I have to admit, I love Christmas and I always have. I have many nostalgic memories of growing up and spending time with my family; which has always been my favorite part. I always felt Christmas was a magical time and I wanted very much to believe that Santa and his reindeer were real. I was completely enchanted by the magic of Christmas: Santa travelling the whole world in one night to deliver presents, reindeer that could fly, waking up to a Christmas tree with presents spilling from underneath it and stockings full of candy, that magically appeared over night. Everything I knew about Christmas was magical – I knew very little of the story of Jesus and His birth because my family did not talk about it. I always saw the beautiful nativity scenes, but it meant nothing to me because it was not a story I knew well.
Christmas continued to be a magical and enchanting time for me, even as an adult. I continued the traditions of Santa Claus and an abundance of presents for my own children. I had to make sure that there were no presents under the tree until Christmas morning, as to recreate the tale that Santa actually came during the night. It was so important for me that they believe that it was Santa who brought the presents (with the exception of 1 or 2 special ones from my husband and I). I had them put out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, and reindeer food on the front lawn. I wanted to make the magic real for them, as it was for me. In my heart I wished still, that Santa was real, because how wonderful it would be if it was true. To me there was nothing like the magical tale of Santa on Christmas and the romance and grandeur of it all.
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
I loved everything about Christmas – the decorations, the lights, Christmas cards, cutting down our tree and putting up stockings, Christmas carols, baked goods and pumpkin pie. What’s not to love, right? Only a Grinch doesn’t love Christmas! The traditions of Christmas were very important to keep up with my own children. The best movies were the ones that really showcased the magic of Christmas: Santa. Santa is a magical figure. He is all-seeing and all-knowing. He is able to make enough presents for every girl and boy in the entire world at his secret workshop hidden by magic. He has little elves who are also magical creatures to do his bidding for him. He has reindeer and a sleigh that can fly around the world. He can defy space and time. He never ages and never dies. Not to mention he can go up and down a chimney with little effort, and if there is no chimney he can still get into a house to deliver presents. You might even say Santa is god-like. Of course I never thought of Santa that way. I just loved the magic of it. Now that I have been exposed to the spiritual realm and the truths of God, I can’t help but see Santa in a whole new light.
When my husband and I became Christian, almost 3 years ago, I realized how wrong I had been about Christmas for all of my life. There is no magic in Christmas. That is a lie from the devil to turn us away from hearing about the beautiful love story that Christmas really is. God sent His only son into the world as a helpless infant. Jesus came into the world, not as God, but as a nobody, and chose to die to save us from death and hell. Satan wants to keep us from celebrating this wonderful miracle of unconditional love, and keep us focused on magic and greed. I taught my children to be very self-centered when it came to Christmas. It was all about how much they could get and if it was good enough. They didn’t care about anything else. I did them a huge disservice by keeping the focus on Santa and what he will give them, and they still struggle with it today.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
It is so hard because the world bombards children with messages that feed the gimme, gimme, gimme attitude. Toy ads come in the mail full of all the great things kids “need”, TV shows are all about getting presents for Christmas, commercials are more toy ads. And Santa is just another symbol of what presents kids will get, which fuels the greedy fires inside. It’s just as bad for adults. Adults are rushing around giving, doing, serving. Giving to the point where it hurts, even when they have nothing left to give. Taking on more and more service projects and tasks without time to stop and rest or take care of their own families. Buying more and more presents for friends and family even when they can’t afford it, because it’s the thing to do. The world takes something beautiful like generosity, and twists it to make it a counterfeit of God’s loving kindness. People are stressed out, exhausted and angry by the time Christmas is over, because they have burnt themselves out over doing for others in an unhealthy way.
The world sends a message about a Christmas that is about indulging yourselves and getting swept away in magic. But the spirit of Christmas is so much more simple. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate gift. A gift that far surpasses anything I will ever see under a Christmas tree. Our Father in Heaven is a good Father, and He loves to give good gifts. He loves us so much, that He was willing to part with His one and only Son, Jesus, who was living a wonderful life in heaven. Yet God asked Jesus to forsake all He had known and come down to earth to be with His children for a season. Then, at the end of that time, Jesus died a criminal’s death on a cross. What love is this, that would die for us? Love that would suffer and be humiliated, despised and rejected by his own people, all for us? That is True Love.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
And who are we that we deserved Jesus to come to earth as a helpless baby? No one. We do not deserve anything from Jesus, not one shed tear, not one drop of blood. Yet Jesus gave it all, because in His eyes, we are worthy. Yes, to our loving God, we are worthy to be loved. What an amazing miracle. What a beautiful picture of grace and mercy. You see Christmas is not just a story of Jesus being born; it is a story of our perfect redemption and salvation from the God who created us. I stand in awe and amazement at our God. His perfect love has bought us for all eternity. That is what Christmas really means.
It is just like the devil to lie. He steals, kills and destroys, and that is his goal for Christmas. It has worked pretty well for many people. I see many Christians, who are caught up in the magic of Christmas and Santa. It is a long-standing family tradition brought in by the world. They see no harm in the fun that Santa and magic bring into Christmas. After all, magic isn’t real, and neither is Santa. It is just a wonderful tale and all in good fun. No, God does not hate Christmas or trees or people who celebrate Santa, but He does grieve His children getting lost in the magic that Satan has turned Christmas into. This is a counterfeit of the True Spirit of Christmas: Jesus.
Magic is real and it is a part of Satan’s grand plan to bring his realm into our homes. It harms our children, by teaching them that Santa can compete with Jesus for their affections. Santa is more tangible – you see him at the mall, on TV, on wrapping paper, decorations, and just about everywhere during December. Jesus is Spirit and often times children only hear about Him at church. Santa brings presents, magic, and fun. He has a magical tale being told year after year. Jesus story isn’t magical and can even seem quite ordinary to those who don’t understand the deeper meaning of what Jesus has done for us. Children may hear the story of Jesus birth year after year and become desensitized to how valuable the message is, while the story of Santa can be told 101 ways and never grow old.
Magic is seductive because it appeals to our senses and our desire to escape into a world that dulls the pain and boredom we face. When we teach children that magic is OK, we are teaching them to explore a world that turns us away from God and towards pleasure and sensuality. Magic is very real, and all around us. People are turning towards it daily, through the occult and new age practices that are so prevalent. If we are not careful to lead our children towards Christ and value Him above all, then they are in danger of being led astray by the many lies the world has to offer. Satan does not come dressed as a scary devil with horns, but instead wrapped up as everything you ever wanted. Let us not forget the Israelite’s and how they stopped teaching their children about God, and the following generations all fell away and into idol worship and paganism. It is an important example to use now, as we celebrate Christmas.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Christmas is a beautiful reflection of God the Father and His love and generosity. If we can keep the true Gift of Christmas in our hearts, I don’t believe it will offend God if you give your children gifts or put up a Christmas tree. I do think He would be hurt if you completely removed Him from Christmas, but Jesus is not so easily offended as we may think. He did not come and die so He could judge us, He came to give us freedom from sin and death and hell. The day will come when we are all judged before the throne of God. I would worry more about your heart and where you stand with Christ, then whether or not you celebrate Christmas. If you keep your intimacy with Him, the you will be right where He wants you to be. That is the deepest desire your heart so longs for. Come to God and give Him your life, your thanksgiving, your heart. Let Him show you His truth and cleanse you from whatever lies about Christmas you have been holding on to. He loves you dearly, and I pray this Christmas you are able to give Jesus all of you.
Christmas has a special place in my heart and I hope to be able to teach my children to see it the way I see it. For me Christmas is the light in the darkness. It is Jesus, the Light of the World. It is hope, freedom, redemption, love, peace, joy, generosity, and family. These are all things that describe our Lord Jesus. I have taught my children in the past that Christmas is all about getting and pleasure and magic. Slowly I am trying to rectify this and bring Truth into our home. For our family, Christmas has been redeemed, and it is all in thanks to Jesus for saving us. Thank you Lord, for bringing us out of darkness and into light!
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1 John 5:11