Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas, Santa, and Jesus

Oh my heart is so heavy right now. It's weird because as you can tell I'm thinking about Christmas. I LOVE Christmas.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. My love language is gift giving-enter Christmas. I LOVE giving gifts. When I was little I remember getting some super special gifts. One was some shirts decorated with puff paint that my Aunt Annie gave me. One was this ornament of Santa kneeling at the manger (I LOVED that ornament. I'm not sure what happened to it, but I still think about it. That's what I remember about Santa...him kneeling and worshiping Christ the Lord.). As we got older, we would draw names and each get $50 to spend on that person. I remember walking around Wal-mart trying to find the perfect gift for whomever I had. I wanted it to be special, thoughtful, about them. I don't remember the gifts I got when we drew names, but I remember the gift I got my dad, and shopping for a gift for my brother. I remember desperately wanting whatever I got him to show him how much I loved him. I'm not sure he knows that. I'm not even sure that he knows that I give gifts because that how I say "I love you."

 Now, I'm an adult and I have my own child and one on the way, and I don't know what to do about Santa.  I have fond memories of believing in Santa. I don't know that I believed he was omniscient and could see what I was doing. I don't know that I believed he would punish me if I was bad. I pretty sure my behavior didn't change during the holidays. I guess that's a good question for my parents. Anyway, I feel like there is a movement to get rid of Santa going on throughout the Christian Culture. And it isn't all Christians. (And this isn't a post about whether or not you are a Christian based on whether or not you do Santa with your kids). But there are people I love and respect that have very valid reasons for not doing Santa with there kids. Reasons that make me question whether or not I want to do Santa with my girls. But then there are people who have FABULOUS ideas about how to incorporate Santa into Christmas WITHOUT making it about Santa and focusing it on Christ.

Here's what is rolling around in my head:
1) Jesus is the MOST important thing in my life. Without Him I would have no HOPE. I want my girls to know Jesus, and for HIM to be the most important thing is their lives.
2) I don't want to have anything happen in our home that makes my children believe that we can have secrets from each other, or that it's okay to lie about some things but not others.
3) I want my relationship with my children to be based on trust.
4) I don't want to give Santa attributes that are God's attributes.

I've read two great blogs lately that have contributed to my confusion. BUT they have some GREAT ideas. This one talks about how their family does Santa and that they didn't start until their kids asked. I like that idea because Julia isn't asking which gives me time to figure out whether or not we are going to do Santa. And the second one talks about how this family does Elf on the Shelf, but not with Elf catching them being naughty, but the children learning how to teach grace and mercy to the Elf.

See, both GREAT ideas that incorporate Santa by still teaching Jesus and even teaching Grace and Mercy to kids.

Here's what we ARE doing:
1) Our kids each get 3 gifts and pajamas. The gifts are something they want, something they need, and a surprise. When they are older we will probably incorporate something to give in there.
2) Advent-once I figure out how to do it.
3) Serving the city as a family.

I feel like this is simple. I like simple. I don't want to make things more complicated. I don't want to make more things for me to do. I do want to teach my kids about why Jesus' birth is important. I want them to LOVE Him deeply and purely.

Thoughts? Ideas?

1 comment:

Rachael said...

I like that you posted this. I am not against Santa, but I am not completely for it all either. There can be alot of confusion in the middle, and I've felt it too. I, too, want to keep it simple!