At our house, Christmas morning is a very special day. We have some very specific traditions and have had for some 30 yrs now. You see when our oldest was about 2 years old my husband requested a Santa Suit for Christmas from my mother. She was an expert seamstress so this request was a no-brainer for my momma. She sat down and whipped up a full-fledged Santa Suit for Jeff with all the trimmings. Every year since then it has been our tradition that none of the kids can get out of their bed until Santa wakes them up on Christmas morning. This rule came in especially handy the year we slept in and didn’t get the presents placed under the tree before the kids woke up. So Jeff and I woke called from to hear each child screaming from their bed ” Mom, Dad can we get up now? ” To which Jeff and I sprang out of the bed, I headed to put the gifts under the tree as Jeff was jumping in his Santa Suit. All while we are hollering back to them” NO!” Stay in your room! You have to wait for Santa to comes in and gets you”
Jeff dresses in his suit, beard and all then goes into each child’s room saying “Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas”, “It’s time to get up and open presents” as I follow along ringing the Jiggle Bells and of course videotaping each one. We as a family follow Santa to the living room. After we have all gathered around the tree. Santa brings out the bible and begins to read the Christmas story explaining to the children what the true meaning of Christmas really is all about. Following the reading of the Christmas Story, I bring out some sort of cake and we all sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Then Santa begins to hand out the presents, afterward Santa tells the children he has to leave and they all hug him and say goodbye. A few minutes later Jeff comes in acting like he just woke up and the children with all their excitement tell daddy what he just missed. Then we begin opening up presents taking turns one by one.
Now you may not care what our Christmas Tradition is, or even approve of it but frankly, I don’t really need your approval or care if I have it. Because for us it worked. See my kids didn’t grow up believing in Santa they grew up believing in daddy. You see, it wasn’t long before they figured it out by the voice and his hands etc. that they realized the man behind the beard was their daddy.
I’ll never forget the year my daughter came to me and asked “Okay! I know who Santa is and I know who the Easter Bunny is, but who is the tooth fairy?” To which I responded to her with a look like “Hello? Do I really need to tell you this?” With shock and amazement in her eyes, she exclaimed ” DADDY?” and I replied ” Yep, and you should see him in his pink tutu!” We both burst out laughing because of course, Jeff doesn’t have a pink tutu. but the picture in our head of him in one was hysterical!
See the fact is we always want to make Christ the center of our Christmas, but we also know we live in a world full of sin and this world tends to twist what God intended to be good. We knew there was no way, we would be able to keep the notion of Santa out of our kids world. So instead of trying to fight it, or stick our head in the sand and ignore it, we used it to our advantage. We let the idle of this world defuse the lie that is told. Oh! do I think Santa is a sin? No, but I do think it is important to keep the Christ in Christmas, and our kiddo’s and now our grands are reminded of that every year!
See, when there was that awkward stage for Christmas in our family life when we only had teens and twenties in the house at Christmas time, Santa still came in and woke them up, (Okay, most of the time he had to insist they get up because you know how teenagers like to sleep) and he may not have worn the whole suit. (Okay! the only part of the suit he wore for a few years was the hat!) But that reminder was there every year! Even in their teen and twenty years, they were reminded as we would drag the kids to the tree and they would snuggle up on the couch and close their eyes cause they really wanted to be back in their beds. They still heard the Christmas story or at least most of it! The fact is I don’t want to paint some Norman Rockwell Christmas for you, where you imagine from birth to today they have all eagerly gotten up and sat attentively on the edge of their sit each year, just waiting for the Christmas Story to be read and presents opened. No! We are real people and some years were more exciting than others but the fact was we never gave up doing what we knew was right and that is keeping Christ first. But through it all and now that they are in their 20’s and 30’s those same kids can practically quote the whole Christmas story, yes even if it is with their eyes closed snuggled on the couch.
I guess the question today is, what are you doing to keep Christ first in your life. Not just on Christmas day, but every day of the year. Because the truth is, it is way harder and much more important to keep Christ first the other 364 days a year. See in this day and age, I see a lot of people claiming to believe in Christ, saying they’re a Christian and even professing their love for Him. But in those same lives, I don’t see any fruit coming from them. You know the fruits of the Spirit, like Love, Joy, Peace, Patience etc…. . I don’t see them professing every week like we do each Christmas that Christ is first in their life by attending church somewhere. You know just like our kids there were times they didn’t want to get up and there were many times as young children they just wanted to forget the story and head straight to the presents. I think that is a lot like some of us are today. We just want to skip living the life that is pleasing to God and go straight to opening the present, of going to heaven. Without paying the price of living for Christ. But Christ paid the ultimate price, and that was He gave His life for us. See, I am here to tell you that just because you say you love God and just because you say you believe in Him doesn’t guarantee you a place in Heaven. See Matthew 7:21:23 tells us that “Not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter Heaven” there are going to be people that stand before God and He is going to tell them, “Depart from me I never knew you” When we know God we want to act in a way that is pleasing to Him and that usually means doing somethings sometimes that we don’t want to do. Like loving people that are unloveable or just stop talking so the argument doesn’t go any further and that means getting up out of the bed on Sunday mornings whether we feel like it or not and proclaiming Christ is first in my life and being a living example doing it. So I don’t know what your doing to keep Christ first this Christmas but my real hope and His is that you keep Him first all 365 days of the year!