16 December 2005

Jesus and "Father Christmas"

Over the past week I have read several posts from different bloggers about Santa and Jesus, and the whole spirit of Christmas. This morning, I was reading Boltbabe's story about Baby Jesus being stolen out of a light display in someone's backpack! How much more outrageous and anti-Christmas could that sentiment be? Then I followed a link to Spunky's blog about a teacher being reprimanded for telling her first grade students that there is NO Santa. And it is truly a crime that people get all worked up about something like this, but think nothing of the secularism that seeks to swallow Christmas - even its very name, into this nameless, vague holiday celebration of goodwill to all men, that in its very essense means absolutely nothing without Jesus.
So, all of this has gotten me thinking, and when I think, I blog - well most of the time anyway - sometimes I cook when I think, or actually have a conversation with a real human being - which is another blog entry altogether!
Last night Kullen and I were snuggled up on my bed reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe together - because I am determined that we will complete the book before going to see the movie. We are enjoying that time together so much, now that the poor child is not a theater orphan. In our reading, we came to the part where Peter, Susan, and Lucy along with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver meet "Father Christmas". "Father Christmas" (the English Santa Claus) gives each of the children tools for their adventure in Narnia. "Father Christmas" also bears the message that "Aslan is on the move". This fictional, fantasy story by one of the world's most respected theologians, that allegorically tells the gospel story, never seeks to put "Father Christmas" in the place of "Aslan", and neither should we. Pretend, fantasy and expansive imagination have given birth to great thinkers such as Mr. Lewis, and we as Christian parents need not be afraid of it. The ability to think, dream and create worlds, stories, and people is a precious gift of childhood that is quickly snuffed out as the responsibilities and pressures of adulthood come pressing in.
In our home, and in our family, Santa has never conflicted with Jesus, in the way that we have celebrated. I am not saying that this is true for the rest of the world, who would take Jesus completely out of the picture and replace Him with the jolly, fat man in the red suit. We have always talked about Santa's giving being in celebration of the greatest gift of all - Jesus!

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