Just the other day we were reorganizing our collection of photos. Being the Christmas season, it hit me that we do not have a single photo of our kids with Santa Claus. I realize some of you are reeling in horror now! Oh my, our kids are permanently warped! The innocence of their childhood was stolen from them too early!
No, not true. Actually, we did not have an anti-Santa policy in our family. No one was specifically forbidden to speak of him. We did not make any special effort to avoid the sight of him at the mall. We did not make negative comments in front of or to our children during the many “appearances” of Santa that would occur during the holiday season. No, actually we just told THE TRUTH!
Our kids were told told that the Santa they see today was based on the legendary St Nicholas who had an affinity for kids and gift-giving. So we promoted giving as a positive trait for our kids to obtain. We also informed them that the “American Santa” was primarily created by Hollywood, the primary catalyst being the release of “The Night Before Christmas” story. Then Coca-Cola came along and created the red suit, among other things, and “boom”, the fat, bearded man was an American icon.
Therefore, we never said to our kids “You better be good” or “stop doing this or that” because Santa is watching you (or the the latest form of holiday child abuse – “Elf on a Shelf”.) We did not elevate or empower Santa beyond just a legendary giver. We did not over-emphasize Santa Claus ever.
Why? Because Christmas is about the miracle that a Holy God would come down and be like us and deliver us from our sinful condition! Wow, what a story! Why would anyone create any other idol to distract from it? Of course, we know that’s exactly what the enemies of God want. And I have come to realize that Santa Claus is often over-emphasized in homes where the parents have under-emphasized the importance of Jesus or usually have no relationship with Jesus whatsoever. Jesus IS enough! Jesus IS THE STORY of Christmas! If you do not have a personal relationship with Him, then no wonder you focus on other insignificant things for you and your kids at this time of year and miss the incredible events and moments surrounding his birth.
If you were to ask my two kids today did they feel robbed of their childhood because we left Santa Claus on the back-burner, they would likely laugh and look at you as though you had an extra ear lobe sticking out of your head. Today, both of them spend a lot of their time in activities of worship to Jesus and promotion of the Gospel. My, what a horrible thing (sarcasm)! Hmmm, they still turned out quite impressive.
Contrast this to the young adult I encountered a few years ago. I was discussing the influence of Jesus in my early life and ask about his background and beliefs. He actually made this comment: “My parents told me about Santa Claus all the time as a kid, and then I discovered it was all a lie. So why should I believe people like you who talk about this Jesus, whom I have never seen in person? Is that just another magical story and a lie as well? The seeds planted in him as a child had now sprouted and were bearing fruit that I am sure his parents never intended.
Parents, if Santa Claus is THE central figure of your home, or, at least, over-emphasized in your home, at Christmas, ask yourself a few questions. Am I desperately looking for something supernatural, something magical to throw in there to make it all special? Am I doing this because there is an emptiness inside of me to begin with? Am I lying to my kids now as a cover-up to how I have personally rejected the TRUTH (Jesus) in my past? First, we must believe a lie. Then we live a lie. Then we share the lie (even unknowingly, most times).
Jesus IS enough! If you’re not fascinated and awe-struck by the events surrounding the coming of the Christ-child, then you have not spent enough time reading and researching it. It is a truly amazing story! Jesus IS enough! Stop the enemy’s lies in your life. Look beyond all the man-made substitutes we see at Christmas. Jesus loves you and your family and has a wonderful plan for all of you! There could not be a more wonderful time of year for you and your family to fall on your knees to worship and honor him. Jesus IS enough and wise men still seek HIM! Are you a wise man/woman?