It’s almost Christmas!!! The most wonderful time of the year. My Facebook news feed is covered with my friends’ kids pictures with santa, elf on a shelf, decorated Christmas trees, and gorgeous holiday treats. All of the things that I loved about Christmas when I was an atheist/agnostic. See, you don’t have to believe in Jesus to celebrate Christmas. In fact, more Christians actually celebrate Christmas just like unbelievers (“the world”) do.
But, my blog is called God iz Real. I’ll go a step further and say God is Real and Santa is not. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The funny thing is, most non-Christians will not have a problem with my view on that. Christians however, they get ticked off. You do NOT mess with their long-standing family traditions. Some Christians will get angry with me. Some will delete me off Facebook (if santa is enough to make you delete me, then we weren’t friends anyway. My real friends know my challenging ways and love me for them). Some will comment. Some will say I’m acting “high and mighty” as some superior believer. But, the reality is, I woke up dreaming about this blog about santa and in the past have taken that to mean that the Holy Spirit is prompting me to write. So I am writing. I am not here to condemn or stop you from anything you are doing. But, please understand that it’s important that I “obey” this prompting. Pastor Joel Scrivner taught me “when you feel that nudge, assume it’s God.” So, this is me assuming. And this is what that looks like.
I really don’t have a problem with you believing in santa or taking pictures with santa, or enjoying the santa parades, having your elf, watching the Santa Clause movie, or teaching your children that santa comes into your home like magic leaving presents. I’m fine with whatever family traditions you have. Seriously, it’s common, it’s socially acceptable, it won’t change my family dynamics either way. It’s a personal decision.
But, I am going to write about the other view as well as stand up for Christians who decide NOT to believe in santa and who choose to side on the side of honesty because I am watching them get reamed from one end to the other. A Christian girl posted that “I finally answered my daughter’s questions about santa because she directly asked me if he was real or not.” And man, this girl got lit up with opinions. 15 comments so far. I love what one of my friends posted in reply to her (seriously, I LOVE her) because her post is exactly what I was taught. “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive”. I was taught that from early on and did teach my children that too. I was a Santa follower, not a Jesus follower. When I became a Christian, the church still encouraged santa and pictures with santa, and so I just kept encouraging my kids about the “magic” of Christmas being santa ex. letters to santa, baking cookies for santa, etc. I mean Christmas at my house was about santa. No doubt. He clearly was the reason for the season.
Can I share a revelation? The santa theory is a GREAT way to share Jesus with people. JESUS CHRIST is literally the ONLY being, spiritual or otherwise, where “if you don’t believe, you don’t receive”. No one goes to the Father except through HIM (John 14:6). In fact, Christianity is a faith based religion where you must believe in the unseen to receive. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. (Saved from what? The wrath of God for your sins). “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them”. Rom 10:9 & John 3:36.
Definitely believe in the unseen. Definitely know that “you must believe to receive”. But, the ONE to believe in and receive everlasting life from is Jesus. Christ is the reason for the season. And CHRISTmas is about Christ and Christ’s birthday. But the enemy and the world and traditions of men have done an AMAZING job using santa as a distraction to Jesus and the real meaning of Christmas. I love this verse at Mark 7:13 NLT “And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.” Yeah, okay. Maybe he wasn’t talking about santa, but couldn’t santa be a modern day example? A modern day parable? Jesus himself did say “if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities”. Luke 16:10. Is that only regarding money or is that a kingdom principal that applies to holidays in America as well? Pray about it. Let peace be your guide.
Just like the enemy, the world has done an amazing job distracting us from Easter and the meaning of Easter by giving us gifts on Easter and hunting eggs from the big fluffy bunny. As a child, we want gifts. We want stuff. We want holidays that are surrounded around US receiving something. We are our own idols. Christmas and Easter are holy days and are Gods and Gods alone yet we are shaped and molded from very early on to make them about us, getting candy and getting gifts. So, holy celebration days become about ourselves. Genius enemy tactic I must say. Holy days do not belong to a fat man with magical dust in a red suit with flying reindeer or furry bunny rabbits and easter eggs that drop from helicopters to be the coolest egg hunt in town.
I was talking to a pastor who does NOT teach santa or allow santa at church and he said “the church should be pure and not mix the world with itself. The stance should be if you want santa, do that at home. You want the big rabbit, do that at home. The church should teach the position and allow the individual member to make their choice. The American church for the most part is swayed by making people happy, not making them holy. And most pastors will say that this is majoring on a minor. But santa is a rub for me. It’s the world of gray rather than black and white.”
Someone somewhere completely separate from this blog has been talking with God about this topic. Maybe this is for you. Again, I am not here to condemn. Not even close. What you do as an individual with your family is your choice and I respect your choice. But, if feel “convicted” by the Holy Spirit (not me), let that be your guide. Know that there are other people who have stopped the traditions of men within their families and broke that generational cycle. It is never too late and you are not alone.
P.S. I wonder what Jesus would have said about santa being at church? Would he have been as frustrated as he was with the money changers in the temple or would he have just had his picture made with santa and moved out of the way to make room for the little children to come unto santa instead of coming unto Him. Sorry, that’s just my mind wondering as it so often does. But it would be nice to see for myself how that would have played out.