Christmastime is here and I love it!
But, of course, it all has it hassles, holly and hopes, depending on how you see it.
Besides the absolute need to re-tell the grand story of the birth of Christ, why God sent Him and what He means to us today (or should), there’s all the holiday tradition we cram into this season. It used to start after thanksgiving, no questions asked. Now, a growing population has Advent and Halloween rubbing shoulders; an odd sort of marriage if you ask me. Regardless, this post is not going to be some deep theological treatise on the incarnation of God in the baby Jesus. This is going to be about something else, for now.
No matter where you fall on the Christmas Interpretative Meter, there’s ole St. Nick. What to do about the jolly, round, ho-ho man in the red suit. Well, no doubt one cannot deny, aside from the spiritual meaning of the birth of Jesus, that the traditions of Christmas have a special kind of “magic” all to themselves, no matter what. I mean ‘how could Santa’s reindeer even fly without some stardust from Santa’s workshop at the North Pole?’ (And, no we’re sorry but it’s not available on Amazon this year) And, we hope you don’t get aspirations to ‘fly’ using cocaine, because that could ruin your Christmas and a whole lot more too. Stick to eggnog please.
If you have small kids, here’s a holiday idea you might consider regarding Santa.
A couple of years ago I saw a suggestion floating around on the internet that I think offers an ideal solution for those who celebrate Christmas. When a child starts questioning the Santa myth and seems old enough to understand, take them aside and, with utmost seriousness, induct them into the big grown-up secret: Now THEY are Santa. Tell the child that they have the power to make wishes come true, to fill the world with magic for others, and as a result, for us all. Then help them pick a sibling or friend, or better yet, look outside the family circle to find a neighbor or person in need for whom they can secretly “be” Santa Claus, and let them discover the enchantment of bringing uncredited joy to someone else. As Francis Pharcellus Church wrote to Virginia O’Hanlon more than 100 years ago, the unseeable values of “love and generosity and devotion” are in some ways the “most real things in the world,” and that seems like something that all kids —whether they’re age 2 or 92—can believe in.