You Can Experience the Joy of Christmas All Year Long

I have a confession to make. I never believed in Santa.

Yup, that’s right, I grew up in a home with parents that taught us that Santa wasn’t real, and because we didn’t believe in him, he never visited our home and he didn’t leave us any presents. 

When I was a little girl an old man asked me, “What’s Santa bringing you for Christmas?”  

My response was, “Nothing, he’s a big, fat phony!”

I can only imagine the shock on that poor man’s face. Although, I’m sure my mom was quite proud. She was raising children that knew the true reason we celebrate Christmas, rather than giving the imposter in the red suit all the credit. 

I’ve since learned that it is possible to enjoy the traditions of Christmas, and yes, even allow Santa into my home, while still elevating Jesus. He is always at the center of the reason why we celebrate. 

When our son was about two years old, my husband persuaded me to do the Santa thing. It was rough for me, at first, and felt completely unnatural. I was quite reluctant, but I did eventually get the hang of it. It was important to me that we find a way to balance the so-called magic of the season with the true reason for the season: J-E-S-U-S.

In fact, the traditions that society tends to keep this time of year are actually Jesus-centric. As a culture, we get it right in a lot of areas. We use this time of year to be a little nicer, spread a little extra cheer, spend more time with the people we love, donate to charities, take care of the needy and poor, go to church, and maybe even think about Jesus.

The thing is, Jesus isn’t meant to be taken out just once a year, and then hidden again until next year, like that popular Christmas elf kids love. 

My daughter had one. I didn’t want to do it. Yes, I was anti-elf, too (bah humbug); but my wonderful parents (the same ones who didn’t celebrate Santa) bought an elf for her several Christmases ago. 

Every year, “Snowflake” would appear out of nowhere the morning after Thanksgiving, and my daughter would be so excited! Snowflake and my daughter would communicate with letters, and of course, play hide-and-seek each day throughout December, but she could never touch the elf. On Christmas Eve, she was allowed to hug Snowflake goodbye. 

Last year, my daughter never even mentioned Snowflake. Snowflake never returned and she didn’t even flinch. She had grown up and grown out of the elf. I’ll admit, despite my reluctance to get an elf originally, I had come to love watching her face light up each morning as she searched for Snowflake, and it made me sad that my baby girl was growing up.

Thankfully, Jesus isn’t like a Christmas elf that only comes around once a year, and then when Christmas is over we hide him in the back of our closet until next year. 

First of all, Jesus is real. 

And He is someone we are to experience life with every day, all year long.

While celebrating Christmas is enjoyable, and a great reminder of the precious gift God gave us, let us remember to keep Jesus with us long after we unwrap the presents, put away the ornaments, and take down the lights and trees.

The big difference between Santa and Jesus is that Santa shows up once a year, and Jesus is here to stay with us for all eternity. I know a lot of kids are super excited for tomorrow night, for Santa to come in his sleigh and bring presents for all the good girls and boys.  It’s when they’re going to find out who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.

Friends, let me tell you what is so great about Jesus! 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been naughty or nice. 

The gift that God gave us through Jesus Christ, his son, is for everyone – every man, every woman, every child – no matter how good you have been and no matter how much you’ve messed up. This is the best gift you could ever receive! Now, isn’t that great news?

I hope you enjoy the next couple days with your loved ones, and that you feel all the warmth and joy and peace that this season is meant to bring, but most of all I pray that you experience those same feelings all the rest of the year, as you let the Holy Spirit fill you with his love. 


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