Santa Claus may be coming to town, but not all are quick to allow him access to hearth and heart.
Oh, what are Christians to do with Santa?
It is a good question.
I imagine there exist Christian homes that emphasize Santa to the neglect of Christ, homes in which The Night Before Christmas is a more familiar story than the gospel and the North Pole has long since replaced Bethlehem as the birthplace of all good gifts.
I also imagine that there are those who loudly “amen’d” the church lady’s observation that Santa forms an anagram of Satan, homes in which no Christmas tree is found, but crosses are plentiful, and cookies and milk have been replaced by sacramental bread and juice.
I imagine such places exist.
But most of us do not live on these fringes.
Compiling thoughts on the Santa tradition has long been on my to-do list. However, in researching what was available, I found that a number of good resources already exist. Therefore, instead of feigning novelty, I thought that I would merely provide links to better thinking on the subject.
Perspectives on the danger of utilizing the Santa tradition
- Down with Santa by Thabiti Anyabwile
- Thinking about Santa by Noel Piper
- Santa Christ by Sinclair Ferguson
Perspectives on wisely navigating the dangers
- Santa, Strategically by The Village’s own Jen Wilkin
- What we tell our kids about Santa by Mark Driscoll
On another note, The Village will be emphasizing the Advent season this year. Though markedly different, Advent shares with the Christmas holiday a commemoration of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. At its best, Christmas is a celebration and demonstration of the greatest of Christian motifs and themes as lights, gifts, feasting and festivities are inherent to the Christian tradition.
As R.C. Sproul notes in Marley and his Message to Scrooge, let us not ourselves become Scrooges in our desire to redeem a holiday contemporarily marked by excessive consumerism and clutter.