This is another guest post about Santa–this time from the perspective that by taking Santa out of Christmas we are keeping Christ at the center. It is from another one of my great bloggy friends, Heather from Not a DIY Life. She’s such a good mama, a strong woman of God and a servant in her church. Please read, comment and enjoy!
Sometimes as Christians, we have to make decisions about how we will live our life differently because of the difference that Christ has made in our lives. And sometimes these decisions are not popular with other people.
It’s difficult to go against the flow.
We made one of those decisions recently. We are not including Santa Claus in any of our Christmas celebrations. It’s been difficult. And our child is only two and a half years old. How much harder will it be when she’s in school?
First, there are the random strangers who ask our daughter if she’s ready for Santa Claus. Then there are our 8 and 10 year old nieces who claim they still believe in Santa Claus. (We may not follow the crowd on Santa Claus, but I am not about to rain on any kid’s parade.) Then there is the rest of the family. Some are Christians and some are not, but they don’t understand why we wouldn’t want to include Santa Claus. After all, EVERYONE is doing it.
How do you deal with the criticisms, the looks, and the sometimes-harsh words regarding this kind of decision? As you would with any matter of faith.
Know what you believe. Know why you believe it.
We have prayerfully considered how the decision to not include Santa Claus will impact our family and our daughter as she grows. We have listed our reasons WHY we do not want to celebrate Santa. And we are ready to share with those who want to listen.
This decision was not made lightly. And it wasn’t made with the intention of rocking the boat. We are respectful that other people hold very dearly to the Santa Claus story and all that he represents.
I’m not sharing all of this to try to convince anyone else of what they should or shouldn’t do. I’m sharing because it’s hard to be different, and it’s comforting when we find others with similar beliefs and values.
Paul tells us in Romans 12 that we are not to “copy the behavior and customs of this world.” (v.2, NLT) That tells me that “just because everybody else is doing it” isn’t a good excuse. (And I have a feeling that I will be reciting that verse a lot as our daughter gets into her tween- and teen-age years.) Paul says it’s okay to be counter-cultural.
However, Paul also reminds us in Colossians 2:16ff that we are not to condemn other Christians who observe customs of the culture. Just because we do something that is counter-cultural doesn’t make us or our children spiritually superior.
Back to the original advice: Know what you believe and why you believe it. Be able to explain why you celebrate Christmas (or any other holiday or cultural custom) differently. Plan ahead. Talk to parents that have made the same decision who have older children and ask them what obstacles they have encountered.
And be prepared. Your children will question why your family does things differently. They may feel left out. Let them know that it’s okay to be different. Use age-appropriate words to explain why this decision is best for your family.
It may not be the easy road. But teaching your children to honor Jesus will be worth it.