I wrote this post a couple of years ago and am reposting it with some changes.
Believing is a common theme that runs its course in the culture during Christmas time. Belief in what? Well, anything really. Santa? Christmas spirit? Believe in belief itself? Yup. It is in every Christmas movie you’ll watch and it is in all sorts of Christmas commercials and ads.
Buddy the elf makes New York City believe in Santa in the movie Elf, A lawyer makes a courtroom believe in whatever will bring them a smile and not a tear even if it’s a lie in The Miracle On 34th Street, and Whoville makes the Grinch believe in Christmas Spirit in How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
It is a message of believing, because believing is good. Even if the subject of that belief is untrue.
Our copy of The Charlie Brown Christmas Movie is taped from TV (some wonderful friends of ours taped it for us. Because of this, the movie includes lots of awesome Christmasy commercials (which is now part of the fun of watching the movie). But there is one that is especially cheesy and funny and disturbing all at the same time. It is a Macy’s commercial where Jessica Simpson, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart and some other random celebrities tell a little girl “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Clause.” You may remember this one, the dialogue goes like this, “He exists, just as love and generosity exist. How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Clause. There would be no child-like faith. No poetry. Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Clause. He lives and lives and lives…forever.”
This commercial makes me chuckle every time I see it because I’m not sure there would actually be no poetry if there was no Santa, but that’s just crazy ol’ cynical me.
What this ad is suggesting though is that we convince diligently that children believe in Santa, even though we as adults all know that Santa doesn’t actually exist. Now, I am not trying to be a buzz-kill and before you write me off as a hyper-conservative anti-Santa maniac, let me tell you that I love the real Saint Nicholas of old, and tell my kids stories about who he was. I also have many Santa’s in my house right now, because I don’t hate Santa! My kids are gonna know and love the stories of a fairy-tale Santa and his reindeer’s.
However I will not be leading my children to believe that he is omnipresent and that he lives forever and gives them gifts based on how good or bad they have been all year. I won’t be tricking them into thinking he will truly be climbing down our non-chimney to disperse all there gifts.
I wont be doing any of that, so that when I teach my kids about Jesus and tell them about the truth of who He is and what He came here to do, they will have no need to question whether or not I am lying to them, because I wont be lying to them about any other man who existed in history.
But I find it fascinating how a culture that is obsessed with scientific fact and not getting caught up in beliefs based on faith. Who is strictly opposed to silly parents indoctrinating our children to believe religious fables. That very culture is willing to throw it all out the window when Christmas rolls around. It all of a sudden becomes okay, in fact it is extremely encouraged that we preserves our kids child-like faith and tell them Santa does truly exist.
It is a confused culture we find ourselves in as Christ-followers, isn’t it? Because it seems as though were all searching for something beautiful to believe in. We want to have faith in a person who loves us. This desire makes itself so much more present during the Christmas season. A season in which was created so that we would remember how our Saviour was born into the world so that in His deep love for us would suffer and die so that we could live. There is someone out there who loves us.
If we would just believe.
Because it is a Truth worth believing. So go ahead and believe it. It’s true.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” ~ 1 Peter 1:8-9