There’s a reason for the season, and Santa it ain’t. I can’t help suspecting that our children think Santa expired on the Christmas tree for their gifts. I’d like to blame them or myself (as some have already done), but there are more powerful trends at work here.
The notion of competing cultural liturgies–as developed by James K.A. Smith in Imagining the Kingdom, William T. Cavanaugh in Migrations of the Holy, and Bruce Ellis Benson Liturgy as a Way of Life–is especially legible in everyday life during the Christmas season in the West.
The situation might seem like a reason for taking up the side of the cultural warriors who would have us put Christ back in Christmas.
This would only lead to a strange dialectic whereby Baby Jesus would merely replace Santa in the middle of the frenzied capitalist liturgy of the season.
Something of the sort can be readily observed in the writings of popular Catholic authors such as George Weigel or Michael Novak; for them exceptional American dynamism has usurped the wastefulness of Jesus and his Church.
Sorry to poop on your post-gift opening party!
We opened ours last night, so I only have a vague, fading gift hangover going for me.