Santa Claus is not my enemy!
I’ve always enjoyed Christmas. As a kid, my parents somehow found a way to make it special and fun. When Marlene and I had kids of our own, it was especially enjoyable to see Christmas through their eyes. But frankly, I’m a romantic. I love carols, trees, lights, old-fashioned store windows and decorations. Well, most decorations; I can do without seeing another inflated Grinch or Santa Homer.
We played Santa with our kids. When they got older, we explained what was going on; but they always got something from Santa. We also included other Christmas traditions. Since our kids were home-schooled, we could talk to them about how Christmas was celebrated in other lands and times. We incorporated Christmas with geography and social studies. Though they heard about Christmas in 19th century Scandinavia and 18th century colonial America, they still learned that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus the Messiah.
Christ followers have a lot to take issue with in our culture. Ungodly thinking, rebellion and selfish priorities are manifested everywhere. I’ve written about some of those things in my Pastor’s Pen column; others I have confronted right here in this blog and on Facebook. Though we do have cultural foes, Santa is not one of mine. Everyone bemoans the materialism of Christmas, and there is truth in that. Our entire culture is materialistic, even the Christian crowd. What a wail there would be if our projector or air conditioning didn’t work. Our bookstores, which used to be centered on Bibles and study helps, are now filled with jewelry, exercise plans and recipes. If we really got serious with God, we could change that; and we can make sure Christmas is about more than glitter and gifts.
I’m afraid we show our pettiness and lack of creativity when we pick on poor old Saint Nick. It’s easier to condemn and withdraw from our culture than to engage it and challenge it to do better. This Christmas let’s celebrate the Gift God gave us, His Son. Let’s also pledge to be like that Son and interject ourselves into this broken world bringing hope, faith and the gift of love.
By the way, in case you wondered. My three home-schooled children all have college degrees; two are post-graduate. Credit goes to the Lord and their patient mother!