As parents there are so many choices to make. And with each and ever choice I worry if it’s right! What about you? Right from the start we realized the startling truth – everyone does not agree with our choices – and some voice that disapproval loudly.
- How should I feed my baby?
- Should I wear my baby?
- Do we start Preschool at 3 or 4?
- Was it the right choice to homeschool our Little Blessings?
- What Christmas Traditions do we keep or scrap?
Who knew there were so many choices involved in creating Christmas Traditions!?!?!?
Naïvely we believed the choice – how to celebrate Christmas -was ours alone to make. But Y’all, we have been met with so much disapproval over the years that we tend to hide through December.
I want to Equip, Encourage and challenge you today:
It is too easy to give in to the pressure of society. We must Plan to Choose to Keep Christ at the Center of Christmas.
Hmmm… that may sound intense if we haven’t met. I’m Tiffany and I’d love to share a story with you.
What is your favorite Christmas memory?
The year my dad snuck away to the basement night after night – and I was not allowed to follow -is mine.
The sound of wood working filled the house. I can still smell sweet fragrance of saw dust.
Christmas morning came and there by the tree- tied with a bow -was a baby doll crib.
It was everything I wanted. Dad had tenderly painted teddy bears on the headboard and finished it with a beautiful cherry stain.
That was the first year I remember having something new under the tree. I must have been 6.
That was the year after the illusion of Santa had been shattered completely
You see, we were poor… government cheese poor, powdered eggs poor. I remember the first time I understood we were poor. I was 4 the year a man dressed as Santa knocked on the door with a big box of wrapped presents for us.
I thought it was funny Santa knocked on the door – instead of coming down the chimney like mom said he would magically make appear.
The presents were wonderful. They are the first I remember unwrapping. There were beautiful dolls and purses.
They weren’t new – but we didn’t care! They were ours.
That Sunday at church we heard the snickering from the kids in Sunday school. Finally one of them spoke up…
“You are wearing the purse mom made me give to some poor kids at church. I always knew you all were poor.”
Shattered I went to my mom. Mom covered for “Santa” by explaining that he has helpers. You know the song and dance. I believed her – of course. I was four and she was mom.
Mom’s don’t lie… I believed
It happened again the next year – but I was careful to not take any of the New to me things to church for a long while after Christmas.
But that year the preacher gave a seething sermon about Satan Clause and the Idolatry of Christmas.
Y’all, I literally ran from the sanctuary in tears.
That year I learned several very Startling life lessons.
Mom’s and Dad’s lie.
Preachers can be mean.
I was poor and should be ashamed of that.
Fast Forward 20 years to find a new family struggling to create Christmas Traditions that keep Christ at the Center
Bud and I were nearing the first Christmas with our 1st Little Blessing.
We had to make several decisions… Who knew there were so many choices to make in life! We both came from poverty and had crazy memories of Christmas.
I remember sitting in bed talking about our past and our present. We were dreaming of a future for our child that would be filled with Hope, Joy and Wonder. It’s funny, because we agreed about how to celebrate Christmas!
Y’all, we don’t agree about many thing so this was like a Christmas Miracle!
We wanted the focus of Christmas to be Christ. What things would lead to that end?
- We found several advent activities – yes, we were over thinking things – she was just a baby! But that’s what we do as parents – right?!?!?!
We researched the history of Christmas and all it’s traditions. Christmas Trees are so beautiful and symbolic of Life Forever with Christ in heaven and Light come down to a dark world.
- We agreed to have a Christmas Tree.
We searched and searched for a Nativity scene that could be hands on – so we could talk about it each day and focus on the Magic and Wonder of that Night. The Beauty of hundreds of Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in that one event!
**Plush Hallmark Set and Shepherd on a Search
- We chose to have a Birthday cake for Jesus each year – we make it and sing to Him to remember why we celebrate and why we give gifts – He is the Gift from God to us.
With each choices I notice the time involved in them. Christmas was getting busy. Too busy to stop and remember.
- We wanted to show Kindness to those forgotten… the widows and orphans. So we make gifts for our elderly neighbors and Sing carols to those our culture forgets ***Links
- We make many of the gifts we give – because we still struggle financially. But I’ve found more joy in making gifts -together as a family**Link- than stressing to save all year to buy and impress others.
And we chose to skip anything Santa. I just couldn’t find a way to fit him in. And I never want my kids to think I lie to them. My thought – though it is not original – is this:
How can I expect my child to believe God is real if I spend so much time tricking them to believe Santa is real. If one turns out to be a lie, how will they understand the other is true. Children believe in black and white Y’all. They are very dogmatic about it too! If something is true they believe it is always true and should be true for everyone.
Imagine my shock when close friends and loved ones fought us about this choice. It is our choice to make. I have never told another mom they are wrong about how they raise their kids, but I hear that often – still years later!
Family members have tried to take my children aside and “talk to them about Santa”. Store clerks have tried to convince my children about Santa and his reindeer.
As a result there are only a few family functions we attend now- those that respect our right to raise our kids the way we believe! Thank you – for supporting us!
There are stores we no longer patron.
It is insane how many people turn against you when you chose to do something Controversial. We didn’t even realize that No Santa was a controversial Christmas Tradition.
Christmas is about Jesus. That is our focus and we have successfully made it our Tradition to focus on Jesus and love others through the season – and all year long.
We did it without Santa. And you know what? My kids understand the magic and wonder of that miracle. They understood it without Santa… I think that was the most persistent argument. Santa helps kids hold onto the magic and wonder fo the season.
Well I have to say LOUDLY. There is more Real magic, wonder and awe surrounding that baby in a manger than anything else in this world. It is the reason for our faith. Jesus is everything. Santa is a sad imitation of magic and wonder – because it is false.
I’m not judging anyone – if you have found a way to keep Christ the Center of Christmas and still play at Santa. That’s great!
We just chose not to. I only ask you to show the same grace, support and tolerance I extend to you in your parenting choices.
God bless you and your family this Christmas!