A Different Way

to look at Life, Health, Business and Politics

One Way to Save Christmas: Give It to the Kids!

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on December 25, 2008

Over the last two decades, I’ve played Santa Claus in a variety of situations, mostly for kids at family and office gatherings.  One thing I’ve always found is that Santa always makes people (big and small) loosen up and smile.

Certainly, there are those little kids that are scared out of their wits at this odd looking creature with white hair and a bright red suit trying to get them to sit on his lap.  It must be like seeing a spaceship land in your yard and being open to an invitation to come on board.  Anyway, I’ve come to learn that you can’t force them to overcome their natural fears.  But over time, the loosen up and find that part of the celebration of Christmas to be quite fun and joyous.

Like you, I’ve watched the secularization of Christmas to the point where some retailers are ever reluctant to say or even advertise “Merry Christmas” to their customers when clearly 80-90% of their annual sales are made specifically for Christmas.  At the same time, some of my Christian brethren take a very hard stance on Christmas even to the point of NOT letting their kids participate in the Santa fantasy and even telling them at a very young age there really isn’t a Santa Clause.

As a proud evangelical Christian, I must confess that I think this hardline approach does more to HURT the real meaning of Christmas than to help it.  I know that may seem strange.  So let me explain.

In America (and maybe most of the free world) we learn about Christmas as little children.  We’re taught from about two years of age that Christmas means gifts and toys and Santa.  Only as we approach 10 to 12 years old do we “find out about Santa”.  Usually, it’s a gradual thing.  And, gradual is good because it gives mom and dad a chance to expose their kids to the real meaning of Christmas.  Even agnostics and atheists end up explaining the religious meaning of Christmas to their kids.

This gradual learning does two things that I think make Christmas special and will protect it forever against the secular and retail onslaught.  From our earliest memories, we learn the joy of receiving a gift we’ve longed for for months.  As we grow older, we learn the joy of giving to others and the satisfaction of seeing our gifts received in the spirit in which it was given.

By cementing the value of giving and receiving at such an early age, kids ntutrally develop an appreciation for the Gift God gave the World.  Having a perspective on love that only time and experience can provide, kids grow to know the joy of Christmas.

So, instead of cursing the darkness of secularism and retail madness during the  Christmas season, I encourage you to be joyful, give willfully and joyfully, but not in an obligatory way, at all.  But most of all, give your love, share your joy and watch how the spirit of Christmas will grow both in your world and in the world at large.

Christmas is too big to be killed or even harmed UNLESS you allow it to die inside you and deprive your kids of all the joys big and small it brings.

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