So this Santa thing…

Every year it comes around.  It you are like me, you are prepared – the presents, the decorating, the gardening and the food.  Lists everywhere…  But what does that have to do with the truth of Christmas?

When our children were little we thought about what sort of people we wanted them to become.  Ultimately we desired our children to be the very best version of whomever God designed them to be. Character traits were deliberately taught and valued.  Honesty reflects the fact that Christ is Truth. This honesty thing is a real issue at Christmas.

We told our children that Santa was not real but like every trick from the other side, there is some truth in it otherwise no one would fall for it.  So we let them enjoy the fun of it as mythology, as story, just as we enjoyed the stories of the nursery rhymes or any good yarn.  But the truth that is in Santa?  He is about giving.

As is our God.  About giving generously, and about us receiving undeservedly.  As the children and their reasoning matured, we were able to point out the parallels – Santa gives out presents, to all, whether we deserve it or not (oops the naughty list?)  Jesus is the ultimate giver and gift.  His gift is available to all.  His love is unconditional (there is no naughty list with Jesus)  and His love falls on the loveable and the unloveable.  There is a sacrifice in Jesus giving that can be reflected in how we serve others on Christmas Day, how we think of others in need and how we act all year round.

We’ve all seen that moment when a child finds out that Santa is not real – the utter disappointment, not in the loss of Santa but in a little bit of innocence and trust.  Trust in their parents, and the adults around them.  We helped our children to be considerate of those others who ‘believed’ in Santa and helped them with how to be respectful and accepting, holding to the truth themselves.  It’s a very mature concept that needs some special attention.  You’ll work it out.

Ultimately if we want our children to be truthful, we must be truthful too.  We could not lie about Santa and the Tooth Fairy and then expect them to believe us that Jesus is real, alive and important.  In some ways none of them can be seen, but the image of Santa is everywhere, his mythology is large.  But the Truth that is Jesus will resonate in their hearts as they learn truth consistently, from you.

So as we face it again – are you going with the Truth of Christmas?  The Jesus of Christmas!  Can you let the thought of generosity and hospitality tie you to the Nativity, enjoying the fun of the season and teaching your children that you are truthful yourself?

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