The deception of Christmas gifts

Natasha S. Robinson

December 1, 2011

We dont need a holiday to share truth. We don't need tinsel, lights and 'gifts' to explain the ultimate Gift.

December 1, 2011

If you have never listened in on an discussion between a parent and a verbal autistic child, it can be quite the bizarre experience. - a whole different planet of parenting. <br><br>Santa had never been considered a staple of Christmas in our house until this year when my son suddenly was seduced to the Santa side of "What will Santa bring me?" Usually he gets a present from "Santa at hubby's company party and that is the end of Santa except for seeing him in malls etc. This year he was overloaded on "What will Santa bring me?" asking over and over and I realized that he had bought into the myth. This is the kid who refused to give up his DNA to the tooth fairy and threw his tooth in the trash when his teacher wanted him to bring it home to put it by his bed. :) <br><br>When I tried explaining that my son should not think about getting from Santa but being more like Santa and give to other people without getting anything in return I realized I was using biblical language. <br><br>Yes I admit, I actually said "You should be like Santa to other people." not "You should be like Christ to others." I needed more coffee and he is still working on a concept of God/Jesus. <br><br>But is it not true that the mythology of Santa allows non-Christians to engage in the abundance of selfless generosity that is also part and parcel with Christmas? We all, non-christians included give to food banks and Angel trees and homeless shelters, donate mittens, coats, sleeping bags. We see the excess and it stands in sublime contrast to the suffering of the world. Does it matter if we give like Christ from the the abundance of God's love or that we give in the spirit of a fun and generous Saint Nicholas, secretly with no requirement for reciprocation? What matters is that we give to those who have little from the abundance with which we are blessed.<br><br>If only we remembered to live each day like this.<br><br>

Lesa Engelthaler
December 1, 2011

wow, great reminder. that child of yours is going to change the world!

Laura's Last Ditch
December 1, 2011

Wonderful post! Your daughter sounds absolutely precious. One thing I dislike about Christmas gift-giving, especially as it relates to kids, is that they get the idea it's all about them, and what they want (thus the Christmas wish list). How much better to teach them that it's all about others to the glory of God. And I don't think we do that by giving more stuff to people who already have plenty.

December 1, 2011

December is always so busy. Makes us forget that it's supposed to be a time of reflection on God loves for us, huh?  Thank you for the reminder! We all need to be reminded everyday on His purpose and the truly meaning for Christmas.  We get caught up on our busy lives and forgot to thank Him on all His blessings.

December 1, 2011

What an amazing insight and frame of mind from a child, Though I suppose it is intuitive, but rarely expressed. She vocalized Paul’s desire “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.” Our lives are a vapor, but heaven, the life of the Spirit, our coexistence with angels is the more durable reality. I want to live with this consciousness every day and every moment, not simply be reminded from time to time about my eternal home or spiritual realities. Here is reality: “ Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Colossians  and  “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians

December 1, 2011

Keep praying for that, Lesa dear. Love

December 1, 2011

Wonderful reflections, Mara. I completely understand about having a child bombarded from the "outside" elements. We do that best that we can and just God throughout this parenting process.

December 1, 2011

It is true that it is hard to balance the outside influences and still make life fun and directed according to our values. I have an older daughter who asked a question similar to your daughter's at a similar age. Luckily we weren't driving. We had been explaining the death of a great-grandparent. She too decided the spin on heaven sounded like a vacation and wanted to go see Great-Grandpa. When we talked to her further we found out she lacked a firm grounding in the concept of the permanence of death and that heaven was a one way trip. She wanted to visit and then come back to her life and her toys.<br><br>Now with our son we are waiting until he understands that the cat that died 2 years ago is really not just in another room, until we really dive into explaining heaven. He doesn't like the idea of throwing out toys either. "Cats live forever and all toys can be fixed." - The gospel according to my son. ~ I wish ~

December 1, 2011

Refreshing to be reminded that, as a child, we can all long for, be more acquainted with, and represent our heavenly and eternal reality. Thanks for the good word and your heart. These are the words of a disciple, not just casual Christian gobble-de-goup that is so prevalent in our day. May we all be so deeply attached to our heavenly reality, this season and beyond, that those around us want to know this God that we love and know. Let us enjoy the closeness with our Lord that the Holy Spirit offers us.

December 2, 2011

Amen to all the above, and thanks Rickd for the "ambivalence" of Paul, which has always described my thinking and feeling and pondering and faith and doubt, ever since I was conscious of doing such.  I believe with head and heart, and yes I anticipate heaven/eternal life, whatever that may prove to be; yet, there is so much of life here and now that is tangible, that can be known and experienced, that is overwhelmingly strong in my conscious experience. The beauty of creation, the power of love of family and friends, the duty and challenge to live for God as his agents on this earth, in this life; the lure of discovery, the promise of each day---all of life in this body in this time is important.  Life is a gift; being God's child is a gift; being called and able to serve him has been a gift; and honestly I'm still holding on to it pretty firmly.  The gift of God is eternal life, but it includes now as well as further down the endless way---doesn't it?

Cristina Newton
December 11, 2011

Hi all,<br>Concerning giving, why not give to those who are really in need, rather than those that have a surfeit? The world is full of needy Christians, and though we do not know their names or their faces, they are part of Christ's body, they are the church with us. True religion is the care of the orphan and the widow, Paul reminded us. If we believe that "It is more blessed to give than to receive", this could be an opportunity for children to learn to put it into practice. By the way, as many will know, the origin of Santa Claus is the (Italian, I think) bishop Saint Nicholas, and what he did was precisely take gifts to the poor. What happens today (lapland big-bellied white bearded ho-ho-ho etc) is mostly the invention of Coca-Cola and a marketing product.<br><br>Jesus was born earlier in the autumn, as we all know. Hwever, there is liberty in the Lord to keep or not keep the day, if we do it for the Lord and give thanks to Him. If we want to make this time of the year into some form of official time to celebrate, fine, but whose birthday is it then? What would He like for His birthday? Jesus said: whatever you do to one of these you do to me. Remember? "Because I was hungry...". <br><br>We decided to follow this at home. No gifts to eachother at home, and no lavishing in ridiculously expensive food. Our three children are very happy with it, and it makes perfect sense to them. It gives them an opportunity to decline materialism and self-centeredness, to look beyond themselves.  It does not detract from enjoying, it adds to it. And they still have their own birthdays (and plenty other days) to be fusssed over. We adults also find it fits in better with our understanding of the Gospel and how we bring it to others.<br><br>With love to all in Christ, <br>Cristina Newton<br><br>

Videos Cristianos
December 12, 2011

Santa Claus was invented to erase Jesus Christ birth by "materialism". We must stand up for Christ and erase all traces of invented pagan figures like Santa Claus from our families. God bless

Chris PrayBuddy.Com
December 14, 2011

My wife is from Russia, and she is always shocked to see how many presents children get in the USA. She says, "That's enough for an entire daycare!!"

Lawrence Deanii
December 28, 2011

Loved it! Thank you for sharing and continuously inspiring. I love ya'll! That's a right now message! I needed that. Continue to shine...

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