After typing the title to this article, "A Christian's Letter to Santa," it hit me that there are brothers in sisters in the body of Christ who would immediately assert, "A Christian would never write Santa" or even "A Christian would never celebrate Christmas." For instance, after posting a quick "Merry Christmas from the Antrim Church of Christ!" (followed by four applicable scriptures) on our Facebook page, one saint commented:
Is this the true church of Christ who celebrate xmas? Church of Christ does not do such thing.
Although he hasn't taken me up on my offer to discuss it, I do not question that an argument can be made for not celebrating a holiday whose date (and some customs) have pagan connections. Additionally, I do think that certain aspects of the American Santa Claus tradition are problematic…but I'm not going to potentially start any firestorm here. 🙂
Luckily, the Bible allows for differing views on the holiday:
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ (Colossians 2:16-17, English Standard Version).
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord (Romans 14:5-6a).
So, that gentleman can consider Christmas like any other day…and we can see it as a time to recognize the incredible gift that God gave us…a gift that began with the day a virgin bore a child…
So putting all the "should we/shouldn't we" stuff aside, if you wrote a letter to Santa, what would you ask for? If that's not your style, what did you want for Christmas this year? Did you get it?
Did you need it? 🙂
Christmas Eve day there was a depressing article that came through my Twitter feed about the results from a survey of 2,000 British parents regarding what their kids wanted for Christmas. The list starts off pretty normally with a new baby brother or sister at the top, "closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer."1
Hmmm, did I say it started off normally? I can't remember every wanting a reindeer and I don't think Augie, Mikey, Jenn, or April ever asked for one. 🙂
However, it didn't take long before it went from slightly odd to sad:
Despite their material requests, the tenth most popular Christmas wish on the list was a “Dad”.2
There is no way a dad could have ranked so high unless it was reflective of something that Great Britain has in common with America: absent fathers. There are many possible reasons: divorce, the open acceptance of out-of-wedlock births, lionizing single parent-hood (and the government funding and encouraging it), Hollywood actresses glamorizing partner-less pregnancies and adoption…
And that's just the beginning of the list.
But even with all our modern attempts to redefine marriage and the family unit, children instinctively desire it the way God designed it: husband, wife, and kids. There is a "hole" where dad should be, and no bit of contemporary nonsense about how non-traditional families are just as good will fill it.
And as you can see, children also prefer that "kids" is plural. 🙂
Now, a quick aside before anyone takes what I've written wrong. If you are (or have been) a single parent I am not judging you. I don't know what led to it, and only God can decide if your situation is (or was) because you sinned. Regardless, God is the forgiving type and is a master out of making lemonade from lemons. Also, as someone who has been divorced (having children with my first wife), I can assure you I realize I would be casting stones in a glass house.
However, I will judge a society that has turned its back on God and embraced the "me generation" "instant gratification/instant pain removal" approach to relationships and families. We are cursing our descendants to ever-deteriorating familial units, and its always the children who suffer most. As someone whose parents were divorced, I can confirm that too.
But, returning to how we started…
Imagine you are eight years old again and sitting at the table with hot cocoa, a pen, and paper. You begin writing…
I've been really good this year. Mom promises we'll have your favorite cookies and some milk waiting for you.
What I'd like for Christmas is…
How would you finish it?
Now imagine you knew, as an eight year old, what you know now. What do you ask for?
Having a father be one of the top ten requests of children in England appears to corroborate that our world is in a downward spiral, so perhaps what we should ask for most…and not from Santa Claus…is communicated by Revelation 22:20:
He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
1 Furness, H. (2012, December 24). A "dad" is tenth most popular Christmas list request for children. The Telegraph. Retrieved December 27, 2012, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/9764688/A-dad-is-tenth-most-popular-Christmas-list-request-for-children.html