Sunday, November 07, 2010

I love Santa and other musings...

Today, I loaded the boys up in the car and drove to a local commercial retail center in town so I could rev up with some Starbucks and then take the boys for a walk in the stroller. It was a gorgeous morning, sunny and cool--perfect for a stroll. I confess that I love this time of year, when the store windows are transformed into mini holiday wonderlands. Hopeful that I'd get to see some good holiday window dressings, I strolled the boys by Kirkland's Home, and I was not disappointed. In one of their windows, there were several gorgeous framed paintings of Saint Nick--one was a regal Santa dressed in a majestic golden cloak, another depicted him with a couple of his reindeer, but the one I loved best was a rendering of Santa holding his finger up to his lips, as if to say, "Shhh! It's our little secret." I'm not sure why I loved it so much, but a wave of nostalgia washed over me, and I started to sing Christmas carols to myself.

Artwork found on Kirkland's Website

As I moseyed on, I couldn't help but think about a most strange (to me) phenomenon the exists in the Christian sub-culture: there are some who think it is wrong to incorporate Santa into one's family's Christmas celebration. Some say that it is lying to your children. Others say that it takes the focus off of Jesus, who is, after all, the Reason for the Season. And you know? I respect their decision to celebrate Christmas sans Santa, even though I don't share their view.

My family? Santa comes to our house every year!

I grew up in a family who celebrated Christmas with presents, a fresh cut tree, and yes, Santa Claus. Was I sad when I grew up and found out? Absolutely. Do I wish my parents hadn't "lied" to me? Absolutely NOT! I never felt lied to, and it made my childhood sparkle with magic. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I think the reason the painting of the Santa saying "Shhh!" so resonated with me is because it felt like he was saying, "We're totally getting away with something here...and it's good!" That's right! Me and Saint Nicholas?... We both believe in Jesus, and we both love to celebrate His birth in grand style!

I'm so excited to share the upcoming Christmas season with my boys!


Robyn :) said...

If you want to take out Santa you might as well take out everything else, too. Most of the traditions have pagan roots. I think Santa Claus is more Christian than other things we do like have a tree and decorate and all.

The underlying message of Santa is GIVING and that is certainly worthy of being celebrated, as is Jesus' birth.

Liz said...

Well said! I feel the exact same way you do about Santa. Even as an adult, knowing the truth about Santa, part of me still feels he's real because there is definitely something magical about it. Growing up, even believing in Santa, the focal point of our mantel was the nativity set & we ALWAYS knew exactly what Christmas was all about... Jesus!

Laura said...

I feel exactly the same as well. Santa doesn't have to be the focus. Well said Tracy. This is such a magical time of year.

J at said...

I grew up without Santa, and I was fine. Love everything about Christmas, love Santa (even though I never believed he was real), love Jesus (even though I'm atheist), love the trees (even though ours is fake), love the gifts (even though sometimes we were too poor to have any). Love the songs and the family and the cuddly warmth and the love. For me, it's the love that resonates the most. That cozy feeling in the depth of your stomach that you are well cared for.

Cherry said...

We are planning on not doing Santa. Nothing wrong with Santa, we just aren't feeling it. We're still doing gifts and stockings and celebrating the season and birth, but maybe without Santa. I figure we have a year left to decide :-)

My in-laws are upset by this decision and think we are crazy and ruining Christmas for her. They also spend 3+ hours opening presents which we don't agree with. We'll see how it all goes down.

Bridget & Josh Lee said...

I grew up without a "real" santa too and I love christmas just the same. We aren't doing an official santa either but we talk about the spirit of santa alot. Is it too early to say, "merry christmas!" :)