My kids weren’t raised to believe in Santa. At first it wasn’t really about Jesus or religion, it was mostly because of how I had felt as a child when I found out there was no Santa and my parents had been lying all of us. It really impacted me and I could not rationalize lying to my kids like that. So, they always knew.
As I became more and more entrenched in Christianity, Christmas became more of a religious thing. We basically ignored Santa and focused on the “reason for the season,” Jesus. Why put any energy into someone who was make-believe when you had the savior of the world to celebrate? I know…I know. And yes, I did make a cake on Christmas Eve and yes, we lit candles and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. It was always red velvet cake too—you know, to represent his blood shed for us…ugh, I feel like I need a shower now.
It gets worse. First though, I want to touch upon another cringe-worthy symbol, one that is seen around Christmas time–the Santa kneeling at the manger of Jesus. When I was a Christian I didn’t like it because, you know, Santa’s not real. I know…I know. As a non-believer, it actually makes sense. You know, two pretend characters coming together—one brings toys and the other brings peace and salvation, kind of like the dynamic duo…yes, indeed; it makes total sense.
Now, let me get to the “worse” part. As I considered the ridiculousness of Santa worshiping the baby Jesus, I unfortunately remembered something that happened when my older daughter was about two. We had just finished up Christmas shopping at Target and she was getting a little antsy. We were at the check out counter and I was trying to get her to sit down in the cart. That’s when the cashier said to her, “You’d better be good. What would Santa think?” My little girl looked utterly confused. My kids always thought it was weird when adults would talk about Santa like he was real…pshhh, ridiculous! I stopped and looked at the cashier and valiantly said, “We prefer to worry about what Jesus would think,” as I smiled at her, took my receipt, and walked piously away. Ahhhhhhh…slaps self on forehead…I did NOT say that to her…yes I did. I can’t even express how obviously ironic that statement is to me now.
What is that sound? Why it’s the cringe heard ‘round the world…