Today we are going to be talking about the collision between Christmas and Christianity.
Should Christians celebrate Christmas? This is a very controversial topic and if you have been struggling with whether you and your family should be celebrating Christmas just know that you are not alone, we wrestled with the same things when we were early on in our marriage and parenting.
In this episode, we are going to share our story with celebrating Christmas and four keys to help you decide for you and your family! We will also give you some ideas for traditions you can implement, and some of our favorite resources!
We are going to share a biblical approach to Christmas and because this is a controversial topic some of you will probably disagree with us and that’s okay! We do not have to agree on everything.
So, the first and most important thing and something that I’m sure we will all agree on is that we want our kids to have an understanding of Jesus’ birth during Christmas and we want the focus to be on Christ. This can be hard to do especially in today’s culture where the main focus is on presents and Santa.
There are hundreds of parents just like you that are wanting answers, wrestling with things, feeling convicted about some things and in a very similar place that you might be in.
So wherever you are, don’t feel alone, and hopefully, this podcast will be an encouragement to you, maybe a challenge to you and maybe give you some ideas that you and your spouse can talk about and discuss because we want you guys to be in alignment in whatever you decide to do.
we are also going to give you scriptures that you can use with your family because if your kids understand the birth of Jesus but don’t understand the bible then they do not understand the meaning of Christmas.
What is the point of Jesus being born if they don’t know the end of the story and how Jesus is our access to God. if they do not intimately know and understand the great news in their own lives it is going to be very very hard to keep their focus on what matters during Christmas.
So let’s dive in!
Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?
Santa Vs. Grinch
Make Christmas About Christ
Parental Peer Pressure
1. Santa Vs. Grinch
- Some people are obsessed with Christmas and all the activities that come with it such as Santa clause, food, presents, parties and Christmas lights. Now we love putting up Christmas lights and there is nothing wrong with most of these Christmas activities but the point we are trying to make and the question you need to ask yourself as we talk about all these different ideas and topics is how much energy and effort are you spending on those things that are potentially making you so exhausted or occupied that you have nothing left to be able to bring your kids back to the true meaning of Christmas and the eternal purpose behind it?
- On the topic of Christmas, there are two ends to the spectrum. There are the people who are into Santa and the whole Christmas culture shabang and on the other side you have the group of Christians that some might refer to as grinchy who don’t celebrate Christmas because its a pagan holiday to the degree that they don’t do anything at all, no presents no tree to decorations, nothing.
- Now, if this is your approach, we love you and do not mean to offend you but it is impossible to make everyone happy. If you decide not to do anything for Christmas and then your kids get older and watch the movie the grinch, what are they going to think? Will they think that you are the grinch? Just a thought.
- Why not have some good traditions and bring amazing meaning to Christmas? Now some may argue “well, we heard your podcast on Halloween and you said not to participate in it at all except for being a light and giving out candy with bible verses.” here’s the thing. Christmas is very very different from Halloween. Halloween was based on demonic ideas and Christmas is about the birth of Christ!
- We may not know that December 25th is the real day that Jesus was born but are we going to get so nitty-gritty and technical that we miss out on the meaning which is to celebrate Christ our Lord? Do you think that Jesus wants to be celebrated? Don’t you think that he wants his son to be glorified, magnified by the whole world? Of course, He does!
- Christmas is about Christ and so don’t you think that God is for anything that magnifies his son and magnifies him right?
- We do not believe in lying to our kids about Santa, we talk to our kids about Santa but we do not tell them that he is real and that some dead guy is still alive and comes into our homes at night to deliver gifts. We do not tell them that he keeps a naughty and nice list to manipulate our kids into obedience. These are things that in our family we have felt a deep conviction about.
- There was a time when we did not have a strong confident way to communicate this and we can now because we have had experience. We used to do Santa! When we were new parents and still figuring out where we stand on things we did do the whole Santa shabang. All of our friends were doing it and we felt peer pressure and so we did it.
- It wasn’t until we were reading certain scriptures that we started feeling convicted, and aside from that, we were getting exhausted! We have eight kids now but at the time with only a few kids we were exhausted! Doing cookies, decorations, Christmas trees, parties, white elephant gifts and more! It’s exhausting.
- A half-lie is a full lie. If you lie to your kids about Santa and then they find out he doesn’t exist you could potentially be compromising the trust you have with your children and then when you try to teach them to have faith in God what do you suspect your kids will do?
- Kids are very black and white and they will believe what you tell them but that trust can be easily broken!
- Matthew 5:37 says “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
- Matthew 18:6 says “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
- We tell our kids not to talk about Santa with other children because if a child finds out the truth from their friends then their trust in their parents can be diminished. We tell our children that it is their parents’ decision when they tell them the truth and not their place to spill the beans.
- After we felt convicted of lying to our children we told them the truth and apologized. We also explained to them that it can be easy to do what the rest of the culture is doing but a lot of the time God doesn’t want you to do the things everyone else is doing. And we equipped them and shared scripture on renewing our minds and not being transformed by the world.
- Exodus 20:3-4 says “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
- This is an important verse to share with your children because we could potentially be accidentally allowing idols to pop up in our life without recognizing it. Sadly some Christmas traditions have become idols for families so if that is something you might have grown up with when you were a child then you need to evaluate if that is a legacy you want to continue in your family!
- We do stockings, trees, and presents but we make sure that they do not become idols.
- Now let’s talk about media for a bit. A question that you probably have is whether we let our kids watch movies with Santa depicted in it. For us, we’ve been careful about what we let our children watch and things have changed over the years. We grew up watching certain things and remember thinking they were okay and so we would watch the movies we grew up watching with our children but after watching them again we realized how we were so blind as children and didn’t realize how awful most of the shows were! So we have a list of things that our children are not allowed to watch but yes, we do allow our kids to watch movies with Santa in them because they know the truth! They know that Santa is nothing more than a fictional character.
2. Make Christmas About Christ
- The first thing you have to do is test your children’s hearts about Christmas. You do this by asking questions such as “when you think about Christmas what is the first thing that comes to your mind?” “What is the meaning of Christmas?” “What is your favorite part of Christmas?” these are questions you should be asking your children every year!
- Here’s the challenge. Before you teach your kids about Christmas ask them those questions so that you can get an accurate answer. As parents, we naturally want the correct answers from our children but if you teach about it and then ask them right after you’ve talked about it you probably won’t ever know where they truly stand or where they stood before they were educated.
- Of course, we need to focus on the birth of Christ that is what Christmas is about but if they don’t understand the gospel, if they don’t understand what Jesus was sent to do then your children won’t understand why the birth of Jesus was important and why we celebrate it at all?
- Christmas is a crazy season and everyone around you is constantly talking about parties gifts and worldly things which can make it far to easy to create idols and lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas which is why it is important to be in the word and constantly reminding your children of the true meaning. One thing we have done over the years is an advent calendar, these will help you stay on track and focused on the birth of Christ. Every day you read a piece of scripture about the birth of christ and discuss it with your kids!
- We do a tree just because of its a great tradition! It’s beautiful it brings a great smell into the house, it’s nostalgic and for us its not an idol we would be fine if we didn’t do a tree our perspective on Christmas trees is similar to our perspective on pumpkins. Satan didn’t create pumpkins, and satan didn’t create trees because he does not have the power to create anything! God created trees, and for us, we like having a tree! Every year after Christmas we take our tree and one of our boys will turn it into a resurrection cross for easter! And for us, that is kind of why we like to have a tree because it brings both the resurrection and the birth of Christ into the picture!
- We also do presents and gifts under the tree! We do our best to instill a spirit of thankfulness in our children and make sure that they are not making gifts an idol but at the end of the day who doesn’t love giving gifts? It’s fun and exciting and it brings us together as a family. And we don’t do gifts in the spirit of Christmas or st nick but the spirit if christ and how he gave us the ultimate gift by coming into the world and giving himself for us! So when we are giving gifts it’s in the name of Jesus and God the Father who gives good gifts to his children! So why wouldn’t you want to give a gift to your child? We are the image-bearers of God the father to our children and if God is a father who loves to give gifts to his children then why shouldn’t we want to give gifts to our children?
- We also do stockings and stockings kind of fall into the same category of gifts but with stockings, they are just fun! We usually put some candy or maybe some movie tickets in them so that we can all go see a movie together!
- Every year we try to have at least one or two intentional activities where we show generosity! Whether it be taking sleeping bags to the union gospel mission, buying gifts for children in poverty, operation Christmas child or something of the sort.
- This time of year another tradition that we do is reflecting on the past year and the goals and commitments we made, see where we succeeded and where we fell through and then we set new goals and commitments!
4. Parental Peer Pressure
- During the holidays it’s easy to be a man-pleaser and it can be easy to be scared of making changes especially if you’ve been doing something for a long time. Like if you’ve done Santa clause and your parents are involved and you have traditions set around it. Of course, we want to be respectful of other people and their views but at the same time, we must be the authority over our kids!
- If you are having a hard time instilling Christ and the true meaning of Christmas in the atmosphere o Christmas eve and such because you are feeling pressure to be at everybody’s parties and spending equal time with people you care about then you really need to take a step back and go ok what is going to be the most fruitful thing for my family? And then you might have to prune some things.
- These things can be hard to do but we encourage you to talk with your spouse about it and get in alignment with things and what your family is going to do for Christmas. You need to be living biblically and you need to have these conversations with your kids and then once you have found your convictions you need to live them out.
- We must understand where our kid’s hearts are at and if they are more focused on presents, traditions, people, friends or are they focused on what matters which is Jesus Christ?
Have a wonderful Christmas! We hope this episode was helpful
See you next time!
Scripture In This Episode:
Matthew 5:37 – “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
Matthew 18:6 – “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
Exodus 20:3-4 – “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;”
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