The Reason for the Season

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If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

Welcome to another Terrific Tuesday, where we take a look at God’s word, His kingdom or His people to see what we can learn about ourselves, Him and/or our relationships with Him.

Last week, we talked about the music of the Christmas season. I mentioned that I don’t mind an occasional “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” but that I really preferred Christmas carols and music such as The Messiah.

Today, I want to talk about what the season means to me. When I was a child, it was all about Santa Claus and seeing what gifts we got—pretty much like most other families, I suppose. Our church would put up a Nativity Scene, and there would be the usual preaching and Sunday School lessons about Jesus’s birth, but the significance of His birth was never really explained, and I was a lot more interested in the gift part.

A few years ago, I heard a sermon about lies we tell our children. The preacher singled out Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. His thesis was that we do a major disservice to our kids by telling them to believe in these unseen beings and then later on admitting to them that they don’t really exist. He asked how we could expect our kids to believe in God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who are also unseen, when we had tricked them about these other unseen beings.

Wait. Pipe down. I know you didn’t intentionally mislead your children. I didn’t intentionally mislead my daughter, either. But what effect does it have on the mind of a child when we assure them for years that something is real and then finally admit to them that it’s not? Wouldn’t that tend to create doubt in their minds when we tell them other things or people they can’t see are real?

My daughter got over it and is a strongly committed Christian. I’m sure most of your children have gotten over it, too, but I wonder if we wouldn’t have served them better and avoided creating doubts in their minds if we’d started talking about Jesus’s birth instead of Santa Claus in the first place. About Jesus’s death and resurrection when they were toddlers rather than making up this magic rabbit.

I see nothing wrong with giving our kids gifts. I love to give gifts to our kids and grandkids. But why don’t we give the gifts as a celebration of Jesus instead of Santa Claus? Why muddy the waters by bringing him into a season that should be about Him?

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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6 Responses to The Reason for the Season

  1. Thanks, April. I’m glad you and your family have this priority straight.

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  2. philangelus says:

    The reason I don’t believe Santa Claus etc detract from the Christian faith is that presumably the parents live their Christian faith year-round. We don’t bring food to the food pantry because the Easter Bunny told us to do it. You and your co-parent don’t sit at the dinner table talking about the finer points of something the Tooth Fairy told her disciples. Your kids never hear you sitting around saying, “I know what Kris Kringle would tell me to do, but it’s just such a struggle to do it.”

    Your kids hear you praying and discussing scripture on a regular, ongoing basis. They witness the sacrifices you make, the changes God makes in your life, the decisions you make because of Biblical truth. They are witnessing the changing effect God has on your life every single day of the year.

    And Santa Claus shows up in December. And the Tooth Fairy shows up every so often with a buck.

    It’s not going to destroy their faith in the Holy Spirit unless the Holy Spirit shows up in their lives on a similar basis — when we want something, or when it’s a special occasion.

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  3. I LOVE this so much, and this month I have read many mom’s struggling with this. I keep wondering: “Then why do introduce it in the first place?” Seems like these concepts could very easily be kept separate — and there there would be much less hub-bub and commercialism to the holiday. You know me, I have a hard time with this stuff seeing as I did not grow up with any of these traditions — not even The Tooth Fairy! Deception really bothers me — and I believe it can backfire. That said, Gigi at KludgyMom JUST wrote a post about this — and she shows how it MIGHT not backfire. We’ll see. Great post, David. Off to tweet you.

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  4. Sharon K. Walker says:

    The Easter bunny, Santa Claus, and Tooth Fairy seems to add more fun and magic for the occasions, but they do detract from the Christian faith.

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