Monday, December 10, 2012

Jesus vs Santa. . .We Choose Both.

Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! I love Christmas, all of it. I love the celebration of Jesus part of it and I love the buying presents part of it. Though we try not to go all crazy in the consumerism side of the season, we do buy presents for our little guys. Every year they get more than they need. And if their grandparents have anything to say about it, they get more than they want as well! More presents! (I have toddlers! And toys are fun!)

I don’t believe that Jesus and presents for my babies are mutually exclusive. There’s this new equation going around that (starts to sound like it) says, “take how much you think you love Jesus, subtract the number of Christmas presents that you buy, and that is how much you actually love Jesus, if and only if you can somehow relate the presents that you buy to the gifts of the Magi, then you can add back one love point”.

Now, I understand that people are doing what’s right for their family, just like I’m doing what’s right for my family.  And believe me when I say that I realize sometimes how the massive amount of things can sometimes cloud over the true meaning of the season.  We've even tossed the idea around of trading the materialism in for more traditional ways to celebrate in the upcoming years.  But this year, we still some-what believe in Santa.  Yet the judgements insue.  It's just this vibe that I get from time to time. I  judge myself sometimes.  Because hey, I want my kids to love Jesus and to not be materialistic little snots. (There are actually very few people who do want their children to materialistic little snots, by the way.)

So I've been thinking a lot about the consumeristic aspect of Christmas and what we believe is the true reason for the season and I’ve come to a conclusion. I will teach my children that Jesus is the best gift the world has ever been given. I will explain that He was born to die for their sins (as well as everyone in the world's).   I will teach them that we take this time to be thankful and pay special notice to the love, peace, joy, and selflessness already in the world and that they can give back to the world by loving the way Jesus does.

I will show them we can partake in all those things and still buy presents for each other. I will show them how to delight in thinking about their siblings and buying them something “perfect”. I will savor their joy at receiving good gifts that they haven’t earned that are given out of love with no restrictions.

This year we’re going to have a Christmas season that is filled with family, fun, gift giving and receiving, the Truth of the birth of Jesus, fairy tales about Santa and flying reindeer, service projects, and a mischevious little Elf named Elvis. . .

…and let’s be honest: temper tantrums, lost patience, crying, gallons of hot cocoa, anxiety about the whole season, and hey, the one morning a year that I won’t mind a ridiculously early wake up call.

So, yes, I’m shooting for the best of both worlds here, and yes, of course, “Jesus is the reason for the season”, so if it comes down to a smack-down between Jesus and Santa I know which side I’ll be cheering for, but really, I think we can avoid that. And no, I don’t want a figurine of Santa kneeling in front of the manger, but thanks for asking.

To guide me through this cosmic balancing act I’ve bought lots of children's books on the nativity as well as our beloved "Elf on a Shelf" (who's been at it all December, I might add!) . I’m going to be using them to set up some new traditions, hone some old ones, and peacefully juggle jingle bells from now to New Year’s.  So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, friends! Enjoy a little (spiked) eggnog and Christmas carols.  And remember to invite Jesus to your Christmas, in whatever way means the most to you.  He truly is the reason for the season!

**This post is part of a link-up with "Helene In-Between" and friends over at the "Tell Me About It Tuesday Party". Head on over and make some new friends and share some ramblings and rants with other gals who just want to get something off their chests. Whew, I know I feel better. ;) 
**Also, this is part of my confessions with Crafty Confessions Tuesday link-up as well! To participate with us, visit her blog and get connected!


  1. <3 it!!!! Such a good message and I have the same goals this year - more about family and love than the gifts. Although, I enjoy overly-decorating my place. ;)
    xoxo, Darla (aka Mom's World)

    1. I didn't overly decorate, but only because I'm afraid of the mess that will inevidibly happen. Two todds and glass ornaments and pine wreaths are enough to make a mama crazy! :)

  2. Agree with you 100% on this!!
    Thanks so much for linking up!!!

  3. i love this post! i think i will try to raise my (future) kids the same way :) so glad you stopped by my blog!


    1. Thanks for stopping by my place too, Emma! Hope we get to know each other better!

  4. YES! Amen! (You see I had to put both secular and religious affirmations there just to balance it out.) My kids think that Jesus is just the neatest dude to walk the earth, and we have VERY generous grandparents, so it has all balanced out quite nicely! :-)

    That picture of Jesus and Santa is the best!

  5. I love with everything in life it's all about balance! Through the years I have taught my kids that Christmas is more about the birth of Jesus, and about time spent celebrating with family, than the presents they get under the tree. Even with regard to the presents I have tried to instill in them the fact that it's the season of "Giving" and not about receiving. Every year I take my little guys to the toy store and each of them buy a gift to donate to Toys for Tots. For my teenagers, I have them select a gift that they then donate to an organization in our area, that helps troubled teens. We also partake in food drives, donating can goods that the kids themselves, take out from our cabinets, and we donate prior year toys to make room for the new. I think it's a healthy balance of giving and receiving and most of all a wonderful way to teach them about the value of family and family traditions.