[Editor’s Note: This is a Christmas guest post by E. Jones Petty. Wow, I cannot believe this is the 12th and final day of A Very Diva Christmas 2017: Short and Sweet. This year was amazing, Divas. It was the most Christmas submissions we’ve ever had in 4 years of this series! I hope the shorter length of the devotionals made it easier to keep up this year, and if you have any thoughts for next year — Devotional Diva’s 10th anniversary year, please let me know! I chose to end this year’s posts and the Christmas series with this blog because it summed up why I love Christmas and doing this series so much — because to me it is how I show my love for Jesus and my Divas! The links for the full Short and Sweet Series will be below if you’d like to catch up.]
Old Saint Nick Loves Jesus
Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us once again. Costco is in full swing mode, every aisle filled with all you need for “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Yes, I am writing this the day after Halloween, but who’s paying attention to that? Although it is the most wonderful time of the year and I absolutely LOVE Christmas, there once was a time I dreaded it.
A few years back, while standing in the checkout line at a local grocery store, a kind woman asked my three-year-old sons, “What is Santa bringing you this year?” They simply stared at her, dumbfounded by her question. I scrabbled to bridge the awkward silence, “We haven’t really talked about that yet, have we, boys?” It was a true statement – we hadn’t talked about Santa yet.
Because we didn’t celebrate Santa. You see, I grew up understanding the meaning of Christmas to be all out Jesus. My siblings and I didn’t visit Santa at the mall or fill out wish lists to mail to Him at the north pole or set out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. And I’m okay with that; I enjoy celebrating Christmas for what it is – Jesus’ Birthday.
But, wanting to avoid future awkward grocery-store-checkout-line conversations, I began researching the history of Christmas and Santa. Why Do We Call It Christmas? by Phil Vischer beautifully explained how the Santa we know today evolved from Saint Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop who generously gave to his community in need.
Once, he tossed a money bag into the house window of a few poor girls, the coins landing in the stockings they had hung out to dry. Hence our tradition of stocking-stuffers. Saint Nick gave to others because of what God had given him – the gift of salvation through Jesus.
As I read the book to by sons, warm, fuzzy feelings filled my heart because nothing the world does to secularize Christmas will eliminate the root of it all – Jesus’ birth.
Now, we are prepared for holiday season – my sons know who who Santa is and I don’t mind celebrating him – because doing so doesn’t take away from Jesus when we understand history. And God wouldn’t have it any other way!
E.Jones Petty is the wife of an amazing man, mom to three crazy boys, and an aspiring author. Visit her blog at unrelentingfreedom.com to learn more about how God has redeemed her from a life once hidden under the burden of fear and shame.
Reference: Buck Denver Asks… Why Do We Call It Christmas? By Phil Vischer
The full Short and Sweet Christmas Devotional Series:
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