This morning I went to Target to get a few last minute supplies needed for our Christmas party at our house tonight. It's for our church small group and we were expecting up to 40 people to join us for dinner and games. Of course I didn't make the dinner or provide the games, but we did provide the space and the plates, silverware, and cups. Which is why I needed to run to the store.
While there I picked up another thing or two on my shopping list and I'd like to say I'm now DONE with Christmas shopping. I also took the opportunity to find a roll of wrapping paper that the kids haven't seen before so the gifts "from Santa" would be different. Yes, we do the Santa thing... but that's not even what this post is about, really.
So while I'm at Target I look through wrapping paper thinking I'll get something with a more Christian slant than secular Christmas and I find that there's not really that option. "Merry Christmas", snowflakes, snowmen, Santa faces, and even Hannah Montana... but not stars, nativity, angels, or something of that nature. Knowing I had no choice of shopping around I bought one with snowflakes on it and went for the plates. Again, snowmen, Santa, Christmas trees, and holly... but no Jesus. No nativity. Not even any angels.
I looked for some sticky labels to label gifts with. Something cute for family and friends and something inexpensive but telling for the family gifts. Snowmen, "Merry Christmas", Santa... no Jesus. No Christianity. Just secular Christmas.
I spent $0.99 on some sticky labels (bypassed the 'cute' ones for family because I didn't want to give them a Santa face) and $3 on a roll of wrapping paper. I already had some snowman plates and napkins from a mix-up at K's school so I had really gone to get the remaining amount of those same plates and napkins to make the difference of what I had vs. what I needed.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that all that's out is 'secular Christmas', but I AM. And I'm sad too... I'm looking around my house and I see that the nativity is on the top of the china cabinet in the box it was put into last year and not out on a table. Granted it's china... and it would be broken down on the table with my crew this year, but it's hidden away. The stockings by the fireplace are cute and 2 were gifts to us, the other 2 were "dollar bargain" stockings we purchased last year. Then Mike's and mine are monogrammed. The kids stockings? Snowmen, snowmen, snowman, reindeer. Where's Jesus?
Even the Advent calendars that were given to the kids to count down until Christmas this year... Santa... presents... no Jesus. We're counting down to the birth of Christ with Santa and chocolate? Something is wrong here.
So tonight I'm putting away the board books that talk about Santa's visit. I'm bringing the "Animals' first Christmas" and "Jesus' Birth" to the top of the stack. The ANGEL for our Christmas tree won't be put on top until Christmas Eve (our family tradition), but I will be sure to tell the story of Christ twice for every time that Santa comes up. (No, I'm not kidding...)
And though I think that Santa is pretty much a harmless and fun part of the Christmas tradition, I think that "Momma's version" of why Santa comes that night will be told instead of the Night Before Christmas.
The one and ONLY reason that we celebrate CHRISTmas is because CHRIST came to the world to live the perfect and sinless life, to die on the cross while holding MY (and everyone else's) sins, to defeat death and the grave in His resurrection and to prepare the way for us to come to the Father through his sacrifice. Santa is a cute afterthought and to MY family another person that is celebrating Jesus' birth by giving gifts on that very special day...
Ok, glad I got that out of my system!