Thank you all who responded to my last post. I post these things because they are my thoughts and feelings. They do not reflect any of the thoughts or feeling of any business or church I run or attend. They come from me and the reason I share them is to help and get help. I truly believe we are not in this world alone and we all need to seek counsel. I know my last post may have seemed a bit extreme to some, especially family and friends whom I know, but I am sure I am not the only one with the dilemma. Also, people should be aware that there are others who do not see things the way they do and no one should pass judgment. I know that is easier said then done. We all judge.
After a few days of seeking the counsel of people with various views I have come to a conclusion. Before I get to that let me just say I think we should always research things we do. We should challenge customs and traditions if we feel they do not line up with what is being taught. Don’t just go blindly into a tradition without research unless you are comfortable. I will warn you if you seek, you will find. What you find you may not like. After you find again seek council.
So I researched and found. I found more than I wanted to. What I found I did not like. Then I thought, and asked, and prayed, and have come to this. The reasons why traditions use to happen do matter, but how they are now used matter more. The Santa of today was not the Santa of the past. There is a bad history with Santa but he has changed. People can change and so can tradition. Although Santa is highly commercialized, it is not the object that is bad, it is how we use the object. A knife in and of itself is not bad, but when a knife is used to cause harm it is the action and not the object that is bad.
It all comes down to how we do the traditions in my own house. Just because the world puts Santa as the figure-head of Christmas does not mean we have to. He and other things are a part of Christmas so they will be accepted as current traditions. The purpose of the holiday for me is to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ. No matter the original intention of the holiday, that is Who it will be about for me and what I want to pass on. Christmas is now a time to love and enjoy family and friends. Whatever that day was used for in the ancient past does not matter. It is now a day of caring, giving, hope, joy, and compassion. In all these things there is Jesus.
Santa will come. We will have holiday fun and Christmas spirit. My daughter will experience the fun of the season, but the Reason to celebrate will be held as the highest priority.
Thank you all for your help.
In the words of Tiny Tim “God bless us. Everyone!”
It has always been strange to me. I always wondered why it was ok? I always wondered why they could lie to us? We are told, from the day we are born, not to lie. Then the people who tell us this, lie to us as long as they can about one thing we know of. One thing we all find out.
Why is it ok?
I am faced with a dilemma. Do I do the same thing? Do I lie to my daughter? Do I tell her the same lie every year around this time? Do I make it worse by adding another lie to it? Do I move that little doll around and tell her it moved on its own? Then I must keep lying because I will need to keep moving it. I will have to tell her to be good because it is watching her and will report back to the bigger lie.
Yes I am talking about Santa and the Elf on the Shelf. I remember when I was a kid and found out there wasn’t a Santa. Not when my parents told me, but when I actually found out. Confession time: I SNOOPED FOR MY PRESENTS! Sorry Mom and Dad. I found my Nintendo in the basement. It was the Nintendo given to me a few days later by Santa.
“Why did Santa drop off my presents and leave them in the basement?” I asked myself. I didn’t really ask that. I asked myself “why was I lied to and told not to lie?” Then I started to play along in the fear that if they knew I knew, then the Christmas presents would stop. I liked getting gifts. It didn’t matter if Santa was real. My Nintendo was real. My bike was real. My drums were real.
So why do we still lie about this guy in a red suit? I understand people want to keep Christmas magical and have fun with their children. I understand that it is a tradition. I understand that Santa is a symbol of giving. But I do not understand why Santa is in more places at Christmas than the person the holiday is named for. I do not like that I see a giant inflatable Santa on the way home from work and do not see anything about the real Gift given to us. And while Santa is a symbol of giving, he also is a symbol of taking. We teach kids to make lists of all these things that they want Santa to bring. They are taught to rely on a man in a red suit and not the One that this holiday is supposed to celebrate.
And what about the Jewish kids? Does Santa not like them? Since they do not celebrate Christmas, Santa will not bring them toys. Are they on the naughty list? Would they be on the naughty list of the One this holiday is about? We are all on the naughty list. But He was born to bring us forgiveness. So why wouldn’t Santa go to their house?
I’m not saying that if you do the Santa thing you are bad. I am saying I am confused. I need help. I think there can be a balance but it should not be 50/50. Jesus should be the reason for Christmas that I teach my daughter. If not for His birth we would not have Christmas. If not for His death we would not be saved.
I just pray that she and other children learn the real meaning of Jesus as our gift and not what they will get from Santa. I just pray that they thank God for loving us so much the He gave us His only son.
The perfect Gift.
Luke 2:7 King James Version (KJV)
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.