Thursday, December 19, 2013

To Santa Or Not To Santa

I am being bombarded with Santa.

He is everywhere. I think I've seen Santa at least 8 times recently....and we don't go see Santa. He just pops up wherever we are!

I don't mind Santa being around. I understand that's the only reason some people celebrate Christmas, and I'm tolerant of other people's religions. And if you try to tell me that Santa is not a religion, then I would like to tell you that you are a crazy person.

Don't even get me started on Elf on the Shelf. EVERYONE is doing it! Since when do we think it's ok to straight up lie to our kids and tell them that some creepy Elf is watching them to make sure they behave?? Apparently works and behavior are all that matter anymore to parents, and bribing their children to "be good" can only be done through mystical creatures, who, let's face it, look more like molesters than helpers.

I'm not the Grinch I promise. I grew up doing the whole Santa bit. And we haven't told our kids there isn't a Santa. They sing the Santa songs and they know who he is when they see a picture of see him on one of our outings. But in OUR family, Santa is not how we celebrate Christmas. We still give our kids presents and there are even unopened gifts sitting out Christmas morning and stockings are full. But we don't say that Santa brought them. We don't really say anything. I guess we are kind of passive aggressive about it.....I don't want Lucy to be the kid at school telling everyone that Santa isn't real, but I also don't want her to think that he actually DID come to our house.

Honestly, it's never bothered me before that we don't do Santa. But this year, Lucy has been asking a lot of questions, and I started to feel a little guilty that our kids don't have the whole Santa experience. I'm all for imagination and believing in fairy tales....that's what childhood is about. The girls love Disney Princesses and mermaids, and we don't tell them that they don't exist. We let them believe and pretend because those things are important to them.

I think the difference between those and Santa, at least to me, is that the princesses and mermaids and fairy tales aren't overshadowing the truth. It's something they play. It doesn't distract them from what's real.

Santa does. We have become so obsessed with Santa and presents and freaking Elf on the freaking Shelf that we are missing the greatest gift we could ever give our children, and the greatest gift that the world was given....the gift of Jesus.

God. Himself. Came down to this nasty, fallen, sin-filled earth as a BABY, so that He could live among us, love on us, die for us, and save us. That is the greatest miracle. How Santa can fit down the chimney doesn't seem like such a big accomplishment anymore.

Mark and I listened to this the other night and it was very convicting....

Obviously John Piper is on the "Not To Santa" side.

I'm not saying you should take a side. But this was such a reminder for me to teach my children what Christmas truly is. Not just Jesus's Birthday. But what His birthday means for us. It's everything. Without Christmas, there is no Easter. Without Easter, we are all condemned forever.

Do Santa if you want. But Do Jesus more.

But please, whatever you do, don't Do Elf on the Shelf.

1 comment:

Emily Baxter said...

Hallelujah! I completely agree with you regarding Elf on the Shelf. We were at my sister's house for Thanksgiving...I heard her mother-in-law tell my nephew, "You better stop that...Santa is watching." How creepy is it to think that Santa (or an Elf) is not only watching you, but flies around inside your house?!?