Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Am I a Grinch because I do not participate in Elf on the shelf?

Once again I am faced with the challenge of making sure that my kids get the message that Christ is the center of Christmas. This year is especially challenging as everyone seems to be talking and doing "Elf on the Shelf."  

It seems that every year Christ gets pushed further and further out of the picture. People have replaced their nativity sets with Santa, reindeer, snowmen, and elves. Nativity sets adorning front yards (even at churches) have been replaced with these other symbols of Christmas. Schools can no longer teach about the true meaning of Christmas. The only place to really teach this is in the home (and a bit in church).  Society may be pushing Christ out of Christmas, but not at my house.  

We usually leave most of the Santa Clause and other things to Society. It is hard to avoid it. Everywhere we go people ask the children, "What do you want Santa to bring you?" or, "Are you being good for Mom so that Santa can come this year?" I do not bring it up, only if the children do. I do not make a big deal about it, but I do make a big deal about Christ at Christmas. We do not only read the token story on Christmas eve. We talk of his birth, we talk of him his life his ministry often, not just on Christmas eve but all through the year. At Christmas we get a real treat we get to fully celebrate his life and ministry. It makes me so happy. He is truly the guest of honor at his own birthday celebration.  The Nativity sets adorn the house. They are the crowning jewels of our d├ęcor.

I will make it a point to teach my children of the real miracle of Christmas. It does not lie in Santa bringing toys, or a magic elf that wakes up and causes troubles while you sleep. The miracle happens in the quiet moments when we realize that Christ is our Savior. At our home we make sure that the entire season is about him. It is in the songs that we sing, it is in the things we talk about. We talk about the symbols of Christmas, from the star, to the candy canes.  I make sure to talk about these things to my children and make that the focus of our joyous celebration. I have also slowed  down my Christmas activities the last few years. We keep the season extremely simple so that we have time to enjoy the sights an sounds of the season.

When people ask if we are doing Elf on the shelf I just smile and say no. There is no need for me to do that. There is no need for me to glorify yet another part of Christmas that seems to push out Christ. People seem to get offended that I am not playing into Christmas fun and they accuse me of ruining Christmas for the children.  "We do it for the children" they cry. They find a lot of fun and  joy in creating yet another "magical moment." They thrill in seeing the children's faces when they "believe" that the Elf or Santa are real. It is fine, and I do enjoy hearing my children whisper to one another about if Santa is real or not. It is one of the simple Christmas joys. I have slowed down enough that I can enjoy those moments, but on the other hand.....

People have accused me of being a Grinch and a scrooge because I am not willing to go to extremely great lengths to expound my children's belief in Santa and Elves. "Elf on the shelf is so much fun", they  cry at me. "Your children are missing out on the fun!"  "You have to have a picture with Santa each year!"  I do not! I will not! This is not who I am nor what I stand for. CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT CHRIST; and I will always make sure it is the focus of our Christmas, I will go to great lengths to share with my children a testimony of Christ. It is far more satisfying to see the look on a child's face when he or she realize that Jesus Christ lives and is their Savior, as opposed to when they believe that Santa or an Elf are real. This is real, true, Christmas joy. This is what Christmas is all about. Realizing that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that he has given us a wonderful gift. It is not elves, Santa, reindeer, snowmen, etc. It is about a miracle that happened far away in Bethlehem and a knowledge that our Savior Jesus Christ lives and loves us. I will always go to great lengths to ensure that my children know that this is the meaning of Christmas. So go ahead, call me a Grinch or a Scrooge because I do not follow the traditions of society. Society does not seem to care anymore about the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; but I do, and that is what I will teach my family about Christmas.  So go ahead and choose for yourself what traditions you want for you and your family;  But as for me and my house we will serve the lord.  Joshua 24:15


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