Thursday, December 1, 2011

Santa + Jesus = ?

I love Santa.  I love what he represents: joyful giving, love, surprise, magic, childhood, goodness and delight.

But Santa scares me.

What if my kids love Santa more than Jesus?  What if Santa eclipses the Reason for the Season?

On the other hand, what if I, in my Jesus love, squelch Santa and the fun of Christmas?

Can we all just get along?

What would Jesus say about Santa?  If they were hangin' out in our living room along about midnight, munching on Christmas cookies and sipping some milk, what would these two fellas have to say to each other?  I'm sure it wouldn't be a war of egos or one-up-manship.  I'm sure they'd get along.  Share a few laughs.  Commiserate about the workload in a kind-hearted, I-love-my-job kind of way.  I think they could peacefully co-exist.

Which is why I adore this idea: Santa's magic key.

Dear Santa, 
This magic key works just for you, 
Please open the door and come on through. 
Thank you for coming to our house tonight. 
We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. 
Thank you Santa for the gifts you bring. 
Thank you Lord for everything.

I love how this links the magic of Santa right into the miracle of Jesus.  (I also love that Santa can spare himself being squooshed in the chimney and toasting his toes on the embers of the fire.)  I love that it wraps the sentiments up in gratitude, for Santa's gifts on Christmas Eve and — more importantly — for all of God's gifts for all time.

This is something we could make with our kiddos (check out the link above for a tutorial on this quick and easy project), a prop for a conversation about all the things we celebrate at Christmas, a starting point to share our thoughts about Santa and Jesus and God.  A simple celebration of the season and a start of a new tradition.

There is a parallel connection that comes to mind, about giving God the key to our hearts, opening the door and asking him to come on through, make himself at home and help us share our gifts with others the whole year through.  I feel a poem coming on...

Dear Jesus,
This magic key works just for you,
It opens my heart, starts a relationship true.
Thank you for coming into my heart today,
For loving me and showing me your way.
Thank you for forgiveness, for making me new.
Guide my steps, show me what to do.
I love you, Lord, I love your grace.
I pray you are comfortable here in my heart space.

It's a little cheesy, but that never stopped me before.  Have fun looking for keys.  I'm going to start with our collection of unidentifiable keys in the junk drawer!

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