I am a grown woman, a mother to four little angels. Even at my ripe old age of 30-something, I’d bet one of those little angels that if I were to ask my mom if she was the one who filled my childhood stocking, she would feign great shock and offense at such an accusation. “Me?” she would say, “Santa Claus? Not a chance!” In the same breath as her bold denial, she would probably whisper, “Here are some things for the children’s stockings.” And she would hand me a bag chock full of trinkets for her beloved grandchildren.
My mom always kept the magic of Christmas alive. Is she a liar because of claims that a jolly fat man dressed in a red and white suit was the one who filled our stockings every Christmas Eve? Did the fun we shared as a family diminish the REAL Reason for the season? Of course not! I treasure the memories of anticipation and then excitement in discovering what lay deep in my wooly red and white stocking on Christmas morning.
There are many people who feel that allowing such secular things as Santa Claus to be a part of their Christmas is in some way offensive to Jesus Christ whose birthday we celebrate on December 25. I know there are people with this view because I know some of those people. Some of these people have, in fact, looked with disapproval upon my own family’s tradition of hanging stockings by the chimney with care.
No one likes to be judged, and I especially do not like to be judged with a “Good/Bad Christian” measuring stick. It’s unfair to assume that our adding a delightful – albeit secular – dimension to our family tradition means that we have pushed aside Christ and the miracle of that birth in Bethlehem so long ago. Quite the contrary, it is, after all, God who created us in His image. We who love to be delighted, who love to be part of relationships. Family traditions are all a part of relationships. God is the God of relationships. And I picture Him in Heaven looking down on His children celebrating His birthday. I picture Him with a smile and a twinkle in His eyes as He watches the absolute delight on children’s faces as they uncover the treasures in their stockings. I can hear Him saying, “Wow! What a fun way to celebrate a birthday!”
I want nothing more than to honor God on Christmas, and I strive to do so as I build traditions with my family. Santa Claus happens to be one of those traditions. Please don’t judge me for it.
Amy is a homeschooling mother of four children. You can read more of her writing at Treasured Chapters...of Life and Family. (Images courtesy of Turn Back to God at www.turnbacktogod.com)