Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Letter to My Children This Christmas

Dear ones,
We got a lot of flack from both sets of our parents for "ruining Christmas" and "denying you the magic of childhood and believing" when we didn't "do Santa Claus" with you as children—didn't tell you that he was real... and watching you... and giving you gifts based on your behavior. 

We didn't have a John Piper article (see below) to support us or help us feel like we weren't freaks... we just knew that we didn't want this god-like man, Santa Claus—all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent, omnipotent—to figure into your thinking in any way about God. 

If we had chosen to "do the Santa thing" (which everyone around us was doing, and encouraging us to do!), we knew it was possible that it could cause a stumbling block to your young faith, a thing we weren't willing to risk. 

When push came to shove, we were unwilling to have your experience come down to this: When Santa (and the Easter Bunny... and the Tooth Fairy...) all turned out to be fabrications—untrue things we'd told you were true, and helped you believe, even—we didn't want you to doubt God, too. After all, every other too-good-to-be-true, invisible being we had told you about turned out to actually be too good to be true! We didn't want the truths you'd learned about the *true* all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent, omnipotent Being (the Way, the Truth, and the Life: for real and true!) to be compromised by our letting Him share the glory (and pieces of your heart. and affections. and love.) with other beings who were lies. 

We believe we did the right thing. We really hope you never felt gypped to have learned about the true Saint Nicholas, yes, but to have celebrated and worshiped and adored the coming of Jesus, instead!

Here are John Piper's thoughts on the matter, from his recent "Ask Pastor John" podcast called Rethinking Santa. Click on the link to have a listen.

Oh, my sweet children, how I love all of you! It's interesting—and a little hard, in a bittersweet way—walking through this particular Christmas... celebrating with you for the last time as just our little family of six. Over the coming years, our little family will expand into "extended family" as you each leave our home to start your own little family units of living and learning and teaching and traditions and celebrating. I rejoice with you through the growing pains, and I look forward to seeing how you guys honor the coming of the Savior of the world in your own homes one day. For now, though—this one last time—let's do it all this way

Merry Christmas, my little sugarplums. I love you! 

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