We all know that the legend of Santa Claus has roots in a real-life saint - Saint Nicholas. He was a bishop and, as the story goes, was fond of helping those who had little in the way of worldly goods. This is a wonderful example of Charity but somehow, along the way, this nice saint was hijacked and turned into a jolly old elf who encourages the lust for 'stuff'. That's not who St. Nicholas was and that's not the virtue our kids should be taking away from his story.
As the first teachers of our children, we have a heavy responsibility for forming their lives. Our ultimate goal - getting them to Heaven - depends heavily upon being dependable purveyors of Truth. Case in point: when my little sister first learned the 'truth' about Santa she asked our mother a very telling question, "If Santa isn't real, is the story about Jesus?". Yeah, let that sink in for a moment.
In the same vein, it really makes me uncomfortable to hear children being told that Santa is watching them - that he 'knows' if they've been bad or good. Isn't that the same thing we tell them about God? When the Santa myth is exposed, is it realistic to think that they will still blindly believe in an all-knowing deity?
Speaking of knowing good vs. bad, let's talk about the Elf on the Shelf. So we have instructed our children, for their entire lives, in the value of being good and following rules. Now we're glorifying a creature who comes into our house and wreaks havoc - and we think it's funny and laugh about it? Is it just me, or is that a confusing mixed signal?
I recently read a sweet little book to the younger kids on this very topic. Santa's Secret Story did a good job of bringing St. Nicholas into the forefront as the real Santa. One line that really resonated to me was an answer to a question by, Rachel, one of the child characters in the tale. When she asked St. Nicholas why he gave his gifts in secret, he replied, "I want people to thank God, not me! Remember, the greatest gift is God's love. I am just happy to give His love to others". What a valuable lesson!
Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!
Monica at www.equippingCatholicfamilies.com
Tina at http://trulyrichmom.com/
Laura at http://daybydayinourworld.com/
Sarah at http://onthewayhome2.com
Birgit at http://designsbybirgit.blogspot.ca/
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Check out this complete list of blogs participating in the Keep Christ in CHRISTmas Link-Up:
Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas
Simply Homeschool Living Advent Series 12/1 - 12/25
Fifth of Five Keeping Christ in Christmas - Blog Link-up 2013
Coffee Moments with Sam The Light of Hope
Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition
Open Window Making hay while the Advent wreath shines
Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas
Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual
On the Way Home: Keep Christ in Christmas
Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others
Mommy Bares All Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH
Canadian Catholic Mom Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling Keep Christ in Christmas
Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception
Adoro Ergo Sum: How We Keep Christ in Christmas
JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Home to 4 Kiddos Keep Christ in Christmas
Embedded Faith Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas
City Girl, Country Home Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?
Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats
Joy of Nine9 Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child
Splendor in the Home Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy
Training Happy Hearts 10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year
A Catholic Life Advent: The Beginning of the Liturgical Year & Source of Rich Meditations
Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus
Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas
A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas
Catholic All Year: Three Reasons I love Advent
Mary the Defender: Christmas The Battle Begins
Truly Rich Mom: Keep Christ in Christmas
Day By Day in Our World: 40 Days Seeking Him and Keeping Christ in Christmas
Diapers and Drivel: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Raising Soldiers 4 Christ: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Rosary Mom Keep Christ In Christmas With A Teenager
Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Join Church Ministries
Campfires and Cleats How We Keep Christ in Christmas
Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season
Homeschooling With Joy Keeping Christ in Christmas
Mrs Domestic Bliss Gingerbread Nativity
The Chic Traveller Keeping Christ in Christmas
California to Korea Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique's Desk Keeping Christ in Christmas