Tuesday, 14 December 2010

You better watch out

Voting has all all but closed on the Santa poll so I thought it might be good to reflect on the whole issue again.

Most of you who voted have gone for the 'He's OK in the right amount' option.  Fair enough.  Over the last wee while I've had some interesting discussions with a number of people about the big fat imaginary lump of a man.  I have been sent video clips and newspaper articles, I have been supported and criticized, and quite frankly I've thoroughly enjoyed it all.

But can any good come of this discussion?  I certainly cannot change the opinion of anyone, I cannot force a parent to unveil Santa as a fraud nor would I want to.   The point of the discussion is simply to recognise the issue and encourage us all to have an opinion on it.  It is not healthy for any of us, least of all Christians to blindly accept cultural norms without running them through our Christian sieve as it were, to test them and ensure they do not force us to compromise what we know to be right.

In all the conversations I've had about Santa in the last month or so I have found no-one who accepts Santa as completely harmless and entirely positive.  The concept of Father Christmas, it seems, is something to be cautious about at the very least.

The fact of the matter is that Santa is present in our culture, we cannot eradicate him and so we need to deal with him.  How you do that is up to you but I urge you sincerely to be very careful with the Santa myth.  Ensure that Jesus remains distinct from him, That Jesus is the be all and end all.  He is the great gift -giver, He is the one that hears prayers, He is the one that brings joy.  It is not good for your family or your kids (whether present or future) if you put yourself in debt and danger just to hold up the pretence  that Santa is capable of delivering every present they want.

Children need real love at Christmas more than they need gifts.  Their family and friends are the ones who can give them that, not a figment of someone else's imagination.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12If you want to read an article by Mark Driscoll on the subject click here (thanks Nic).  you can also watch the most excellent video below (thanks Rick)

1 comment:

  1. I'm really glad you revisited this topic. Although I do agree that Santa can be used in a bad way it's just that it's the way we use the story. There are cultures that don't have santa they instead have three kings or possibly some even say the baby Jesus brings the presents. As it grows close to Christmas I hear people go on about that people don't know the true meaning of Christmas "It's all about family and friends and giving" and I feel like saying no do you know the true meaning of CHRISTmas! It's like in everyday life we replace and put things ahead of God and although money, family, friends and even santa are not actually bad the way we view them can be.