A week or so ago I came home and Ellianna and Caroline had a play prepared to perform for me. In the manger (a basket) was a baby covered up by a blanket. And Ellianna beautifully told the story of the birth of Jesus. Then she uncovered the basket and pulled out baby Jesus (she was now Mary). Much to my surprise (horror?), out came Santa Claus.
Granted, Santa may be the only boy baby doll in a houseful of girls and girl dolls. (This is even more evident compared to their grandparents’ house with its anatomically correct, homemade cabbage patch boy doll).
Still, I never saw it coming. I don’t think the girls have any true mix-up between Jesus and Santa. I know they don’t get the irony in their selection of Santa as a stand-in for Jesus.
As I look around, it seems we too often have chosen Santa over Jesus…even in our “ministries” this time of year. We’ve decided that at Christmastime we’ve got to make sure people have presents so they won’t have a “bad” Christmas this year without considering the vast amount of resources we are wasting that could create a world that helps ensure future Christmases are not “bad”.
Regardless, it’s not about the stuff anyway. But that is much easier said than done.
This will be my 30th year (all of my life) that I will attend a Christmas Eve candlelight service. It will be the second time in my life it won’t be spent at the First Christian Church in Union City, Tennessee.
Blessings on your Christmas.