Last night I was putting my son to bed and he said, "Mom, I need to tell you something."
He's eight. Usually what he's telling me is something about Legos or the funny game they were playing on the playground or something one of his friends did at school. But I could tell from his voice that this was something he was worrying about.
"What's that, buddy? Did something happen today?"
"Yes. In class today we were reading a book about Santa and about how he disappeared and everyone was looking for him and stuff. And at the end, my teacher told the whole class that if there was no Santa, there'd be no Christmas."
He stopped. His chin started wobbling, and I knew this was the problem.
"What did you think about that, buddy?"
"Mom, what if she doesn't know? What if she thinks that's really true? Santa isn't why we have Christmas at all! We have Christmas because it's Jesus' birthday. And now she told all the kids in my class that too. What if they believe it?"
I thank God for my son's heart. His first concern was that his teacher and friends might not know Jesus, that they might not understand what Christmas is really about.
How do we impact our world for Christ? How do we share what we know to be the truth? Santa's fun, but Santa's not Christmas. Christmas is Jesus come to earth, vulnerable and human, putting aside His majesty and glory, humbling Himself all for love of us. Christmas is the greatest gift of love ever given to the earth, the willingness of God to sacrifice His own Son for me, for you, for all of us. Why do we cheapen it? Why do we lose that focus? Why do we make it reindeer and cookies and gift wrap and more and more stuff?
Christmas is magical. It is my favorite holiday. And that is because I know the truth - Santa's not necessary. In fact, Santa has nothing to do with it. It's all about Christ. In fact, everything, our whole lives should reflect that statement. It's all about Christ.
Every year in our family we start Christmas morning by coming downstairs together. We enjoy the presents and the tree, but before any of that we read the entire Christmas story, and we sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and thank Him for coming. Because He's the gift that matters. He is the gift that changes everything. He is the gift that makes it possible for us to celebrate for eternity.
"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." Is. 9:6
What other reason would we need to celebrate? Merry Christmas to you all!