If you are a teacher off for Christmas Break and you are parenting small children who still believe in Santa, I am sorry to say but you shouldn’t get time off. Now, wait a second. Hear me out! I am not talking about your profession. I am talking about your job as a parent. I fall right into that parenting young toddlers category myself, and as I watch my four-year-old and three-year-old boys eagerly await Santa’s arrival, my wife and I take every night in December to teach an Advent moment. My wife being the creative genius that she is created an ABC Advent book of her own. Every letter of the alphabet is represented with a person, place, or thing that relates to the birth of Christ. This, my friends, is true teaching.
Teaching our children that the birth of Christ trumps Santa my be the hardest curriculum I have ever taught. My kids LOVE Santa! But they also love Jesus. If you were to sit your child down, who would they say they like better? I wonder what my boys would say? Would they quickly smile and say Santa, knowing Santa means Batman Lego sets, Ninja Turtle socks, and Transformers? Or would they realize the truth of the picture below. Take a look …
I think what I like best about Santa here is his complete submission to the Christ child. The hat is off. He’s kneeling in reverence, head bowed and eyes closed. Everything about Santa’s posture shows respect for this tiny baby in a manger. Santa knows that his importance pails in comparison to that of Jesus. After all, this tiny baby, this God given miracle in the flesh was born as the greatest Christmas gift of all time. He is the reason we celebrate the day. Not for Santa. Not for gifts under the tree. The celebration of Christmas is all about the birth of our Savior, the One who died for us.
I am by no means saying that celebrating Santa is wrong. It can actually be quite fun. Especially when my folks bribe one of the elder family members to dress up as Santa on Christmas Eve and prance around outside the window, making the little ones scream with delight. But my family also will open Luke chapter 2 later that night. We will awake to Santa’s gifts in the morning, but we will likewise sing happy birthday to Jesus with cupcakes for the entire family. And as my boys finally rest their exhausted heads on their pillows on Christmas night, I will be leading them in prayer to pay reverence to baby Jesus. My prayer will certainly conclude with undying gratitude and complete humility toward Christ and Christ alone.
What do you do to keep Christ alive in Christmas? Do you have any family traditions that you’d like to share? I would gladly welcome any suggestions below. Here’s wishing you and yours a merry Christmas!