Friday, November 18, 2011

My Anti-Santaism: Christmas Idols

This is the fifth post in my Anti-Santaism series. I will be adding a post every Friday between now and Christmas, you can read the introduction post here.

No Santa

This week I’m writing about another topic that is very sensitive to me. The second commandment tells us not to have idols(Exodus 20:4), yet I believe that is exactly what Santa has become to millions. He is the idol of Christmas. People send their requests to him instead of God, they sing the praises of his name, and they line up for their chance to see him, going so far as to wait in the cold for hours for their 5 minutes of his time. People decorate their homes and yards with his image, then they wait while he ‘visits’ them at night, hoping that they found favor in his eyes. If that isn’t idolatry I don’t know what would be.

Exodus 34:14 says “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” We worship God in prayer and in song. Yet come Christmas time, the time that has been set aside to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we submit our requests to someone who is not God, and then we sing praises to him and about him. We sing asking him to hear us (Jolly old St. Nicholas lean your ear this way…), we sing about his appearance (Must be Santa), and we sing about pleasing him (Santa Claus is coming to town). Then Christmas morning, we kneel before the tree, which is like Santa’s alter if you think about it. If we leave a tribute to him (usually milk and cookies), we always leave it near the tree to be sure that he finds it. We gather a the tree to see if they have been blessed by this magnificent being. Some families even encourage children to write thank you letters to him. Expressing their gratefulness for what he has done for them.

So what about you? Who will you be honoring during this holiday season? Are you worshiping God alone, or are you sharing His praises with Santa?

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. ~ Psalm 69:30



  2. Bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas


  4. one more..........

  5. I obviously touched a nerve, and I apologize. However, if you had been following the series you would know that I have absolutely no issues with St. Nicolas. In fact, the historic St. Nicolas is actually someone I teach my kids about. That being said, for those who celebrate Catholic Saints, his day is December 6th. For more on my views about the historic St. Nicolas (from Myra as you mentioned, not the north pole) please check back in on Friday, December 9th when I post about him.