That is what Christmas is like in the U.S. - but it is up to us to keep remembering:
The Reason for the Season...
Why DO we celebrate Christmas? What IS the Reason for the Season?
On this day - December 25th - we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ who came to us in a lowly manger inside a dirty stable surrounded by a variety of animals. Do we get it right with the nativities we display during the Advent/Christmas season? Maybe - or maybe not!
When my children were growing up - I always had a nativity placed under the tree. Later, when I became more aware of the season and the real reason behind our celebrations, I started displaying the nativity - without the Baby Jesus...He wasn't born yet, according to how we celebrate. Whether the date is correct or not, that is when we celebrate His birth.
Over the last few years, I have collected nativities from around the world - an Indian one; an Eskimo one; many ceramic painted or plain white ones. These are proudly displayed every year - some have been handed down to my children now; but I keep about four treasured ones. (Can you imagine a drawer full of many different little baby Jesuses?!)
Other traditions we have at my church is our annual Live Nativity - complete with the Angels, Shepherds, Kings, Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus (somebody's treasurer baby doll!). The set is outside our church, with a variety of beautiful music in the sanctuary, crafts for the children downstairs in the fellowship hall, people handing out hot apple cider and cookies (even if the weather is more tropical and warm!) - and children lined up to see Santa...
It seems to me Santa gets more glory and honor than Baby Jesus does. It is up to us as parents and grandparents to KEEP JESUS CHRIST IN THE FORE-FRONT of our celebrations!
But, where does this tradition come from? I found this great post "Who Is St. Nicholas?" HERE that gives a great history lesson on who St. Nicholas was - and how St. Nicholas Day is celebrated around the world.
Quite a different view of "Santa Claus" - but...look at the similarities!
I find this tradition of St. Nicholas much closer to the real reason for the season than a jolly, fat Santa that lives in the North Pole and has little elves who work in his toy factory to make toys for all the little girls and boys; and who has a list of naughty and nice children.
The tradition of Santa Claus continues - and there is much controversy as to whether or not we should teach our children about Santa Claus - or the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny...or or or - I am not going into that controversy! I don't "debate" very well!!
When my children were growing up - there was a present (or presents) from Santa; as well as those from mommy and daddy. The Magi did bring gifts to the Baby Jesus; so we give gifts to those we love in celebration of His birth!
As my children grew up, they figured out on their own that mommy and daddy were "Santa Claus", or maybe their friends told them the truth. I never had any negative feedback from my children over my "lying" to them...perhaps others have...
One of my favorite decorations for this season (now displayed at my daughter's house) is a ceramic piece with Santa kneeling at the manger of the Baby Jesus - similar to this:
Perhaps ALL of our traditions have blended together afterall!!
So many other traditions! I have shared Favorite Holiday Traditions; Favorite Movies and Music and Food; Decorations; Hand-made Favorites; the Christmas Tree...and so much more during Blogmas 2014!
Earlier this morning I was reading another blogger's post, iwillbloom.wordpress.com, on the traditions in the UK. Amazing how much their traditions are like ours in the USA...
but then, I started thinking - we do have a "melting pot" of people from all over the world! It's no wonder our traditions for this special celebration become blended as we blend our families together!
Wonderful to be connecting with others for Blogmas 2014! Thank you for joining us!!