Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. NIV
Christmas has been said to be one of the most magical times of the year. We see more compassion and charity during this time than any other. People are moved to give and respond with acts of kindness we don’t often see. This is a time the world sets aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. While we know it is not the actual day of Jesus’ birth, it a time the world turns its attention to celebrate the birth of our Lord.
In some ways the world has taken a detour from the true meaning of Christmas. Some have gone down the path of commercialism and the hype of Santa Claus. They have taken what was a simple story of a man, St. Nicholas, who loved God, defended the truth of the Gospel and gave gifts to those in needs and changed the meaning. We have fantasized Christmas from the time our children are born to be about something that is not true and created a fantasy in the name of Santa Claus. What a trap the world has laid for us to believe, that in order for our children to have a good time we must create an imaginary person, when the real story is even more wondrous. We tell them Santa Claus knows when you are sleeping and awake, he knows when you’ve been bad or good…
Even when we are asked point blank “is there a Santa Claus?” What answer do we give? What do our children learn about truth and trust? When they get older and we try to tell them about a man named Jesus, who came to save the whole world, an ever present God Who knows our every deed. We can only imagine what must be going through their minds…” I’ve heard this story before and it was a lie then what makes it a truth now.” So when they ask about Santa Claus tell them about St Nicholas, a man of God who cared about the poor and needy and gave gifts to children because he loved God.
We are not saying we can’t have fun with Christmas and Santa Claus but let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Let’s tell our children about the Love God has for them and show them with the fun and gifts we share. God sent His Son Jesus as a baby to the earth so we can have life everlasting. St. Nicholas was a Christian man who helped the needy. His legend of gift giving grew into a legendary character known as Santa Claus. His belief in Christ as the greatest gift God has given to mankind was the motivation for his giving.
We know children enjoy the excitement of getting presents from Santa Claus just as they like Ninja Turtles, dinosaurs and Cinderella princess. However, when they come and ask us, “Are they real?” we don’t feel the need to tell them a lie so that they can continue to enjoy those characters. It is amazing to witness the extremes some adults will go to just to keep the fantasy going. Some people choose to do a birthday celebration with their children where gifts are given to each other because the greatest gift was given so freely to us all and that was Jesus. When people ask children about Santa Claus we would simple say “we have a birthday celebration for the birth of Jesus.” We may get some of the meanest words and looks all because we refused to lie to our children. But that’s ok it is a small price to pay for our children’s trust.