I’m all for Santa, stockings, cookies and milk by the fireplace, presents, a Christmas tree with lights and ornaments, and all the other traditions that make Christmas a magical time for children.
If you are a Christian, Christmas can be so much more.
My two-and-a-half year old son and I were at Target a couple days ago and when we went to check out, he said, “there’s Santa!” I could understand his confusion, as the Target employee was wearing red and, frankly, looked a lot like Santa.
Unlike the guy at Target, however, who was most definitely real, Santa—and everything that comes with him—is a fable. This commercial version of Christmas is the world’s creation and, ultimately, is a whole lot of fanfare for a thrill that fades surprisingly quickly each year. After all, within just months, preparation for the next Christmas must begin, and it better top the previous experience, in strings of lights, size of the tree, and of course the number of presents. The law of diminishing returns and all that.
But for those who believe in and follow Jesus, it can and should be so much more.
Christmas is not about a chubby man named Santa, and it is not about being good enough to get presents under a Christmas tree that sparkles with tinsel and twinkle lights. Christmas is about a little baby named Jesus, a Savior who came to be righteousness on our behalf, and who died on a tree darkened by His blood.
Christmas is coming. Don’t miss it. When you are wrapping presents, don’t neglect His presence. When you are marveling at the neighborhood Christmas lights, don’t miss the wonder of the shining star that led to a manger. When you are opening gifts, remember the ultimate gift, paid for in blood. And if you have children, please don’t miss the opportunity to share and celebrate the lasting message of Christmas with them. Draw their attention to the parallels and work to soften their hearts to the main event. Commemorate and celebrate with them the birth of a Savior, who made his grand but humble entrance to earth 2000 years ago, born in a manger.
Christmas can be so much more.