People keep asking my kiddos if they are ready for Santa and then finding out in horror that we don’t do Santa. The people who ask seem well-intentioned, but they don’t seem to understand that Santa truly torpedoes a Christian Christmas. Santa and the present purveyors backing him seek to focus our eyes on wanting unnecessary material things to play with (once), to elaborately give, to lust over, and basically, to covet. And we all know that coveting is a sin, but we unthinkingly grant ourselves this season of the year to covet along with the rest of the culture and indulge our sinful greedy hearts just a little bit. Can a little bit really hurt?
The answer is yes and our children are no exception. They are little sinners; we are big sinners. They have little greedy hearts; we have big greedy hearts. They covet every toy that we pass in Target; we covet every new car that we pass in the parking lot. For these reasons, we must continuously–vigilantly–stamp out the covetousness in our hearts and not feed it for a moment. The ravenous greed monster is hard to contain once it gets even a little taste of success. (Just think about how hard it is to stop eating loads of sweets after the holidays!)
Fortunately, though, there is an antidote to keep the greed monster at bay in all of us. The antidote is true contentment in God’s perfect provision.
So when you start feeling like you “need” a fancy widget that you actually don’t, or your kiddos try to talk you into putting six more teddy bears (that they won’t play with) under the Christmas tree, remember:
“But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
If we walk in contentment, our vision will not be clouded with heaps of useless gifts and teaching our children to believe in someone that does not exist. Instead, we can set our sights on Jesus Christ and using this season to teach our children about the one, true, eternally existent God. What a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas!
- Turn DOWN the presents by limiting the number of gifts to be bought and exchanged. Focus on only buying necessary things.
- Turn UP the Jesus in your Christmas Day celebration by doing a special family worship before present opening that morning. We typically pray, read an incarnation narrative from Matthew or Luke, sing a Christmas hymn, and close with prayer.
- Ask yourself, “Do I actually need this item in the near future?” If you don’t need something in the near term, don’t horde it. Use today’s provision from God to procure for what you need today (including saving for rainy days), then trust Him to provide again for tomorrow’s need.
- Teach your kiddos where gifts really come from and how to properly receive a gift. This is what I have taught my children and continue to reinforce: “People can give you gifts as one way to show that they love and care for you. For this reason, whenever you receive a gift, say ‘thank you’ to the giver.”(After all, ‘thankfulness’ is contentment’s cousin 🙂 )
What are your thoughts/reactions? Share your feedback in the comments section below!