Up to this point, this series has mainly been about why I don’t like Santa (to put it mildly). However, I wanted to take some time to tell you about the alternatives that we use in our family. Simply removing Santa from the equation doesn’t accomplish much. The children still see him everywhere: at stores, friends houses, on Christmas cards that we receive, in yards, even in pictures of other family members. Last week I wrote about the real Saint Nicolas, and my kids know that the Santa that most Christians celebrate today, they do so because of him, however, they also know that the Santa that is displayed on decorations was a creation of Coca-cola as an advertising scheme in 1931.
Besides just knowing our history, and leaving Santa out of our home, we replace his presence with things to help us remember Christ. Instead of a tree, we have a manger to put our presents under. This helps us to keep our focus on Christ, because we are presenting our gifts to Him. We lay them at His feet. Instead of kneeling before a tree, we kneel at the crèche of Christ. We thank Him for the gifts that we receive.
Instead of singing Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, we sing Silent Night. We don’t sing Christmas songs about Santa or Christmas trees or anything like that. I will admit that I have no problem with songs like jingle bells, or Silver bells. But I will not sing about Santa, or to a tree. It’s so much more meaningful to sing about the birth of our Savior. Last year I posted a Christ centered Christmas song every day in December leading up to Christmas, from the 1st to the 24th. The best part is that I didn’t even struggle finding 24 songs that glorified Christ during Christmas. I actually posted a few more than that, because I posted some on my homeschooling blog as well.
Instead of having pictures of Santa or trees on our decorations, we buy decorations with pictures of the Nativity. We don’t want any Christmas idols in our home, so we only buy things that help us remember Christ. We have a nativity set as our center piece on our table, and we have a star on our window above our manger. We do have lots of snowflakes and snowmen for winter decorations out at this time of year as well to help decorate our home. We color pictures to put on the wall, and we have a banner with different Christian symbols that we hang up on our wall. Our home does not lack in the decoration department.
Our Christmas cards all have Scriptures on them instead of reindeer. We do not buy cards that feature Santa. There are so many cards in the store that have Christ, or Scripture (or both) on them, that I see no need to purchase anything that will not help us focus on Him during our Christmas season. If I were buying a birthday card for you, I wouldn’t buy a card that I knew you wouldn’t like, so I won’t do that on the day we celebrate for Christ’s birth either.
Instead of doing a Christmas countdown to Santa, we do a Christmas devotional book each year. We are using Why the Nativity by David Jeremiah again this year. It is such an awesome book!
Of course, we always have a birthday cake. We can’t celebrate a birthday without a cake the kids simply won’t allow it. Christmas Eve we watch The Nativity Story, and Christmas morning we read the story of Christ’s birth.
Is there some special way that you keep Christmas about Christ? I would love to hear about it!