I’m not trying to tell you what to do concerning Santa—every set of Christian parents need to be in unity and make their own decision concerning jolly old St. Nick. But I am trying to remind you to be diligent and wise in how you point your children to Jesus during the Christmas season. With so many things vying for our children’s attention, it takes real effort to make sure we use our Christmas celebrations and traditions to point to Christ. And I want to encourage you to do just that—and to do it extravagantly.
Coming Down the Chimney Tonight
Our kids can get so excited thinking that Santa sneaks into their homes, quietly places gifts under the tree, gobbles down some cookies, and then heads out to squeeze down the next chimney. We decorate, sing carols, and celebrate to honor the season and this jolly, overweight gift-giver. And some people do it up big. We hang lights everywhere, turn our homes into winter wonderlands, and maybe even coerce dad to dress up in a red suit the night before the big day (while clumsily walking around on the roof trying not to fall).
Christian parents have felt the tension of this honoring for a long time. They know the Christmas season should center around celebrating the birth of Jesus and often wonder how, or if, they should present the Santa narrative to their children. And what has happened in some Christian homes, in my opinion, is somewhat tragic. Parents decide to remove Santa Claus and point their children to Jesus. Nothing wrong with this—I love it. Forget Santa and make it all about Jesus. But often when they remove Santa Claus, they remove all the celebrating, gifts, traditions, and decorations that come along with the Christmas holiday. And I think that is a mistake.
Rather than remove all the festive parts and celebrations, why not do it bigger?
Out-decorate the world, out-celebrate the world, out-sing the world, out-give the world, and out-rejoice the world. And use all those things to point to Jesus. Let our kids see (and enjoy) that we celebrate Christ with more oomph and enthusiasm than how the world celebrates the Christmas season. And when they ask why we go overboard—point them to Jesus.