He’s making a list.
Checking it twice.
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice …
The big red guy – Santa – is on his way. And he’s been watching!
For some parents, I guess Santa is a bit of a life jacket. In all the craziness of the end of the year, and the tiredness of kids and the feral behaviour that can follow, Santa provides a handy carrot to dangle to make sure they behave.
Because kids will do (almost) anything to make sure they get on that coveted “nice” list which means they get presents instead of coal.
Thinking about Santa in our house
As a parent of young kids (1 & 3), I’m aware that at some point, my 3 year old is going to be asking me more questions about Santa.
In our home, we haven’t really pushed Santa either way. I’m almost waiting for him be mentioned by my child first.
My first concern is that my children know that Christmas is all about celebrating Jesus. But I know that’s not the only message they’ll hear.
Can Santa and Jesus really mix?
How can I, as a Christian parent, help my child understand what Christmas is all about (Jesus), knowing that he’s going to be exposed to several other messages in our culture (Santa, family, giving, eat a big turkey)?
For some, Santa brings magic and joy and wonder to Christmas. And that’s lovely!
And for others, Santa can’t even be mentioned because clearly Jesus is the only reason for the season.
Realistically, I can’t avoid Santa. He’s an integral part of our culture’s Christmas ritual. So the next best thing to do? Use Santa to illustrate the good news of Jesus!
Redeeming a cultural myth with gospel truth
For starters, here’s a lead in question: if God had a ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ list like Mr Claus, which list would we find our names on? What would make us good enough to be on God’s “nice” list? And is there a way to move from one to the other?
I’m not the first person to think of this. But I’ve found someone who has not only thought about it, they’ve gone ahead and written this fantastic book that shows the stunning grace found in the good news of Jesus that even Santa can’t outshine.
‘When Santa Learned the Gospel’ – a fantastic resource
Christian author Simon Camilleri wrote and self-published, ‘When Santa Learned the Gospel’. It’s written as a poem, and beautifully illustrated throughout. It, very cleverly, brings the gospel truth to the Santa story.
Here’s a little peek at how the gospel is so wonderfully presented:
“Instead of being written off as just not good enough,
the message to the naughty list was one of grace and love.
The gospel offered mercy to all those deserving coal.
The gospel offered forgiveness and cleansing of the soul.
The gospel told how Jesus died our death to pay the price.
To reconcile us all to God – both naughty and the nice.
This offer was a real gift, unlike presents ‘neath the tree.
It was not earned by being good.
God offered it for free.”
You can go and read the whole thing here: https://www.santagospel.com/index.php/the-story/
And once you’ve done that, go and buy the book (or several to give to your friends) from here: https://www.koorong.com/search/product/when-santa-learned-the-gospel-simon-camilleri/9780995417601.jhtml
And follow the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/whensantalearnedthegospel/
You can even incorporate it into your church’s carols event. Check out the Facebook page for more information.
So if you’re like me and you want a way to acknowledge culture, but redeem it for a gospel purpose, I reckon you can’t go wrong with this beautiful book.
Praise God that his free gift to us in Jesus means that we can be on the “nice” list and never be separated from Him by sin again.
Sarah Urmston is a follower of Jesus whose current season of life sees her fully occupied by raising two gorgeous young children with her husband Stephen. In moments when time allows for pursuits of the heart, Sarah loves to keep in touch with friends (especially thanks to Facebook), sing and play piano, and enjoy a good cup of tea.
Sarah Urmston previous articles may be viewed http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/sarah-urmston.html