Okay, I’ve been working my way up to this topic. I’ve probably avoided it a little too. Some of you are not going to like what I have to say. And if you’re a hardcore Santa lover and Christmas isn’t Christmas without Santa no matter what, you probably should just stop reading here. I will preface this by saying this is totally my opinion. I am open to having my opinion changed or altered but on this issue, I’m pretty solid. But I would love to hear your thoughtful, intelligent comments…no negative bashing necessary. I will look after that quite nicely. (oh please, you know I’m going to take this to task)
Santa~ friendly, happy, jolly, extremely overweight, quite old, kind, generous and obviously rich. What’s not to love?
Where do I begin? I am sure this will become at least a 2-3 post topic. Santa is a big story. An old story. A timeless story. Santa is so woven into the fabric of our culture and our *MERRY CHRISTMAS* that I’m not even sure Christmas exists without Santa…at least not in North America. Which makes me wonder~ does Santa have such a presence in the other nations of the earth?
This link has a few interesting facts about Santa and similar characters around the world. Everything from Sinterklaas in Holland to Black Peter of Morrocco, to Pere Noel in France. The world is fixated on some mythical gift-giver who is sneaky, but generous. However, I can’t help but feel as *innocent* as the intention of Santa is, he has become something larger and far more commercialized than St. Nicholas would have ever endorsed. After all, St. Nicholas was considered a miracle-worker in the Church. His dedication to God and serving people had little to do with gifts or Christmas for that matter.
I’m going to suggest to you all(as painstaking as this is to admit) that our current day Santa Claus is in the idol category.
an image or other material object representing a deity
to which religious worship is addressed.
an image of a deity other than God.
any person or thing regarded with blind admiration
adoration, or devotion: Madame Curie had been her childhood idol.
a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.
a figment of the mind; fantasy.
I know that’s harsh. And it’s particularly harsh for those of us who have been brought up by the Book knowing that the 1st commandment is very clear: “ You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3)
And the 2nd commandment: “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God”(vs3-5)
What more can I say? Really. What more is there? Santa is THE face, THE voice, THE picture of giving and THE most talked about , sung about, lauded character in the last hundred years. And he is NOT REAL.
Perhaps this is where my biggest issue rests. That parents; wonderful, loving, good parents would lie to their children year after year after year. And they say it’s okay. And they continue to perpetuate this lie and psych their kids up for the “most wonderful time of the year”. Little kids who can barely talk or walk know who Santa is.
Kids who don’t know anything about governments, economies, wealth, developed nations, 3rd world nations, hunger, poverty, drought, famine, disease…they KNOW who Santa is and that they’re getting something from him. I find this extremely disturbing . And it goes back to my earlier post about getting and giving
and how the getting and wish lists
seem to trump everything else. Remember, this series is on REDEEMING CHRISTMAS from the commercialized gimme-gimme chaos we have all come to know and loathe.
I am not going to suggest you throw out Santa with the dog poop. I am going to suggest that you examine Santa’s place at your Christmas feast. Is he at the head of the table as an honoured guest? Is there any room at that table for “‘the least of these” and Jesus, the Son of God who lowered Himself to the level of stable animals? We say the words and we try our best to convince the world around us; family, friends, neighbours, that we are Christians. Christ-followers who believe in the virgin birth. Lovers of men not lovers of things. But if we were to look into our own windows , with the eyes of a stranger, on Christmas morn, would the world KNOW that we are what we say we are? It is our actions, most often, that speak for us. And sadly, I worry that red Santa suits and over-stuffed stockings are all that people might see.
I want to redeem my Christmas, and for me, there isn’t enough room for Santa and Jesus. There just isn’t.
to go to Part 2 of The Problem With Santa