Today’s post is one I wrote as a guest blogger for Devotional Diva a couple years ago. I hope you enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us once again. Costco is in full swing mode, every aisle filled with all you need for “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Yes, I am writing this the day after Halloween, but who’s paying attention to that? Although it is the most wonderful time of the year and I absolutely LOVE Christmas, there once was a time I dreaded it.
A few years back, while standing in the checkout line at a local grocery store, a kind woman asked my three-year-old sons, “What is Santa bringing you this year?” They simply stared at her, dumbfounded by her question. I scrabbled to bridge the awkward silence, “We haven’t really talked about that yet, have we, boys?” It was a true statement – we hadn’t talked about Santa yet.
Because we didn’t celebrate Santa. You see, I grew up understanding the meaning of Christmas to be all out Jesus. My siblings and I didn’t visit Santa at the mall or fill out wish lists to mail to Him at the north pole or set out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. And I’m okay with that; I enjoy celebrating Christmas for what it is – Jesus’ Birthday.
But, wanting to avoid future awkward grocery-store-checkout-line conversations, I began researching the history of Christmas and Santa. Why Do We Call It Christmas? by Phil Vischer beautifully explained how the Santa we know today evolved from Saint Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop who generously gave to his community in need.
Once, he tossed a money bag into the house window of a few poor girls and the coins landed in the stockings they had hung out to dry. Hence our tradition of stocking-stuffers. Saint Nick gave to others because of what God had given him – the gift of salvation through Jesus.
As I read the book to by sons, warm, fuzzy feelings filled my heart because nothing the world does to secularize Christmas will eliminate the root of it all – Jesus’ birth.
Now, we are prepared for the holiday season – my sons know who who Santa is and I don’t mind celebrating him – because doing so doesn’t take away from Jesus when we understand history. And God wouldn’t have it any other way!