Dec 23, 2009

We don't do Santa either

OK ... to be fair, I had numerous people ask why we don't participate in Halloween at all and I wrote my point of view.  (It was wildly unpopular by the way).  I've been asked our stance on Santa.  And to be fair, I figured I'd might as well finish the job of ticking off ALL my friends. LOL

Dan and I grew up in a church that disallowed Christmas in any way shape or form. Thought not much of it.  I could tell you all their reasons for not celebrating it.  (Many are interesting, by the way.)

But here was always my problem ... the "Christmas story" is in the Bible!  Seems a baby was indeed born to a virgin named Mary.  There was a star. There was a manger.  There were wise men and shepherds.  The story is actually T R U E.

Now most of the world understands that Jesus was born likely in the Fall, not December 25 but the truth is ... He was born and since we don't know the day, one was picked.  I know the whole story about how this day was picked (rooted in paganism apparently) but I also believe that we could pick ANY of the 365 days to celebrate it and there would be "something" wrong with those days as well.  So to me, December 25 is as good as any.  (My dad, for example, usually shares the Birth of Jesus story in the Fall at a sermon.)

Now about the rest of the stuff that goes with it ... some are just plain commercial, some have roots in paganism, etc.  So much of it we have chosen to ignore.  But we tell the Birth of Jesus part.

"But it's rooted in paganism" was the argument growing up.  Look up that word "Pagan" and it means celebrating other gods besides Jesus.  Uh .. er,   anyone get the irony of that?  Christmas (to most people) means that Jesus was born and people are celebrating HIS birth  (Yes, with a lot of commercialism and odd things added in I will give you that.).  They are not worshiping the tree, the presents.  (And yes, I understand that many people completely leave Jesus out of the whole day.) But celebrating a different God than Jesus?

Santa specifically ... in the church I grew up in, he was akin to Satan himself almost (OK, I exaggerate).  But as I see it, he is just a make-believe character.  (Yes, I know the history of St. Nick.)  I allow the pretend characters of Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Dora, Elmo, etc in my home ... I just make sure the kids understand that Superman isn't able to fly, Spiderman can't spin webs, Dora doesn't have a talking monkey, etc. etc.  It's just fiction.  Santa is also a fictional character.  (I put the disclaimer though that most kids don't know he's fictional yet so don't ruin it.)  So we don't personally have Santa's in our house, don't tell them about a jolly old fellow who will mysteriously leave presents in our house, etc.  I do the best to tell the truth, the whole truth (as I understand it to be).

OK ... so now that I've completely honked off ALL my friends - both those who Believe and support the Santa story AND those who think ALL of Christmas is completely pagan ... maybe people will stop asking me what I teach my kids! Ha ha.

In summary ... if you do Christmas and Santa and the whole tree/present thing ... Good for you.  No judgment here.  And Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

If you do NONE of it ... good for you.  No judgment here.  And hang in there, only a couple more days and it will be over.

1 comment:

  1. First off, I really hate you had to tell me Dora's doesn't actually have a talking monkey! LOL!

    Interesting post, Beth. It's hard to believe friends, or passersby, could be offended by it. You educated me. I did not realize there were people who thought it was wrong to celebrate Christmas. That is certainly something to think about.

    I've never had a moral issue against Santa, but as the years pass and the children multiply and grow, I find I've lost interest in the myth. Santa remains a fringe part of the holiday for us.

    In the sprirt of Christmas, let me tell you how thankful I am to be in your circle of friends. I look forward to the miracles we will no doubt share in 2010. Glory be to God.