Austin and I have never done the Santa thing with our kids, aside from watching the typical Santa Clause movies and Rudolph. Elf on the Shelf has only been out for a few years, and you can guess that we don’t do that either. I know there is huge debate over whether or not Christians should play along with Santa or Elf on the Shelf.
The Great Santa Debate
Some hold the position that playing along with this fantasy takes the focus away from Christ. I have actually heard some Christians liken Santa to satan. That is one position I can’t get behind. I get it if you are saying that focusing on a make believe character is taking away from your ability to focus on Christ. I just can’t see a benevolent man in a big red suit being the devil. No offense to those that do.
Others say it helps children with their belief in Christ. I know this is a positions some take, but I haven’t read the position enough to understand it and explain it to you. I believe that God uses all things in our lives to direct us to Him, even if it is jolly old Saint Nick.
Where I Fall in the Debate
Austin and I have the most anti-climactic reason for not doing the man in red or the Elf on the Shelf. Our position can be summed up into 6 words: Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat. See, I told you…completely anti-climactic. Keelie and Austin, why don’t you do Santa? We’re lazy.
I can’t keep up with a Christmas countdown. How can I keep up with moving an elf every day?
Take a look at this Christmas countdown block that I made last year at a Mops meeting. Do you see how many days it says there are until Christmas? I’m no math genius, but seeing as how today is the 8th day of December, I’m betting there are less than 24 days until Christmas.
I put that block up when we decorated our house on Thanksgiving day. We didn’t even write a number on it until the beginning of December. Since the first time we wrote on it, we haven’t changed it…not even once.
Let me ask you this, if I can’t keep up with a Christmas countdown, do you think I have the skills to keep up with Elf on the Shelf? How about keeping up with playing the Santa game? Yeah…no.
I’m Not Against Santa or Elf on the Shelf
Let’s just get this straight. I’m not against anyone that chooses to use elves or old St. Nick to keep their little ones in line during Christmas. I wish I had some kind of leverage over my kids during one month a year that implored them to be well behaved.
When it comes to the Elf on the shelf, I love seeing pictures of everybody’s elves trashing their homes. It makes laugh and I love the creativity that goes into it.
You know what else I love? The Santa Clause with Tim Allen. We’ve watched all of them. I don’t ban the big man in red around here. If my kids get a chance to sit on Santa’s lap, then I let them.
We Put Our Focus On Other Things
I know, some of you are reading my position and thinking “You guys suck at parenting. Where is your sense of filling your kids with wonder and magic during the season?”. If you take a look at this picture of my fireplace, then you know I am not a Grinch. We put our focus on other things during the month of December.
We almost never have more than $200 to spend on every present we give during the holiday season. That include our children, each other, extended family, and friends. This year has been tough financially, so that number is even less. For that reason, I do a lot of handmade items every year. I don’t have time to mess around with an elf, or come up with big stories feeding the fantasy and wonder of the man in red.
You can go HERE and read about how encouraged I felt last year by my son regarding how handmade Christmas presents are the best. You can also check out my gift idea section for creative ideas. I put my focus on blessing those around me with my crafting and baking skills.
Remembering the Reason For the Season
No matter how you choose to celebrate this time of year, we should all remember the reason for the season. I could write a whole post on how I think we have lost our focus of Christ. I don’t really think it has much to do with St. Nicholas or elves as part of our decor.
It isn’t our job as Christians to make everyone around us believe the way we do. If God has given you clear convictions of how to celebrate Christmas and how not to celebrate His birth, then you need to be obedient. That doesn’t mean that you need to start fights on Facebook over whether or not it is right to teach your kids to believe in old Saint Nick.
As believers in Christ during this season and all times of the year, it is our job to show love to the world. The Bible says in John 13:35 that the world will know we are disciples of Christ by loving each other. Whatever it looks like to you to show love to others, do that this Christmas.
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