Some people just don’t want to enjoy their own holiday.
This “Freakout” is a little lighter because pretty much every Christian gets behind Christmas (except for weird Charlie with his adamant exegesis that baby Jesus was born in June). Still, there are one or two complains that I felt like addressing because I’m unemployed and have lots of time on my hands!
SANTA CLAUSE IS A PAGAN GOD…OR SOMETHING!
A lot of people wonder what to tell their kids about Santa, Christians more so. Should we say he’s real and allow their childhood imagination to remain intact? Should we tell them the truth and hope for the best? Should we jingle our keys and hope they go away?
In my opinion, the issue is whether or not we should lie to our kids. While kids aren’t ready for everything in the world, I don’t think we should tell them there’s a Santa Claus. Their childish imagination will NOT be harmed by this, I swear to you. Kids can still enjoy Santa, the Easter Bunny, all those things, without believing they’re real. They enjoy Disney movies, don’t they?
Still, I’ve heard that some Christians get their feathers ruffled by the mention of Santa Clause because he apparently gets in God’s way. These are the same people who hate the Easter Bunny. These people really do want to stifle imagination. Think of nothing but what is absolutely real. No games, no pretending, just a holy reverence to God, who has no time for fun.
Lighten up. Fiction is powerless as long as you know it’s fiction. Better yet, fiction can convey positive messages–Jesus used parables, for crying out loud. Imagination is not just something that enables foolish fantasies, it allows us to dream beyond ourselves. We don’t want to put Santa in place of baby Jesus or even equal with him. We just want to have fun telling stories and watch Rise of the Guardians sixteen times in a row because it was AWESOME!!
CHRISTMAS IS TOO COMMERCIALIZED…SO BURN ALL THE TREES!!!
Good LORD, that picture is terrifying!
Anyway, Charlie Brown Christmas may have been the first to say it, but Christmas is very commercial now. I mean I saw Christmas Trees at Sears BEFORE Halloween! Stores have a lot of money to make off of Christmas. What with Christmas candies, decorations, themed novelties, Christmas Sales, and Black Friday, Christmas seems to mean more about stuff than it should.
Anyone from any religion can agree with this: Christmas should be about something more than stuff. It’s about love and family. “Peace on Earth and good will towards men.” Christians agree that Christmas is about remembering the day that the King of Kings took on the weak, mortal flesh of a helpless baby among the cattle and horses, far from what he deserved, just for us. (Yes, yes, he wasn’t actually born on Dec 25, 0000AD, it’s a celebration!).
But have you met some of these weirdos? No Christmas Trees because they’re not in the Bible. No buying gifts because Christmas is about love and joy, not you. Some Christians want absolutely nothing to do with anything that’s not explicitly listed in the Bible. Others simply go too far to another extreme, treating the commercialized goods as sinful, instead of the commercialization itself. They think the sin is in the STUFF, when it’s really in the attitude. It’s like wanting to ban guns instead of dealing with the murderers themselves. (See what I did there? Hi-ooooo!)
Yes, focus on what’s important this Christmas. But gifts can be given out of love. Trees can inspire hope and wonder. Lights can dazzle beautifully. All in all, these things can be the way we celebrate the coming of the Savior, as long as they don’t become our focus.
THE REAL THREAT
Too many Christians are panicking about a “War on Christmas.” They feel the need to defend it against anything that even feels like a threat. But Jesus lives in the hearts of his followers. The thing we can do to keep Christmas alive is to actually celebrate it for what it really is. Even if a thousand distractions are born, even if the US outlaws manger scenes, Christmas will still be celebrated as the miracle it really is.
If you’re worried about your children, then look to the Bible. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” –Proverbs 22:6. If we teach our kids what Christmas is about, they won’t become obsessed with gifts or Santa or anything like that. They can have all the fun and wonder of the season, unwrap presents, watch Elf a hundred times, but it won’t hurt them because they have what’s really important ingrained in their minds.
So let’s stop worrying about the world and its vices and focus on the only thing that really threatens Christmas.