Hope Sign and Nativity.
Needlework by my Great-Grandma and special boxes from my parents and Momaw.
A tree filled with beautiful ornaments: angels, crosses, nativity scenes.
Not one Santa.
What?! No Santa?!
"You have children!"
"Santa is part of the fun!"
"Santa is magical!"
"You are no fun!"
"Let them be children, let them believe!"
(Just some of the comments I hear from family and friends)
So, why no Santa?
Christmas is about Christ.
The weeks leading up to Christmas are not about shopping or wrapping or Black Friday sales. They are the weeks of Advent. They are about waiting with anticipation the celebration of the birth of our Savior.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6
Does Annabeth know about Santa? Of course. While we have never directly told her about him nor do we read secular Christmas books, she has seen his picture, she has visited him at our church's "breakfast with Jesus and Santa," others have said "what do you want Santa to bring you?" For the first time this year she is starting to mention him. I have heard her say, "I wonder what Santa will bring us?" or "I wonder if Mrs. Claus will ride in the sleigh?" I direct all Santa questions to Mark or if he is not home I simply ignore them.
I honestly do not remember believing in Santa as a child and then not believing. I think this means my parents handled it well. I remember putting out cookies on Christmas Eve but as long as I can remember I knew that Dad ate them in the night. I don't have a memory of realizing that he is just a fun story and for that I am thankful. I love that my parents kept the focus on the spirit of giving and the birth of our Savior. I do remember church nativity plays, caroling, baking cookies with my Mama and Lu, taking gifts to friends, making Christmas cards, playing Christmas songs on the piano, going to church, singing as a family, etc. Those memories are so precious and so sweet.
In our world, I think it would be nearly impossible to shield our children completely from Santa and the commercialization of Christmas. It's everywhere. Everywhere but in my home. At home, we will decorate with reminders of Christ and his birth. At home, we will read Christ and family centered Christmas books. We will enjoy wrapping simple gifts for family and friends. We will enjoy making Christmas cards and addressing them as a family. We will bake cookies and sing Christmas songs together. We will stop to spend hours playing Christmas tree ornament games invented by our four-year-old. We have selected some small gifts to give each other within our family and I know the kids will love their new things. But I hope that they will really love giving more than receiving.
This season is about Jesus and the incredible gift He was to the world.
This is a season of being quiet, of waiting, of seeking the peace that comes only from Him.
As we head into Christmas, do you know Jesus? Do you know that He died for you? What does His birth, His life, His death, and ultimately His resurrection mean to you? If this season of anticipation leaves you wanting to know more or wanting to know Him more - please don't hesitate to leave a comment or message us for more information. We would love to share His light and love with you!