When I was a little kid, I really didn't "get" the true meaning of Christmas. I knew that we did a Christmas play with baby Jesus and angels and such when I was a wee tot, but I really thought it was all about Santa and his reindeer. My mother even told me an elf lived in my room in the air conditioner vent to see if I was being good or not. Talk about traumatized? Try going to sleep alone in a room with an elf staring at you from the air vent! She told me the other day, that she should have turned that thought into "elf on a shelf" back in the 70's and she could be loaded today. LOL
When I became a Christian in my teens, I told myself that I would not lie to my children about Santa when I grew up and that we would just celebrate Jesus at Christmas! I did not want my kids to think my parents lied about Santa, maybe Jesus is not real either. Well, what did I do? Grew up got married and did the Santa thing with my first 2 kids. The oldest figured it out before kindergarten, but my daughter hung onto it for a while longer. We did the photo with Santa every year...and I still have those Santa ornaments on our tree. This time of year we do watch a lot of Christmas movies including the Santa ones.
I had a really good friend from my church and we had kids very close in age and we did "everything" together back in the day. She and her husband didn't do the Santa thing...she said why let "Santa" get the credit for all the gifts and have the kids turn to you and say well, what did y'all get me? ....She had the same conviction as me, about putting the focus of Christmas where it belonged....on Jesus! I admired that in her, and really regretted my whole Santa thing.
So, when the 3rd boy came around...we didn't do Santa with him. He knew from the get go that Santa was not real...We did tell him that Santa was based on a real person who gave gifts to children and all but that was a long time ago. The main point he got out of that story and I quote from his own words, " Santa Claus is dead!"
Now, that my 3rd child is 9 years old he gets really "passionate" in his disapproval of these elves on the shelves. He just thinks folks are putting their focus on the wrong thing. Even yesterday, we saw a billboard from a local Christian radio station with Santa on it saying Santa listens. Well, from the words from my boy when he was three years old," Santa is dead!" So, he can't be listening, but JESUS is alive and HE does listen. This Christmas put your focus on Jesus! This time of year you see a lot of folks wearing t shirts that have the phrase "I believe"or just "believe". For us this phrase has a different meaning. It means We believe in Jesus! Won't you put your focus on Him this year and Just Believe?
The photo is from our family calendar for December. The nativity photo is of the kids in 2001!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17