I’m reasonably sure that everyone reading this post is old enough not to believe in Santa Claus anymore. Otherwise, feel free to think of me as the Grinch who stole Christmas.
Yes, I believed in Santa Claus when I was a kid. But my parents told me from early childhood on that Santa was love. That didn’t make sense at the time. I got quite upset the first time an older child told me that Santa wasn’t real. But I eventually accepted the truth and began to understand what my parents had told me.
When my daughter was young, her mother and I agreed to tell her that Santa was make-believe. And asked her not to tell the other kids since we didn’t want her to cause unnecessary disillusionment. We didn’t mind if she had fun pretending–as long as she knew the truth. The best I can recall, that worked well.
As a Christian, I love Christmas carols. But–as a general rule–I’m not fond of secular Christmas songs. After all, Christmas is all about Jesus’ birthday, even though He wasn’t actually born on December 25.
Most secular Christmas songs don’t offend me, however. I can tolerate “Frosty” and “Rudolph.” “Jingle Bells.” And many others.
But this one is something else. It offends me horribly…
“You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out
Who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
Since parents themselves are Santa, they find those words to be reasonably accurate. Most of the time, they know when their kids are misbehaving. And it’s to the parents’ advantage to convince their children that the quality of their gifts depends on their behavior.
But what about their kids? I wonder how many of them think Santa and God are the same–if they even know anything about God at all. After all, it’s more politically correct to believe in Santa nowadays.
Santa and God sound similar in several ways. God also knows when children have been naughty or nice. And since He never sleeps, He’s on top of their behavior even more than their parents are. And He’s the giver of good gifts–“every good and perfect gift,” to be precise.
Like Santa, God loves little children.
But He loves the rest of us, too.
And Santa didn’t send Jesus to earth to die for our sins. Nor does he adopt whoever comes to him through faith in Jesus as his children. Nor does he care about what’s best for us or provide gifts that aren’t dependent on good behavior.
And he certainly didn’t die on the cross to enable us receive forgiveness. Or to live the most meaningful earthly lives possible. And have eternal life in Heaven.
No, Santa’s not God, and God isn’t Santa. God is so much more. Isn’t it time to tell our children the truth?
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“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I use “As I Come Singing” to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Check it out HERE if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
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