Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Having grown up in a non-Christian home, I can honestly say that the focus of Christmas was Santa Claus, presents, candy, and glitz.

The fact that the reason for the holiday was to recognize the birth of a Savior didn't really sink in until [embarrassingly] very recently.

I know better now. I am grateful for the celebration of Christmas for different reasons now. Deeper reasons. And sometimes, to be honest, I get tired of seeing the commercials that focus on receiving gifts and not giving something of yourself that costs more than paper money.

But. There is still that little girl inside of me that wonders over the magic of Christmas. And I am certain that the two ways to celebrate connected somehow, maybe a very long time ago, and were not two different ways to celebrate Christmas.

Santa had a reason for doing what he did...where did he get his goodness of heart? His need to give charitably, generously?

Anyway...for the past two years Santa has been "outlawed" from our Christmas. Choosing instead to recognize Christ's birth in entirety meant that the jolly old elf had no place here. But for me, Christmas somehow didn't seem as magical-face it we all want to capture that little kid in us during Christmas.

It wasn't that we weren't generous or loving with each other. It wasn't that we weren't appreciative of the blessings that God bestowed upon us. I think that in my feeble human mind, I connected Santa to everything good that a human could be if they were truly Christ-like. The best of someone. The most generous and loving part. And for one day out of the year, THAT is what you see of them. And the individual responsible for that gentle way is of course Christ. Because without Him we are lost, and there is no possible way that a Santa could exist.

For myself, it was the one day out of the year that I could look at my step father and feel that maybe, just maybe he liked me a little.

So, this year I approached my husband about reintroducing Santa back into our family. With some guidelines of course, so that things do not get carried away, and so that the primary focus of our celebration is for the birth of Christ.

My husband, who cannot remember having Santa Claus ever recognized during his childhood Christmas said "sure". Of course, I asked him while he was still half asleep.

And now...since he has made this concession, for whatever reason...I feel a little giddy. I guess I love having the opportunity one time a year to be lovingly generous with my family. I love the whole Santa-thing because I love giving presents. Not that I wouldn't be generous with them all year long...but playing Santa means that I get to give to them without getting anything back. Except maybe some cookies. mmm...cookies.

We won't be taking the Snoog to go see Santa, or anything like that. The gifts "he" gives are unprompted by greed or need. The kids don't even know that we are doing this. We aren't going to pump up Santa. He is a figure in a story. An imagined character to represent the good that should be in all of us while we recognize and celebrate the birth of Christ.


At 13:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a wee tot, Santa NEVER came to our house on Christmas Eve/Day.

Santa came in the early morning hours of 06 December. --Otherwise known as Saint Nicholas' Day!! Hooray!! We would leave a pair of shoes outside of our bedroom door (Mom insisted that we use our church shoes vs. ratty tennies) and in the morning there were always a toy or two and candy.

Therefore, we did not mix our holidays. CHRISTmas for Christ, St. Nicholas for Santa. (Mom would also make potato latkas for dinner and we'd put up the Christmas tree in the evening.)

My mom also made us go through our toys every year and donate 5 of them to charity if we wished to receive toys for St. Nicholas Day or Christmas. No donations, no toys/games. --Just socks and underwear.

I'm not saying that her way was best, but Santa has NEVER visited Spencer at our house, St. Nick does on the 6th. She's always been OK with it.

I just thought I'd share!
--Kim R.

At 13:54, Blogger Kassi said...

That is a cool idea. One that I wouldn't have thought of. I don't think that there is a wrong way to do it as long as you get the facts straight on what Christmas is about. I just want to be able to share (with my kids) a part of myself and how I celebrated well as how Caleb celebrated Christmas in his childhood.


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