Harmonize the Holidays:
Finding Balance between Santa and Jesus
During the holidays, you've probably heard people talking about "the real meaning of Christmas." But why is it always being emphasized, you might wonder? Some people share different understandings of Christmas, and some traditions tend to overshadow the main message. I remember abhorring the image of Santa bowing down to an image of the baby Jesus. And then I remembered something ... but we'll get to that in a minute.
So how can we balance Jesus' birthday and all the other festive activities? Balancing the tales of Santa and the Nativity can be tricky since they don't reference each other. But there's a solution!
Here are three tips for balancing Santa with the Savior.
First, prioritize Jesus. When it comes down to it, the birth of Jesus should be the primary focus of Christmas. Read about his miraculous birth and its implications for our lives today. Be intentional about how you celebrate the holiday and set aside special moments to remember Christ's love. Consider attending a Christmas Eve service or lighting Advent candles for reflection.
One idea of being intentional about how you celebrate Christmas is by focusing on the Three Wise Men and their gifts to Jesus. You can give children three unique gifts in honour of the wise men's sacrifice or take time to talk about why giving is important.
Take your children on a trip back in time to uncover the origins of Santa Claus. It turns out that the Saint Nicholas legends are bursting with Christian principles and ideas from the Bible. St. Nicolas was a follower of Jesus! So ... even though Santa isn't mentioned in the Bible, children can understand that the story and tradition of jolly ol' St. Nick exist to honour Jesus. Educational books like Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegemeyer can help children learn about Saint Nicholas.
She says in this resource, "Our stories of Santa Claus can hold so much truth and wonder if we shape them into what God intended—tales full of hope, love, peace, joy, and the greatest gift ever given."
Finally, teach them to appreciate the gift of Jesus. It's important to remember that Christmas isn't about presents or decorations; it's about celebrating God's ultimate gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ. A great way to honour this is by giving gifts to those in need in Jesus' name. An example of appropriate things to offer could be hats and mittens for people experiencing homelessness, donations to food banks or sponsoring a child in need.
By focusing on Jesus' birthday as the true "meaning of Christmas," prioritizing special activities, exploring the story of Santa Claus and teaching about Jesus' ultimate gift, we can find a balance between Jesus and Santa during this special time of year. AND we can show gratitude for the ultimate gift while sharing God's love with others.
So, take a few moments out of your busy holiday schedule this Christmas to prioritize Jesus and remember his incredible sacrifice. By combining the Santa traditions with Christ-centered activities, you can have a meaningful holiday season honouring both the Savior and the Saint! After all, Jesus is the reason for the season!
These three tips can help you find a balance between Santa and Jesus this holiday season. Remember to prioritize Jesus, explore the roots of Santa Claus, and appreciate the gift of Jesus. May your Christmas be filled with God's love and joy! By taking time to honour both the memory of Saint Nicholas and the birth and death of his Saviour, we can ensure that the real meaning of Christmas remains at the centre of our celebrations.
So it's okay to let go of any guilt associated with celebrating Santa traditions and instead embrace this unique opportunity to honour Jesus while nodding to one of His followers. By doing so, you can balance Santa and Jesus in a way that respects both traditions and ensures that the real meaning of Christmas remains at the centre of your celebrations.
You CAN celebrate both Santa and Christ's birth in your holiday traditions since they embody selflessness, love, and sacrifice, also known as "the real meaning of Christmas."