Christmas is without a doubt, one of my favorite times of the year. I feel like I get to be a kid again every time Christmas rolls around and who doesn’t love that? Especially as each day you live you are reminded that you are in fact no longer a kid and have to do adult things like pay bills and make money to pay bills (and buy Christmas presents). Oh, and there’s also fun Christmas things like eggnog, and lights, and Christmas movies, and Christmas music, and Christmas trees, and all of these other Christmas things that (obviously) only happen at Christmas. Do I even have to mention the facts we get to give and get presents?
I fall in love with Christmas a little more each year thanks to my now three-year-old baby brother, whose face glows like Rudolph’s nose at the mere mention of Santa Claus. Christmas is just the best. I love pretty much everything about it. Well, except one thing: it’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. And it’s not anything about little baby Jesus, or His birthday, that I don’t like. Every time Christmas rolls around all of these wacky Christians (who I’m sure mean well and love Jesus) come out of the woodwork.
All of the sudden my social media feeds begin to fill with articles and videos about “the war on Christmas” and “the dangers of Santa Claus”. I don’t know if these people drank some bad hot cocoa, or grandma slipped a little something extra in their fruitcake, but these people blame Jesus for their bah humbug attitudes. This baffles me. Mostly because I get to see my little brother’s eyes light up like a Christmas tree as he climbs up on Santa’s lap to tell him whatever three-year-olds tell Santa (I’m sure it makes about as much sense as waiting till Christmas Eve to do all your shopping).
I can’t understand how the innocent belief in Santa Clause can be such a dangerous thing, as if kids need one less good thing to believe in– to hope for. God, the Ultimate Gift Giver, gave us the wonderful gift of imagination; He gave the gifts of wonder and joy. With these gifts we, turned the story of a saint, who took the Biblical mandate of generosity seriously, into a legend– an icon of joy and selfless giving. How can we then consider this belief a threat? If Santa Claus can in any way compete in your, or your child’s mind, with Jesus, then you have completely missed who Jesus is.
Jesus came to bring us life. He gave us freedom from sin. He gave us Himself. Santa Claus isn’t even on the same playing field as Jesus. Santa is a reminder of what Christ did for us. He brings us gifts for no reason to remind us God gave us the gift of salvation, even if we never make it off the naughty list. So this season, don’t fool yourself into thinking Jesus is the reason to be a scrooge. Instead, focus on whatever is true (Santa is so real), whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable.
Don’t be afraid to say “happy holidays”, there are people who are different from you; they won’t care about Christmas until you show them the reason to (Jesus, duh). Try not to be so offended when people “take the ‘Christ’ out of ‘Christmas’”. Jesus wants to be in your heart, not on a sign at Wal-Mart. And please, whatever you do, don’t forget to love people this holiday season. There are homeless people freezing on the streets. There are low-income parents who can’t afford presents for their children. There are families who are going to have to spend their first Christmas without a loved one. There are children who will wake up on Christmas morning with cancer ravaging their bodies. These people need us to show them the love of Christ more than we need plastic baby Jesus in our front yards, or the word “Christmas” on our Starbucks cups. Jesus is the reason we love. He’s the reason we live. He’s not the reason we should be a Grinch.
Merry Christmas ya filthy animal.