Well that is a tough question and a controversial one for sure. Christians grapple with this issue each Christmas season. I too, felt the conflict in my own heart in years past and that is my motive for writing this blog. As I share my thoughts on this issue allow me to make this disclaimer, these are simply my thoughts on this issue and I do not speak for anyone else nor do I cast judgment on those who views differ from mine.
I love Christmas for a number of reasons. I love to hear Christmas music, I love to drive through the neighborhood and see the decorations and colorful lights. I love the smell of baked goods and meals. I love the gatherings with friends and family. I love the exchanging gifts, conversations, and laughter. And I love the opportunity that Christmas affords to give a gift to someone just because… it’s Christmas. And more than anything, I love the opportunity to share the real reason for the season, which is, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The fact that God the Creator of the Heavens and the earth, would step into his own creation and all the circumstances surrounding the miraculous birth of a baby who was and is Christ the King just absolutely amazes me!
But, the question remains for the Christian at Christmas time… What shall we do about Santa Clause? Well, As Christians, we all know that the joy of Christmas does not come from gifts from Santa Clause but, rather from the greatest gift ever given to mankind and that gift is… Jesus Christ.
In our family traditions we didn’t kick Santa out of the house. In fact my wife has a huge Santa collection. Furthermore, when our children were young they got gifts from Santa and we left out cookies and milk. However, Santa was not the primary focus of Christmas. We didn’t threaten our kid’s by saying… “You better watch out, you better not pout, Santa Clause is coming to town.” The reality is our children didn’t have to earn their gifts by being good nor do we earn the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ by being good. The gift of the Christ child is a gift of grace that we receive by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.
I respect those who say, “to embrace Santa is lying to our children.” However, when you played “Peek- a- boo” with your baby and covered them with a blanket and said… “I can’t see you.” And then removed the blanked and said… “Oh, there you are!” I don’t consider that lying. I consider that playing and tapping into their imagination. It was fun to see and hear your baby laugh.
With that said, Christmas is a joyous time of the year and Santa affords us the opportunity to tap into the imagination of a child in a way that is fun. I guess I’m saying, have fun with your children and grandchildren while they are young. But, let your emphasis always be on Jesus Christ and the miracle of Christmas. After all, Christmas is about God fulfilling his promises, saving his people, coming to us as one of us – in Jesus. The story of Jesus is the most wonderful story ever told. Yet, the truth can be so easily missed in the busyness and commercialism of the season.
You can have Christmas without Santa but you cannot have Christmas without Jesus Christ. So, make it a point to make room for the Christ in your life and your Christmas.
I wish you a Merry Christmas! - Pastor Mike