Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas is about who, now?

I've mentioned before that we don't do the whole Santa thing.  Mike and I decided long ago that we didn't want him to be the center of our Christmas traditions.  or anywhere near the center, for that matter.  We have a good enough (more than good enough, really!) reason to celebrate, without bringing the fat guy into it.  I've never understood why people make such a big deal about him.  Don't we have enough crap taking the focus away from Jesus as it is?  We are guilty of taking our kids to sit on his lap, but his name is never mentioned in our house after that.  We'll probably just completely stop taking them to see him at all.  There's no need, since they know the whole thing's a sham.  Anywho, I recently came across this blog post, after someone on FB posted it to their wall.   I fell in love with it, and I just had to share it.  She very eloquently explains why her family doesn't participate in the whole Santa thing.  Here are some excerpts from her post:

Because I'm anxious to make enemies and isolate myself from any goodwill you've ever felt toward me, let me just start with a biggie: We've pulled out of the Santa charade. Our newest kids are 5 and 8, preparing for their first Christmas in America, and we're just not doing it, yall. Maybe because we've spent the last four years trying to unravel the mess we've presented to our other kids all these years, but hear me say it: We are giving Christmas back to Jesus. Not a corner of it; all of it.

There is no fake benefactor this year my kids can petition to get more stuff. Because honestly? For a five-year-old, how can Jesus compete with Santa? Our children don't have spiritual perspective; when faced with the choice of allegience, they have a baby in a manger, or they can get a jolly, twinkling, flying character who will bring them presents. This is going to be an easy choice for them. My friend Andrew, who identifies himself as a member of the "non-believer corner" put it this way:

I always thought it was strange how Christians will tell me they have this giant and awesome truth they know is true deep in their soul and want to share with me, but when 12/25 comes around they lie to their own progeny because, apparently, that giant, liberating, and awesomely simple truth is somehow just not enough. It may be a good narrative, but it needs a little something to give it some panache.

As importantly, it sets this tone for Christmas: Be good and you'll get stuff, which becomes so deeply seeded, undoing that position is almost impossible. When we teach our children to understand Christmas through this lens, then tell them at nine-years-old: "Never mind! It's all fake! Oh, and stop being so selfish because Christmas is about Jesus"...we shouldn't be surprised when our kids stage a mutiny and ask to move in with Grandma. Young parents, this is so much easier to do right the first time rather than try to undo later. Give your kids the gift of a Christmas obsessed with Jesus - and no other - when they are little, and it will be their truth all their lives.

Makes sense, right?  The whole post is worth a read.  We're going to adopt the tradition of giving our kids the gifts of Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.

We're as guilty as the next parents of buying too much crap our kids don't need.  It's over.  No more.  We want to instill in them values that you can't put a price on.  We want our kids to look back at their childhood Christmases (is that a word?) and remember the love and the way Jesus was the center of it all.  Not only at Christmas time, either.  Jesus is enough for us all year round. 
Remember the advent calendar I posted about?  We've been doing it each night, and it's a HUGE hit!  The kids love it!

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Amen sister!!!! To all of it!! Each night we do a whole slew of traditions in December and it takes about 45 minutes and it's focused only on Jesus. Our kids love it and the focus is where it should be. I will say thought that if you've never read about the real St. Nick it's pretty cool and he was a huge believer and even punched someone out once because they were bad mouthing Jesus! Very cool. That St. Nick is okay. The coca-cola version we've developed over the years is not. Way to go!


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