Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Place For Santa

About a month ago I ranted a bit on my Facebook status about Christmas and Santa.  I think I still had lingering melancholy from the election results, coupled with an animosity for the entitlement mentality that is running absolutely rampant in this country right now.  I think I just took it out on poor ole' Santa Claus. The poor guy never really saw it coming.

However, I am grateful to say that some very wise words from trusted friends helped to put me in my place; things I had not even considered before the rant.

Okay, here was my rant:

"I think it is always a good exercise to rethink everything once in a while. Which brings me to Santa. I seriously hate the guy. Yes I said HATE! I don't like the lying nonsense to my kids, especially since it really distracts from the real reason for Christmas. I just want to have a Christmas where Jesus is the absolute center and there are no conflicts. I don't want Santa getting credit for stuff he didn't do. If you ask me, he is just a lazy old fat guy.

But my question is ...would I be so horrible if I just don't do Santa at all with my little ones? Can Rinar and I get the credit around here? Can it just be about Jesus? Where am I going wrong in my thinking? I have a couple days to decide my course of action and would love some input from you guys."

And some of my favorite responses...

 I think it is a lot more Christlike to do for the children without taking the credit. I personally feel that Jesus and Santa compliment each other and children can be taught the meaning of Christmas in more than one way. -Cheryl

That sounds somewhat contradictory to me. I'm no expert but wanting/expecting credit doesn't sound very Christlike. One of the most wonderful things about children is their imagination and sense of fantasy - I would think that a shame to take that away from them. -Rich G.

 Why do you need credit now? Children don' t care who did what for things to be special. -Colleen

All I can say is...wow! Never, ever thought of it in that way. I was looking at the whole thing from a very selfish point of view. I wanted to update you on how Christmas went for us this year, on the eve of Santa's visit to our household. And yes, Santa did come and my kiddos are very excited.

First of all, here is what I did not do with my kids. I did not take them to the mall to sit on Santa's lap.  I just didn't get around to doing it and it really was not that important to me. It got the ax this year and I am really okay with it, as much as I like the picture of the kids on his lap and all. Life will go on, the world will keep spinning and it is okay.

 I also did not go bonkers baking and only made chocolate chip cookies today for Santa.  I didn't buy Christmas candy either, because it only ends up on my rear end, which is not a place I want to see it, like, ever. 

But we were able to keep our tradition of doing a music program at an assisted living facility. It was our best one yet because it wasn't just me and Rinar, but Raef and Zach, who made significant contributions to the performance. It was charming.

We made sure to go and see Christmas lights in the neighborhood. This house would have made the Griswold's envious.

We were able to help several families that needed assistance through our church and it was nice to be able to do that. In addition, we went to Walmart and bought some gift cards and then randomly had the kids pick out people in the store and we surprised them with a gift card.  The boys had a lot of fun doing that. And in that spirit of random giving, I paid for a guys clothes at a thrift store secretly a few weeks ago. It was only a few dollars but I think it really helped him. Who really knows? We paid for the car behind us at the drive-thru, which ended up costing a whopping $1 bill. And then tonight, Rinar gave the McDonald's guy a $20 tip when he bought us some french fries to go with our homemade cheeseburgers. I thought that was kind of fun also.

We went caroling with another family in our ward and then had families join us along the way. I gave a "fancy" neighbor gift of popcorn that we popped right before we left to go caroling. It was simple and quick. The caroling was tons of fun and we went wherever we ended up. It was great.

I once again watched my favorite Christmas program, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's PBS special and cried buckets over the story about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. What can I say? It is my own tradition. I listened to lots of uplifting Christmas music, watched cheesy Christmas movies on Lifetime and made sure to see "A Christmas Story", "Elf", and "It's a Wonderful Life".

I hosted a dinner party that took many days to plan and execute. I reveled in the creation of beauty and the joy of sharing that beauty with new and old friends alike. It was a life-changing experience for many reasons, and well worth the sacrifice.

Our family also went to a Hanukkah party. I had read a book to the boys about Hanukkah the previous week and so it was awesome to be able to actually celebrate it with some kind of meaning. Hanukkah is a great story and I am so grateful I could learn about it.

And instead of going bananas buying my kids a bunch of stuff, our tree tonight has a good amount of presents, but they are not carpeting the entire room. They pretty much fit under our modest-sized tree. I didn't even buy anything for Julia, just got some stuff out of the closet that I was going to give her for her birthday, but didn't.  At this age, they don't tally and keep track. I know that as soon as she sees the 20 tubes of lip gloss tomorrow, she is going to be in heaven.

The stockings have just a few items in them. And once again, I am feeling pretty darn good about that.

What I am trying to say is that I really did scale it back in some ways, but not in others.  This thought kept playing in my head.

"You can never be too generous." I tell myself this all the time when I feel stinginess creep into my heart.

I gave more of myself in this past month than I have in past Christmases.  I am grateful for that and  for the opportunity to reflect on what is really important. I am grateful for friends who have put me in my place.  The idea of Santa is a wonderful thing and incredibly enough, I think I embraced it more this year than ever...but just in a different way. 

When you think about it, Santa Claus is an incredibly generous person. Instead of rejecting him, I have learned this holiday season to embrace him more fully and be grateful that his image is everywhere.  It will be a constant reminder in the future that I can never be too generous.

Santa Claus, the guardian of Christmas, is the embodiment of that ideal. 

And THAT is the spirit of Christ.


Lindh Family said...

GREAT post! Thanks for sharing.

likeschocolate said...

Yeah ! Merry Christmas!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...