! But restoration of RELATIONSHIP was Gods heart for sending Jesus, and to adopt us into His forever FAMILY!
I know there are probably many out there who are focused FULLY on this season as being ONLY about Christ's birth, and if that is you...God bless you! But since God has no favorites, and He love us even when we may not do everything PC: Perfectly Correct--it makes me content to know that because we are gathering in His Name, then He is there in the midst of us. I truly believe that MOST Christians have it in their hearts that JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON, even though most of the ways we celebrate are pagan rituals: the tree, the lights, the Figgie Pudding, the bells, the gifts. 😘 I'm not sure how some of those came to be used. Perhaps the Evergreen Tree represents everlasting life, and the fact that he died on another kind of tree. Perhaps the lights represent the Light of God coming into our darkness, proving that the darkness could not put it out. And the giving of gifts in direct correlation to Gods gift to mankind. Just a few personal speculations about some of the symbols that were chosen for this time of year called Christmas.
I agree that the commercialism has gotten out of hand, but that is our own fault....not the fault of the Christmas Spirit and intended purpose for the celebration. WE could stop all that anytime we want to, and..........
Imitation, they say, is the best form of flattery, and I think Daddy God is as blessed when we emulate his giving Spirit, as we are when our kids imitate the things we do! (Well, okay: some things!) 😏
As far as Santa (especially for those who think it might be sacrilegious to show Jesus with the Santa hat....) - you might be overthinking the "metaphor"! God sits in the Heavens and laughs. 😝 He has a really good sense of humor. All of us have had a birthday party and worn a party hat or had a theme of our favorite fictitious imaginary character at one time or another. I love Gods sense of humor that is portrayed in the opening picture, cuz He really does love to have a good time with us! If you haven't had a fantasy-tastic party like that, I'm sorry that your childhood and/or life had so little fun and imagination in it....I mean that sincerely!!!
God encourages imagination. (Ephesians 3:20, Romans 4:17...) I heard Graham Cooke say once at our local church (Convergence Church of Fort Worth, Texas) that "The Kingdom of Heaven borders on fantasy. It is so spectacular, God knew we would need an imagination to comprehend it!" To that I say Amen!!!! Since Clement C. Moore was a loving, Christian man, I'm sure his dream of Santa Claus, "the man whose belly shook like a bowl full of jelly", flowed from the creative imagination God Himself gave him.
Since Santa and the Easter bunny are as fictitious as Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Cinderella, and Snow White.... It's okay if you exercise a little creative license to make a fun, make believe character to fit the value system of your household without losing a harmless icon of the tradition of Christmas. My parents taught me of a Santa Claus who was as saved as I was, who's friend was Jesus, and who went about giving gifts like Jesus and telling kids that Jesus was indeed the reason for the season.
I also told our girls that Santa wasn't punishing kids for their behavior, cuz God doesn't! The Lord chastises, but that is redemptive where punishment is never redemptive! Santa also knows that Jesus took the "punishment" for the sin of all mankind, and that is why Santa comes at Christmas so that all children everywhere know that JESUS is the greatest gift man will ever receive!!!!
Okay....maybe not everyone has told the story that way....but I am not in charge of controlling everyone's life and actions: And neither are you! But we do have the power and the freedom to tell the story with a redemptive purpose to our children and the world!
At Easter time, we redeemed the Easter egg ritual by telling our girls that the Bible says "All of creation speaks of Jesus...", and that the BUNNY, one of God's "Hoppy" little creations, is so excited about the fact that Jesus rose from the tomb all those years ago, that he fills the eggs with goodness, and when you break them open they represent the opening of the tomb, and new life, which is what happens when the eggs hatch with the chicks inside.
Mommies and Daddies, you get to write the ending to these great stories for your kids to enjoy with the Christian values attached to them that might never have been there to begin with. Or were they, and we allowed our vision to be so clouded by religious legalism that we missed the point?: To LOVE, and have fun!!!!
The character of Santa is not evil. He is a jolly fat man who loves and brings good cheer and gifts while he points to the Christ child, if you'll let him. Interestingly, most of the same people who fuss about Santa don't blink twice when allowing their kids to entertain fictitious characters who are rooted in the demonic, like Harry Potter, but fail to see the serious spiritual ramifications in their lives and the lives of their children. I AM NOT HERE TO JUDGE OR DEBATE THAT: .....I'm just saying: Logs and Specks!
Can we please stop giving our list of the rules we keep to others, expecting them to do the same? It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, (Galatians 5:1) and what may be "right" for you in Christ, may be totally "wrong" for me.
Children are really, really smart, and if parents exercise their brilliance and common sense, they won't make any bigger deal out of Santa than they do the popular toys their kids play with that are also rooted in fantasy, because we all know that all too soon children grow up, and their Mommas tearfully put those cherished bedtime companions away for the next generation because their kids finally realized they were only make believe, imaginary childhold companions. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
I also really don't care if you say Happy Holidays to me instead of Merry Christmas, because it doesn't change the fact that I am celebrating the birth of Christ. It is, as I said at the beginning, the reason we have this "holiday" at all. THERE IS NO OTHER REASON FOR THIS SEASON- or to be more exact: The reason this celebratory season was started! But, if you prefer Happy Holidays as your greeting, you should know there are some benfits to getting a Christmas Tree as opposed to a Holiday Tree! (For the humorless....that was humor!)
If you choose not to speak of Santa in your home at Christmas, or out up a tree, etc., that's your choice in your home. But please don't diss those of us who do, or walk in judgment towards us because we are okay with these traditions.
My parents helped me to know the Truth: That Jesus is Lord, and Santa is Santa. Both hold a definite place at the Christmastime celebrations of today, but their roles and positions should never confused! So let's join Jesus in celebrating His Birthday, should we? Up to you.... :)
HO HO HO! 🎅 Merry Christmas, For unto us a Child is Born! Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men....and to ALL a good night! 🎄🎁🎉🎂👼