One reason I think my blog has been so quiet these last few weeks (aside from sick kids, pregnant mama, and all the activity of the season) is that I've been wrestling again over the whole issue of "Santa". I am not doubting our decision to tell our kids the truth at all. (You can read about how we handle Santa here.) What I've wrestled with is how I see Santa pushed so fervently on my kids from everyone else and yet a "be careful what you say" when it comes to talking about Jesus, especially in schools.
Rylee goes to a public charter school. I don't expect the story of Jesus to be taught to her at school. But, I also wasn't prepared for how much they push Santa and all the secularized pieces of Christmas.
A decade ago I remember hearing things about schools having "holiday parties" or "winter celebrations" or winter/holiday break instead of Christmas Break. There was a push to take the emphasis off Christmas because not all students celebrated Christmas. This was met with opposition, but I understood it. In fact, I'm not offended at ALL when someone in a store says "Happy Holidays" to me; I like it!
This year I was struck by how much Santa was included in Rylee's school and just how adamant some teachers are about him being real, reindeer, elves, etc. (even when a kid says to them "Santa's not real"). I think I've decided I'd just rather them call it a holiday party and be totally generic than to skew Christmas so much--being adamant about the lies--and only include the parts that have nothing to do with Jesus.
I'm probably sounding very cynical. I vacillate these days between a rich adoration of the Christmas story and irritation at the way it's been covered up with so many other things. For me personally, this is the most wonderful time of the year --because I ponder the Christ-child, Emmanuel, God with Us, for a whole 4 weeks in earnest. I want to be able to accept the 'other stuff' without being frustrated. But, alas, I'm human and have a flesh. I want the love of Jesus that I celebrate to so penetrate my heart that I'm not at all frustrated with those who don't see it or have it or celebrate it, but that I will have absolute love for them all.
Maybe I'm more prickled by it because I have a 6 year old (and two 4 year olds) who I want to teach and train about Jesus' love and she keeps hearing other adults she trusts tell her Santa is real.