(This piece was first published in my 10yo daughter’s blog. She gave me permission to print it here, too.)
Christmas; if you ask any child in the world to describe it, they would tell you that it is by far the best time of the year, full of presents, secrecy, and an endless flow of candy canes. Then, if you asked them what Christmas is all about, they would say two words: Santa Clause. After all, he’s the one that travels all over the world to deliver presents to everyone whenever winter rolls around, and he’s the one that sits at the local Barnes & Noble and patiently listens to the hopes and dreams of thousands of toddlers come December. He stuffs the stockings with goodies and fills the empty void under the tree with piles of carefully wrapped presents every single year, without a complaint (Mrs. Clause would probably disagree). He’s the one that is stitched onto every Christmas pillow, and the one that’s picture covers the walls of every store in the world, so naturally he must be what Christmas is all about, right?
Maybe, in the centuries of abandoning the real theory and sticking with some bearded old man named Nicholas, people have slowly forgotten what Christmas is really about: the birth of a Savior, come to bruise Satan’s heel. Or maybe, they’ve just concluded that the kind, jolly old man that gives free 60-inch Plasma TVs every Christmas is a more pleasant idea, one that would be more fun to make their children believe. After all, what’s “Christmas is about a baby born to a virgin” compared to “Christmas is about a nice old man in a velvety red suit that gives you whatever you want every December 25th”?B-O-R-I-N-G. And completely out of the question. Because telling your kids a lie about Christmas until they’re 35 and out of the house is fun. Really fun. ‘Cause Christmas is all about fun…. right?
Wrong again. No matter what you tell your toddler, or your 12-year-old, or your 20-year-old, Christmas is NOT ABOUT SANTA CLAUSE. It’s about Jesus, the best gift of them all, and even though the new pink bike you’ve been praying for may be incredibly cool with multiple handy features including a matching pink water bottle that fits in the water bottle holder, it will soon break and you’ll be stuck again with a rusty old bike in the garage that desperately needs new tires.
Okay yes, maybe that image was a little too specific, but I digress.
In the film “God Grew Tired of Us”, the main character that had newly arrived to America from Sudan during Christmastime and had noticed all the Santa Clause decor, commented:”What is all this? In my country, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, so who is this?”
My message? Christmas is about Jesus, not some superficial elderly gentleman that looks great in red, and has a belly that jiggles like a bowl full of jelly.