Last week, I wrote about the two masters of Christmas, and I want to continue on with that train of thought. You see, one of the biggest things that bothers me about Santa is just the distraction that he poses. If you choose to celebrate Christmas as the time of Christ’s birth, then all Santa does is take away from that focus.
Every year at this time you hear Christians saying that we need to keep Christ in Christmas, but I believe that you can try to keep Christ in Christmas all you want, but unless Christmas is about Christ, than it really isn't His birth we're celebrating. Keeping Christ in Christmas, how would you feel if your family celebrated your birthday without you? Yeah, they decided to keep you in it by singing happy birthday to you, but it really wasn’t about you at all? Here is a video that illustrates that point:
This video really makes me think about our Christmas celebration. However, if you were to add a big clown in there that everyone was surrounding, and celebrating, it would really just make it that much worse. If you took the focus off of Mark, and put it onto the clown, but still remembered to keep Mark’s name involved, I think that would describe what Christmas looks like in a lot of homes. I’m not saying that to judge anyone. After all, I grew up in one of those homes. I just think it’s a great mental picture to help us see things from a different point of view.
It might be even more fitting to imagine Mark as a military man who is overseas fighting for our country. He isn’t getting shoved aside, but neither is anyone speaking to the video camera with a special message just for him. No one seems to really care about him, it’s just a great reason to come together. When he gets that video tape and sits down to watch it, he isn’t going to feel an overwhelming sense of love for him. He will be glad that his family got to come together, but with no one even recognizing him personally, it won’t feel like it was really about him.
Christmas when focused on Santa, isn't the celebration of Christ's birth, it is all about the presents that Santa brings, the looking forward to his coming, and something about a baby. Even for those few families that somehow manage to keep Christ at the center, but still include Santa, I don't see how that adds to Christ's birth. The only thing Santa can do is take away our attention from our Lord and Savior. Time that could be spent learning about the birth of Christ, is instead spent on writing letters to a man who either doesn't exist or is dead (depending on how you see it). Time that could be spent singing praises to our God and Father, is spent singing about a jolly fat man (as my husband calls him) and his reindeer. Time that could be spent looking forward to the return of Jesus someday, is spent in anticipation of parents lying to their children about someone breaking into their house and leaving them presents.
Yes, our kids get presents on Christmas morning, but they are pretty much all out when they go to bed that night. They can look forward to opening them, but they don't lose sleep in anticipation of animals on the roof. What we think about the night of Christmas is that somewhere many, many years ago a baby came into this world as a gift to us. It might not (or was not) on this particular night, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that He came for us.
Do I think that adding the Santa distraction to our holiday would be a bad thing? With every fiber of my being. If it doesn't add to our faith in Christ, what is the point? Fun? We have tons of that. Magic? The Bible says that God abhors magic. Innocence? Where is the innocence in lying? The only thing I can conclude is that Santa takes our focus off of Christ. I can't think of a single thing he could possibly add. Santa, in my eyes, is a huge distraction for Christians who choose to celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas.