Celebrating Jesus with a Santa Claus Christmas
[By L.R.Knost, best-selling author of The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline, Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood and Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages available on Amazon and through other major retailers.]
***I Believe in Santa Claus***
Who does this describe?
- A bearded, good-hearted man
- A generous man who is well-known for giving to others
- A gentle man who is often pictured welcoming smiling children
- A man who, it is said, “sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good…”
- A man we believe in without ever having to see
- A man with amazing, awe-inspiring ‘magical’ powers
If you answered ‘Santa Claus,’ you’re right! If you answered ‘Jesus,’ you’re right, too! The parallels are striking, aren’t they? And with good reason…
One is the symbol of the Christmas season. The other is the reason for it. One is the parable. The other is the reality.
“I, like many new parents, struggled with the idea of perpetuating a ‘false belief’ and thus undermining my children’s trust. But then I turned to the Bible and saw how Jesus, who spoke absolute truth always, often spoke that truth in parables. He knew something about people’s hearts that I needed to learn as a young parent. He knew that the human mind is logic, analysis, reason, and that the human heart is imagination, creativity, love. He knew that sometimes you have to bypass people’s minds and speak straight to their hearts, those well-springs of wonder, for true understanding to occur and that often the deepest truths are the ones that are too big for the human mind to receive and can only be grasped by the heart.” [The Great Santa Claus Debate]
Flights of fantasy, wonder, and awe are vehicles through which all of us, not only children, can grasp the inexplicable, understand the unimaginable, embrace the extraordinary.
I want my children to dance with excitement as the Christmas season begins with the ringing sound of carols and the glitter of decorations filling our home. I want them to wonder and imagine as we read Christmas stories and watch Christmas classics together under warm blankets with bowls of buttery popcorn and piping hot mugs of hot cocoa. I want them to gasp in awe at the brilliant abundance of presents under the Christmas tree as we gather on Christmas morning and sing ‘Happy Birthday to Jesus’ before the tumble-bumble, joyful chaos of gift opening begins.
I want these things for them so that as they grow up they’ll take these memories of joy and laughter and wonder and awe with them and always be able feel the beauty of the Gift we were given in the Christ Child instead of just having head knowledge of Him.
“I chose the way of the parable. I embraced Christmas in all its glory, decorated and baked and showered my little ones with gifts, all while sharing the story of the birth of a Baby. Woven through every event, every tradition, every memorable moment of our family’s Christmas, is the celebration of the wondrous gift of a Savior. We watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and all the other fun Christmas shows together. We read bedtime stories about Christmas elves and magical toys and talking animals. And when my children ask me if Santa really exists, I tell them “Yes,” because it’s true. Every parent who carries on St. Nicholas’ tradition of leaving secret gifts, of being the heart and hands of Jesus, of sharing the wonder, excitement, and glory of the most extraordinary Gift ever given to mankind, every one of us is Santa Claus.”
I believe in Santa Claus because I am Santa Claus!
That, to me, is the true reason for the season~sharing the truth of the most unimaginable, unattainable, unfathomable Gift ever given, and the way we choose to do that in our family is to celebrate Jesus with a Santa Claus Christmas.
How does your family celebrate the holidays?
[Click here for more ideas about how to keep a spirit of giving at the center of your family’s Christmas celebrations. Happy Holidays!]
This video of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton singing ‘I Believe in Santa Claus’ makes me cry every time I see it.
The Spirit of Christmas… The Great Santa Claus Debate
24 Tips for a Safe, Stress-Free & Jolly Holiday… A Very Toddler Christmas
Making gratitude and generosity a standard of life… 7 Tips and Traditions to Make Giving a Standard of Living
A happy childhood sends a child into adulthood with a baggage of confidence and kindness instead of disillusionment and anger. 200 Ways to Bless Your Children with a Happy Childhood
The human brain needs time to process, categorize, prioritize, analyze, and otherwise make sense of all of the trillions of bits of information that it receives each day. Non-structured playtime for children functions much like sleep does for adults, giving their brains the time and space they need to move short-term memory to long-term learning. 25 Reasons NOT to Keep Children Busy
In the world of a child wonders are as simple as sticks and sheets, leaves and books, boxes and giggles, and the promise in a rainy day. The Seven Wonders of the World of Childhood
Children who love to read…READ! Engaging children’s hearts in the wonder of reading instead of just training their minds in its mechanics. Raising Bookworms
From hitting to defiance to tantrums to testing the boundaries and more, here are gentle parenting tools, tips, and techniques… Practical, Gentle, Effective Discipline
Fairy tales in childhood are stepping stones throughout life, leading the way through trouble and trial. The value of fairy tales lies not in a brief literary escape from reality, but in the gift of hope that goodness truly is more powerful than evil and that even the darkest reality can lead to a Happily Ever After. Fairy Tales~The Lost Value of ‘Once upon a time…’
L.R.Knost is a best-selling parenting and children’s book author and founder and director of Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, an online resource for gentle parenting education, articles, and research. Books by L.R.Knost include Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood , Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages , and The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline the first three books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, as well as her children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series available from Amazon and other major retailers.