Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You said WHAT to my child?!

Dear “Girl That May or May Not Still Work at Food City,”

Our encounter last night was a first for me. I was quite taken back by what you said. Those who knew me before will know how He has changed me by how I responded to you. They know what the old me would have done.

I really just grinned and nodded as you kept prodding my children about Christmas. I nodded in assurance to my shy little girl as you kept asking her about Santa and all the wonderful gifts he will be bringing her. See, you don’t know that she has reached the age where she is at the same time in awe and yet, confused about this strange man who Mommy says is not real. You didn’t know she was conflicted on how to answer you. But even though you didn’t know all these things, you shouldn’t have said what you did. When I politely told you we don’t do Santa at our house, you should have said what everyone else does, “Oh, OK.” But you didn’t, you chose to ask my daughter why not. And when she said, “He isn’t real,” you placed yourself in a bad situation with your response. You told my daughter I was a liar. That’s what you said to her when you looked her in the eye and said, “Oh yes he is!”

And that is when I gently placed my hand on her back and walked away.

You see, we serve a King who I believe is sickened by this charade called Santa Claus. Because my King, is the only one who knows who has been bad or good… (There is none good, no not one. Romans 3:10) We teach our children it is the righteousness of Another that makes them good before God. This King doesn’t think it is OK to lie. Ever. Even if it is just fun and harmless. He is Holy …always…so do you really think He says, “Ah, they’re just having fun, it's Ok to lie this time.” This King doesn’t like to share His glory with anyone or anything else…probably because nothing could possibly hold a candle to His greatness. So, we serve another God and not the god of Santa Claus and mammon that this holiday is so smothered in.

I would appreciate it, that you not tell my child I’m a liar. I’m teaching her to believe in something much bigger than a make believe character that will one day be nothing to her. I’m teaching her to believe in a Sovereign God, the Maker of all things, and the only One she will ever give thanks to for the many blessings and gifts she receives…the one that doesn’t turn out to be a phony. See, because sometimes our faith can be kind of hard to hold on to, we want her to know that her parents never lied to her and we wouldn’t tell her about something we don’t have one hundred percent faith in.

So, please, leave the parenting up to the parents. And think before you speak.

Thank you,
A Mom Determined to Tell the Truth
I must say, over the past eight years, I’ve softened quiet a bit on my views on Christmas. My husband and I have went from completely ignoring it to attempting to figure out what traditions we want to adopt in our own family during this time of year. We know there is a way to do this that is Christ honoring and we feel rest about Paul’s teachings on Christian freedom. At the same time, much of this holiday makes me angry and confused. I don’t understand how Christians continue to adopt such secular ways of celebration. I pray that there would be a way to reform the holiday…even if it is just one family at a time. I pray that more families would evaluate why they do what they do and see how it is honoring to God. I especially pray this year that people will be spending the Lord’s Day in church because it is a day God has commanded us to observe; Christmas is not; yet, numbers of Christians will remain home and forget the Lord on the one day He has given us to set aside to worship Him.

So, Here is wishing you and yours…a Happy…or a Merry…I don’t know…I think Lily says, “make sure to tell them, ‘Happy Christmas!’”

(Note: I still haven’t brought myself to verbally say, “Merry Christmas” to someone…so that was a little awkward. Give me a break, it's been EIGHT YEARS since I've even considered celebrating the day. It's bound to be awkward!)


Trisha said...

Wow, Michelle. It is amazing what others will say to our children, in an attempt to usurp our authority. Isn't it wonderful how He's changing us so we don't respond in the flesh like we used to do. I completely understand that struggle. There's a Mama tiger in me that I often have to tame. :)

I've enjoyed saying, "Merry Christmas" to so many this year, and we do celebrate it in our home. There's never been Santa, though. The other day, at Sears, the cashier asked my daughter if Santa was going to bring her stuff. She, though my oldest, was still taken off guard. I explained we don't celebrate Santa, and the cashier was very interested, etc. It was a neat opportunity to share the light of Christ, even just a bit.

We'll be having a lovely Christmas Eve service at our church again this year and then worshipping on Christmas Day, too. We've decided we won't be opening gifts until Christmas night. It's wonderful that because the gifts aren't the focus, our children don't get upset over when they might get to open them.

May God give you much peace as you and your Beloved decide what the Lord would have you do in your family.

Much love to you, my friend!

Ma said...

What an icky experience and you handled it so well. I don't go out with the kiddos much...I like to shop alone, but the Salvation Army bell ringing guy asked about Santa a couple weeks back, we just did the nod-n-smile.

We have never done Santa because I personally feel like it's a big fat lie and no matter how you sugar coat it, adults can lose some credibility big time....I know.

As far as our own traditions, we are doing that. Instead of a Christmas tree, we have for several years taken a branch out of the yard and put our lights on it. That's OUR thing.

Freedom in Christ is important, so I don't poo poo anyone's thing anymore. It's not for me to judge.

Persis said...

That's interesting how some people can be so adamant about Santa. I grew up celebrating Christmas but we never did Santa. We stopped celebrating it and I became rather self-righteous about it. :(

We've come back to using this time of year to celebrating Jesus' Incarnation. We have a tree because it's pretty but we don't do gifts but give to others via contributions, etc.

J.Rat. said...

This is the first year where Annabel is cognitively aware of Santa. She has pictures with him, has said she loves Santa, and has looked him in the face screaming. Our take, which we are still developing is that Santa represents the spirit of giving, which starts with God and Christ...details and further development will ensue in 2012. In the end, her presents don't come from Santa either, her mother worked too blasted hard, and sacrificed her time to give credit to Santa for the gifts. Walking away from the FC girl was a big step, but I would still have taken the time to educate her that her statement just undermined the traditions and values of your family unit, and was disrespectful on many levels. That way, she might hopefully not be an idiot in the future.