What will my children remember this Christmas? My hope is their memories will be filled with more than Christmas presents and sugar cookies. I hope they will know more about Jesus and why he came. Several years ago my husband and I chose not to celebrate Santa Claus at Christmas. The choice was simple. God entrusts us with our precious children, and we are only given a few years to make a big impact in their life. We don't want to make room for Santa at Christmas. We'd rather spend all our time, energy, and interactions sharing about Jesus, (and the amazing events leading up to his birth). Why is it necessary to even mention Santa Claus?
Choosing to celebrate Christmas without Santa is a simple choice for us, but it is a costly choice as well. It's costly because our convictions go directly against our culture, even among Christian circles. I understand everybody has different viewpoints, different convictions. My intention is not to slander anybody's stance on Christmas. My intention is to simply share what Christmas looks like without Santa. (In case anybody is wondering.) I share because when I mention my convictions of Santa, some people often respond to me as if I am in some way withholding the joy of Christmas from my children.
So, what is Christmas like without Santa?
1) Unending Joy
Christmas presents will be unwrapped. New toys will become old toys. With Jesus though, joy remains. How am I withholding joy from my children at Christmas? Jesus is the source of joy!
2) A Glimpse of the Gospel
My children receive gifts whether they are good or bad. We never threaten to withhold gifts based on their behavior. We give gifts regardless of their behavior because Christ gave to us even when we were undeserving.
There's never a need to help my children decipher between real and pretend. Everything we share at Christmas is real. At their young age, I don't want the story of Santa to hinder their understanding of truth.
Whether you share my convictions or not, I believe we can all agree on one common purpose: For the story of Jesus' birth to prevail over all!
For the study this week, we will be reading about the story of Jesus' birth and the events surrounding it. Click here to download the reading guide. Let's begin by reading a verse from one of the passages this week.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'” Luke 2:13-14, NIV
As you read these verses, consider the following:
How did Christ's birth give glory to God?
How did Christ's birth bring hope for peace between man and God?
What do you want to praise God for today?
Photo: Mike Arney