What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

27 November 2010

And Now the Good Stuff

Do I have any readers left? Yes? Great!

So now, having given my thoughts on all the ranting, I offer three ways to keep Christ in Christmas. (One at a time, of course; can't have you getting greedy!)

1. Tone down the gift-giving.

I'm not a parent, but I used to be a kid. And most of my friends are parents. And I have read one article after another in one magazine after another about "How do I keep my kid from being so selfish around Christmas?" And heard my aforementioned friends moaning about the same thing. And hey, I remember making my own Christmas list every year as a kid, too.

Call me crazy, but I'd say the way to keep your kid (and yourself) from a) acting selfish, b) focusing entirely on Santa, or c) completely forgetting about Jesus is: Don't encourage the opposite. I know a handful of families who have managed to do this. I'm looking forward to trying it myself. 

Besides, it hardly adds to our reputation in the world for Christians to go to the store, buy hundreds of dollars' worth of stuff that the kids will play with a few times, and then berate the clerk for saying "Happy Holidays". On the other hand, a "Merry Christmas!" or "God bless you!" in reply, given with a cheery smile and sincerely meant, and certainly accompanied by a "Thank you!", might just go a long way.


John Welsh said...

How can you keep Christ in something he was never originally in? I'm all for "cashing in" on the idea of Christ in Christmas in order to sow gospel seeds, but scoff or otherwise at a Christless Christmas is taking matters too far. I do however appreciate the sentiments. Just my thoughts :) JW

Timbra said...

can i just "like" this? . . . one thing I'm really struggling with this year is COMMERCIALS. . . so as much as possible we just let alani watch cartoons, etc on our wii netflix. If she isn't seeing the commercials, then I'm not hearing "oh. . I want THAT" every 6 minutes, in fact, she's not even thinking about her christmas list unless she's seeing a commercial and suddenly has to have something she's never even considered owning before! we also do NOT use "santa" as a guy who will or won't bring gifts based on behavior. . gotta be a parent all 12 months of the year and santa isn't incentive the other 11.

Su said...

@John: If there's one thing Americans are good at, it's taking things too far. I know this is far less of an issue on your side of the pond, but over here, it's a hot topic. And so I do my best with the culture I'm in. (Just to be clear: I'm not with the 'lets get angry and protest' crowd. This is my reaction to them.)

@Timbra: I don't remember what age I was-- around 10, I think-- but there was a point when I was a kid that I realised that those toy adverts were only on in November & December. And that's when it started bugging me.
I really *love* the parents who tell me stories about telling their kids 'Santa may be looking in the window right now!'. Or the 'Elf on a Shelf'-- he's cute, but geez, really? And of course, if I dare say I think that's a bad idea, I automatically don't know what I'm talking about. So I'm happy to hear that you have such a sensible approach. :)

Amie Kaufman said...

There's a tradition here in Australia called 'Carols by Candlelight'. Because it's so warm here, we gather in local parks with candles and some local musicians and we sing Christmas carols. There's a big, commerical version on TV, but the local versions are all about community and the tradition carols that reflect the origins of Christmas, not the coming of Santa.

Su said...

That sounds lovely.

Faith said...

We had an interesting time with gift-giving, growing up. My parents had very little money, but they always did their best to give us the best Christmas possible (Santa-free!). I remember receiving piles of gifts on Christmas that only now, looking back, I realize were often second-hand, or Dollar Store items, or donations. I think they also saved and saved and saved for Christmas time. But I have the best memories of those days, and Santa had nothing to do with it -- looking back, I appreciate even more how they worked so hard to keep the holiday focused on family and Jesus, even while giving us the best gifts they could.