Halloween and Christmas, Christians swimming upstream…

Frankly, I don’t understand the affinity that adults have with ‘Trick or Treat’.
I saw on the news this morning, little bitty kids, who can hardly walk dressed in costumes to go trick or treating.
I have 5 kids (3 natural; 2 adopted) all pretty much grown and gone. With our two oldest daughters, we started them ‘giving out’ goodies at Halloween but not going themselves. After all, they got to share in the bounty they were distributing. This lasted until they were about 6 and 7 respectively, at which time one of their uncles asked if he could carry them ‘trick or treating’ with their cousins.
Not wanting to be hard-nosed, we relented. The rest is history; they were hooked. My desire was not to change the world, just NOT to celebrate the dark side.

I was more adamant about Santa Claus. We have never had Santa at our house!   Have I ever taken heat for that!  We have endured the scorn of parents and church members alike. Now, don’t get me wrong! We gave gifts and the kids got surprise gifts on Christmas morning but we never affirmed Santa.  After being told by members of our church that we should be ashamed, I asked my adult children if they had felt left out of Christmas by not having Santa.  Not one of them expressed regrets.

Several examples about how entrenched society is into Santa Claus:

My kids, each in turn would come home from school telling us that ‘we were wrong, there IS a Santa Claus’ because their friends told them so. We never told them that their friends were wrong. We had told them the truth and we knew they would remember that.

One day when Andrew was about seven, a man at church asked him, “What’s Santa bringing you sonny?” He looked up at me as if to say, “How do I respond to that dad?” I looked at him and said, “It’s OK to pretend with adults.” So, he began to tell the guy what he wanted for Christmas.

The most harsh challenge came from a church I pastored. I almost lost my job the first year because I replaced Santa.
I was asked if I would arrange for the distribution of gifts to the children at the church Christmas party. I agreed and arranged for ‘three wise men’ to give gifts. I thought things went well; the children enjoyed it, but the parents said I had broken a tradition of the church. I told them they should have handled it themselves; I knew nothing of their traditions.

So, what’s wrong with Santa?  The emphasis robs Christmas of it’s real meaning!  After all, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is  from above, and comes down from the Father…”  James 1:17

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