Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In Defense of Santa...and other things

I’ve been noticing ‘round these Catholic parts, some people have an issue with Santa.  QUELLE HORREUR!!!! (Just kidding of course- whatever works for your family and gets them ready for Jesus’ birthday). 

I’d like to let you know how we do Advent/Christmas- blending the ‘secular’ (which is beautiful) and the ‘Holy’ (or somethin’ like that). 

Do you know, I found out last year, there is a priest in the Archdiocese who actually calls forth the children at the CHILDREN'S MASS, and tells them, collectively that Santa isn't real?  Are you joking me?!?!
We believe in Santa.  We just do.  My dad, who is a senior citizen, well,  he believes in Santa.  If anyone tries to say Santa isn’t real, he lets them know what’s up.  Santa is the spirit of giving that occurs during the Advent/Christmas season.  It is the nudge you have in your soul to generously give and the feeling you get when you have given of yourself, your time or your treasure.  When each of us siblings reached the age where the ‘Santa Talk’ had to be had, that’s how it was described to us. And we got it, and we loved participating in the mystery for the younger siblings.
Right next to our tree, I have this poster-puzzle a Mercy Girl made for me long ago.  It is a picture of Santa, he is done making the rounds and he is dreaming of the Christ Child.  On the top of our tree is a star and right below the star is an ornament of Santa adoring the baby Jesus.  These are the symbols we use to blend the ‘magic’ of Santa with the awe-inspiring reality of a God who become next to nothing, born in a manger.

We don’t do elf on the shelf. As I have already described, we do an angel who comes bearing gifts such as bananas and flashcards to announce the coming birth of Christ.  It works for us.  We think the Elf is pretty darn cute.  Maybe one year, we will want a little elf creating ruckus to inspire our children to behave during this season of crazy.  But for now, our ghetto- banana carrying angel is working.  And it’s fun and the boys look forward to it every morning.  I’m shocked by how many people have strong feelings of hatred for a little elf.  He’s awesome.  Back off.  And so is my angel.

On Christmas Eve, we will celebrate at my parent’s house with the Polish tradition of Wigilia.  We will go home for a few hours and start a new tradition of Christmas pajamas and a Christmas movie.  We will go to Midnight Mass (or something’ close to that) upon the husbands request (because, who in their right mind would go to Midnight Mass with three babies?!?!  Answer- my husband).  We will end the night with Big Aaron reading from the Gospel the story of Christ’s birth.

On Christmas morning, our children wake up.  The first thing we will do is put Baby Jesus in his proper place on our ‘countdown to Christmas’ Calendar.  This year, we will be singing happy birthday with a ‘blue cake’ that little Aaron is so excited to make.  Our baby Jesus from the manger will be in the center of the cake.  We will have ‘first breakfast’ with a tiny slice.  After, we will read my children a note from Santa.  He will thank them for their cookies and milk and then remind them that Christmas is about a God who loves them.  A God who is proud of them.  A God who continues to be available to them as their very best friend.  After, that we will move to presents.

And my children will get three presents (thanks Theresa)…one from Santa, one from Jesus and one from us.  Then, my in-laws will come over for some spectacular waffles made by the husband.  By about 2:00 pm, our house will be quiet and we will celebrate together, as a little family, the joy that comes from it all.

You see, Santa, that spirit…well my friends, that spirit IS Jesus and it doesn’t have to be a conflict even though many have chosen to make it so.  Christmas doesn’t have to be about ‘too much’.  Too many presents, too much secular, too many parties and constant stress.  Rather, it can be about simplicity. It can be about Joy.  It can be the birth of Christ!  And a guy who ‘lives up north’.

Oh, and Jesus told me to tell you that he doesn’t mind the Christmas music a few weeks before his birthday.  Just kidding- he didn’t tell me to tell you that, I just am!  But, for real though, I think, when we get to heaven he’s gonna be like, ‘yeah, I totally didn’t mind the Christmas music’. And Imma be like, ‘good!  Because I have been listening to it and singing loudly in my car to prepare for your birth’!

Happy Wednesday.    


  1. agreed. We had a priest like that once too who told the kids there was no santa to the school--and during the homily on christmas--but honestly, the kiddies weren't even listening anyway LOL. My kids never pay attention to what the homily says and if they did hear it, it went right over their head and they didn't catch that part. the little ones don't even know what he is saying and usually those are the ones who believe...the kids who do hera him are usually too old for santa anyway..and its not the first time they heard that anyway--but yeah touchy subject for a homily.

  2. I heart this. Lots o' food for thought fo' sho'. Thanks, friend!

  3. ah, yes - the Santa debate! We have Santa here. We also told the littles that we had a discussion with Santa and we told him that as a family we would like only 3 presents for each person; Jesus got three, we should only get three (wow! what a hit that was! seriously the BEST decision we ever made)
    When my then-12 yo son mentioned hand-quotes santa to his Dad, his Dad set him straight and said "I believe in Santa. Truly. How do you think I can have no work for better than 2 years (at the time) and still be able to get presents for everyone. If that is not Santa and St Nicholas, I don't know how you can explain it." Best explanation, ever! My husband is a very smart man.
    I am not into the commercialism, but Santa - we can do him. But mostly because we also DO Jesus at this time of year. Elf on the Shelf.... um, no - too creepy for me! but more power to those who can do that
    Many blessings for you and your family

  4. Yaya hell to the yes on this post. It seems like all the major holidays in this country draw a line between "serious" Catholics and the rest of us. But I consider myself a decent Catholic and we listen to Christmas music way early and watch the Christmas themed cartoons for the kids and in my mind that's how we prepare. We get totally excited that our Lord is being brought into this world. But seriously to each his own.

    We still do Advent but as a girl who wasn't raised in the Christmas traditions, a total Santa geek and I still know the reason for the season.