I have been bombarded with questions about whether to celebrate Jesus, or Santa for Christian homes this holiday season? My answer, (and you asked for MY opinion, right?) is celebrate BOTH! I believe in Santa Claus. He is the FUN part of Christmas. And, Jesus is the reason for Christmas!
When I was a child, Santa Claus always came through with one great gift on Christmas morning; but, interestingly enough, Jesus was the One we thanked.
It wasn’t rocket science. I knew who had created Santa Claus! Duh!
It was not a struggle bringing up our three kids in the same manner. The important foundation of Christmas has always been the birth of God’s Son! Santa Claus is simply lots of fun.
Admit it. With little kids, there is nothing quite as much fun as Santa Claus! There are pictures to be taken with him, stories about him, Santa movies, the north pole and his elves, watching his flight plan on the internet Christmas Eve, the excitement of waking up and finding his gift! Enjoy it! Before you know it, they are grown and gone!
The WORLD celebrates Santa; so, of course, we must do our part honoring Baby Jesus and His TRUE story, keeping a balance in our own homes.
Here are a few suggestions as to how it is done in different homes:
In our home, when I was young, Dad read Luke 2 from the Bible before gifts were opened Christmas morning. The anxious torture of waiting through those LONG verses being read is with me still today. However, it did not kill me. It is a memory I hold dear – remembering my folks’ priorities in our home.
My daughter, Nancy, started a brilliant tradition when her girls were small. During the Christmas season, they have several nativity scenes around their home as decoration, but each scene is missing a Baby Jesus figure. When Christmas morning arrives, before any presents are opened, the girls run to where the babies are kept and hurry to put them in their respective mangers around the house. This puts the focus on Jesus immediately – before the day’s events unfold.
I know of families who have a birthday cake for Jesus before they open presents! Others set a place for Him at their table on Christmas. Some wrap presents for Jesus. They give Him things like promises of when they will read their Bibles, etc. Adults can do the same!
Our one granddaughter wrote a letter to Santa telling him to be sure and give his heart to Jesus – just in case. She assured me she wasn’t going to take any chances in case he didn’t know Jesus. I love it.
Lest you protest too soon, raising kids to love Jesus with all their heart, mind, strength and soul is not a commitment that is determined by one season a year.
Teaching a child to know and love Jesus Christ is a lifelong, every day of the week, 24 hours a day marathon. It is a consistent walk with God that your child will watch and learn and emulate as you live JESUS in everything you do throughout the entire year!
So, is Santa real? Go to a mall and have kids touch him. He’s real enough for me. The stories and legends passed down for centuries certainly happened. Each family chooses how they will celebrate Christmas. Personally, I feel badly for the kids who miss out on the excitement of the Santa merriment!
Our family STILL believes in Santa. If any of our kids decide they no longer want to believe in him, they won’t get a present from him on Christmas morning! It’s just that simple!
Any suggestions from my readers how Jesus is honored this time of year in your homes?