I read this interesting blog post today via a friend on facebook. I thought it was an interesting look at changing the way American believers do Christmas. This family had done Santa with their oldest children, but now with their adopted children have decided to take a different approach altogether. It’s worth reading.
We’ve never done Santa with our children. This was something we decided early on and made clear to our families (hopefully we were gracious about it!). Last year my 3-year-old son thought that Santa was a cartoon character. But since I read this article I decided to ask him what Christmas was about. My 4 and a half year old told me that Christmas was when santa brought you gifts. WHHHHAAAAT? I asked him where he learned that and he told me from ads. We only watch the Bronco games on TV- that is it, so he is pretty perceptive. I explained what santa is to people, who St. Nick was, and why we don’t include santa in our celebrations. I reminded him that we celebrate Christmas because Jesus Christ was born a baby and He came to die for our sins.
I did also explain to him that other families include santa and that is their decision. I tried to tell him that we shouldn’t ruin it for other children and be the bearer of bad news (like how my 2-year-old recently told some little girl in the nursery that her daddy died… which wasn’t true but still!)
I will be honest with you though. I skipped over the section about not buying products made my slaves. Not because I am okay with it but because I know at this moment it would cause a lot of guilt. Yes, I would prefer to always pay more to have an ethic product but that isn’t always the case.
What does Christmas look like in our home?
This year is a little different, for at least two reasons. One, we’re going on a trip with my in-laws right before Christmas. This will be an enjoyable time with them and my husband is greatly looking forward to his time off! Two, I’m pregnant and a poster child for the “pregnancy brain” syndrome. I keep things very simple anyways, but definitely haven’t done some of the things I’d like. I still have not found an advent calendar that I like. That is my goal for next year. I totally forgot to buy advent candles this year so next year I will get back on the ball! We are home-making some treats for family gifts. We usually try to keep the gifts simple as well. 3 gifts just like the Lord Jesus recieved. He got Gold, Myrrh, and frankincense. We (which means me!) try to follow the guideline of a Spiritual gift, a practical gift, and a fun gift. My husband needed a new cell phone this year so that was his one Christmas gift (along with birthday and father’s day I’m pretty sure!). For the boys, we got them each a new dvd, a new waterbottle, and a dress-up costume (spiderman and buzz lightyear!). Our gift-giving guideline broke down this year But we did splurge on our family gift (something we can enjoy together) and got a dvd player for the car. This will make our 22 hour round trip car ride much, much, much, much, much more enjoyable for everybody!
We also do a shepherd’s pouch like Noel Piper talks about in her book, Treasuring God in our Traditions (great read!). We do Operation Christmas Child boxes. We’ve also given through Samaritan’s Purse (you can give gifts that range from feeding a baby for a week, to soccer balls for kids to play with, to giving sheep, to building a hospital all given with the love of Christ). This year we’re collecting our change to give to a local men’s shelter- they recently lost government funding because they share the Gospel with these men and are not going to change that fact in order to get money from the government.