Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy St Nicholas Day

Larry and I are trying to develop Christmas traditions for our family.  You can see my earlier post for some of the traditions we have started. In starting traditions, we have asked ourselves what it is that we want to teach our children about Christmas. We want to be very purposeful about what we are teaching them, not just going along with what culture or tradition tell us. We have examined the traditions that we grew up with and that our culture, even our church do to celebrate the Birth of our Savior. We have kept some and have chosen not to engage in others.

Our biggest desire is for our children to know Jesus through a personal relationship. We want them to celebrate His birth at Christmas. There is no need to teach a toddler to be selfish,  it comes naturally. But we are training them to be other focused, not self focused, especially during this season.  What we hope to get across to the children during this Christmas Holiday is to love and serve others, as Christ has loved us. At 3 and a half and 22 months, Eden and Josiah are just beginning to understand most of what we're trying to teach. We believe that the Word will not return void. Little minds absorb so much. Only God knows what Truths are being planted in their hearts each day we sing Christmas carols and talk about Jesus' birth and death.

Now what do we do with Santa? Larry and I have decided not to have Santa be a part of our children's Christmas tradition. That's not an easy task. People often ask our children what Santa's going to bring them or if they have been naughty or nice.  Santa is in all the stores, he even comes to the Christmas party for our church. He's everywhere this time of year.

At this point, I am the one to answer that Santa is not part of the way we celebrate Christmas. Most people just look at us strangely, others don't know what to say and it leads to a moment of uncomfortable silence. A few people have encouraged us and said we were doing well to teach our children the real meaning of Christmas. My hope is that I can be  a good example when responding to people's questions and that Eden and Josiah will learn from that how to respond with kindness and Truth to people's questions.

Eden is beginning to be aware of what is going on. We have told her other children celebrate with Santa, But that her Momma and Daddy are the ones who give her and Josiah their gifts. Then we tell her that all gift come from God. Everything we have comes from God. "OK mommy." is her response. No big deal, she takes us for our word and that is enough for her. The trust of a child is a blessed thing.

There are many reasons why we have come to this decision. I know there are extremes to this position. Please keep in mind, we're not trying to kill Santa, and No we do not believe that Santa is an acronym for Satan. Larry and I feel that legalism fuels most of that thinking. We don't think we're better Christians or more holy than families that do have Santa in their family traditions. We desire to have hearts that seek God and want our children to enjoy the holiday without the commercialised aspects that our society places upon it. We want Christmas to be about Jesus and His humble birth. And we always want to keep in mind the Cross behind the stable.

Last year, My cousin Kelly posted this about celebrating St Nickolas Day. I was intrigued. I had never heard of St. Nicholas Day. Another of my favorite blog Mom's Molly Sabourin, wrote about their families St. Nicholas day celebration.  Larry and I started to talk about it, and I  have done a little research on St Nick. I loved this article from St Nick was a feisty Christian. He was a man of conviction who was one of the writers of the Nicene Creed. We still don't want the commercialised Santa in our home. But the heretic slapping, children loving Bishop, St. Nick,.... I hope my children love him :)

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