Santa Creeper Is Coming to Town

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Celebrations, Holidays
Tags: , , , ,

I still get presents from Santa. Yep. 29 years old, my sister is 21, my brother is 18—and we still get presents from Santa. And I’m talking like—Dad disguises his handwriting, different wrapping paper is used, and my brother leaves out a glass of milk because he knows Dad hates milk.

Obviously at this point in our lives, we know that Santa isn’t real. Now it’s just become a funny joke. But do you remember when you thought Santa WAS real? I’m not sure when I actually stopped believing or how I found out—but it must not have been earth-shattering if I don’t remember.

Yesterday in church, we talked about Santa, because it seems like Christmas has become consumed with images of this jolly man in a red suit. It was even discussed that Santa might be a bit of a creeper. ‘He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake.’ KINDA sounds like a stalker.

It’s rumored that Saint Nicholas of Myra was the inspiration for Santa Claus. He was a Greek Christian back in the 4th century who was known for giving generous gifts to people. He was very religious from an early age and devoted his entire life to Christianity.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the Polar Express, which is all about Santa. I like the song Jolly Old St. Nick. I even crack a smile when I see Santa in the middle of the mall. But how did we get here? How did Christmas get to be more about Santa, then Jesus? It is Jesus’ birthday after all.

I suppose somewhere in there the gift giving aspect of the whole deal is still intact. Santa brings presents like the three wise men did? I don’t know—even that seems like a bit of a stretch. I just am not sure how Jesus and Santa balance each other out. Obviously for people who aren’t religious, there is no balancing. But what do you do if you want to keep the tradition of Santa, but are also devout churchgoers? In a roundabout way, aren’t we lying to children when we talk about Santa? Or is it okay if it’s balanced out with also teaching them about the REAL reason for the season?

Short answer? I have no idea. When I have kids, I can’t imagine not incorporating Santa, but I have every intention of also including Jesus. I know that some point my kids are either going to find out from each other, or from snot-nosed 10 year old who’s mad someone ruined it for him—that Santa isn’t real, but somehow it just seems…wrong to be a house that “Santa” doesn’t “visit.”

And maybe that in itself is wrong. That’s where we’ve ended up as a society. That we feel the need to teach to our children about some fake, magical guy—although to be fair, non-believers may think the same thing about Jesus. Either way somewhere in translation the religious aspect of the original St. Nick was lost. Now it’s all about presents and his magical reindeer and leaving out cookies for a man who doesn’t need them.

I’m not saying Santa is bad. In fact I think very much the opposite—I think we just have to be careful to not place TOO much emphasis on him. How would you like it if every year on your birthday—someone else stole your thunder? So if you’re even a little bit religious—remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. Not some old guy, with a long, white beard, who apparently knows when you’re sleeping.

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