Well, it’s done. Our house is decorated for Christmas and as I sit here intending to write this week’s blog, I am often distracted by the memories that accompany each ornament and table topper.
The holiday decor is dominated by an assortment of Santa Clauses that have whelped since I stumbled upon my first one with a football tucked under his arm. His head was bald, his bead fluffy and white as he sported a jersey with the number 86 (the year I bought him) on the front. He is the elder who is now joined by an assortment of quarterbacks, running backs and a lineman or two. One looks like Sy on Duck Dynasty but he still has the pigskin.
Yesterday in Sunday school the teacher reflected on how the real meaning of Christmas can be easily lost in the hype of the season. She mentioned that one of her friends never acknowledged Santa Claus because she didn’t want her kids to think it was him that they worshiped.
I was feeling a little uncomfortable (convicted, perhaps?) when she went on to say, “That made me stop and think and I decided that just because I have candles at Christmas doesn’t mean I worship them so having Santas doesn’t mean I worship them”!
I felt better and as I thought about it I realized my collection of Santa Clauses didn’t start until the kids were in their teens. While they were young we told them that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday. Hymns and trips to grandparents’ homes were the focal point of our holidays.
They loved the presents, but they loved Baby Jesus more and we never had that awkward moment when they figured out a fat man couldn’t possibly get down a chimney or be carted around in a flying sleigh.
When I was six my teenaged neighbor told me there was no Santa and then she said, “But don’t tell my sister because she doesn’t know.” I was bummed for the next decade, but thankfully my disappointment in Santa had absolutely nothing to do with my love for Jesus.
I did a little research and apparently Christ reigned in the heart of a man name Nikolas over a thousand years ago and Nick did many good works, and though people still talk about him today they don’t look to him for eternal life.
I guess my point is – Santa Claus, a mere mortal, is no competition for The Christ Child, and though a Santa might be on every table and hang as ornaments all over a tree, Christ reigns in the hearts of His people and we own the season!
Mother wrote in her journal, “To be cheerful is being ready to greet others with a welcome, a word of encouragement, an enthusiasm for the task at hand and a positive outlook. Such people are like pain relieving medicine.”
Sounds like a Christian to me or Santa Claus perhaps?