Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When did we stop talking to Santa?

I had an odd observation a few weeks ago if I do say so myself. Rob and I were preparing to take our kids to see Santa Claus and as I was getting Bennett ready we talked about what she wanted to say to Santa.

But then I realized something. Santa is just a photo op these days. You wait in a ridiculously long line and then when the kids finally sit on Santa's lap, they are asked to smile and pose for pictures. They are hurried and rushed and then it's time to get up and hurry out. This is Bennett's third year going to see Santa and I don't ever think he has asked her what she wanted for Christmas.

I shared my observation with Rob, and he disagreed. He thought they kids always told Santa what they wanted. After our trip, he realized I was right. Santa looked so ready to be out of his chair that he wasn't asking my kids anything. And if we had taken 10 more seconds of Santa's time, I think the mob of parents in line would have hurled wrapped packages at us. It's kind of sad.

When I was a kid I couldn't wait to tell Santa what I wanted. It was a huge deal. And of course we all remember Ralphie from "A Christmas Story." Talking to Santa was HUGE! Momentous! When did it just become a photo op?

Side note- Here is the picture we did get with Santa. I should have known not to take my kids to the Christmas village with the train running beside it. Will was so fascinated with the trains that he could have cared less about Old Saint Nick. Oh, well.

But then I realized that we do the same thing with Jesus during the Christmas season. We have stopped talking to him. Just like Santa Claus, we do all of the rituals. We go to live nativities, children sing in their church music programs, we sing all of the carols and all of the hymns, and we tell our children all about the birth of our Lord and Savior.

But I feel as if it is so easy to stop talking to God. I mean really talking. I know this Christmas I have tried to teach Bennett and Will that it's more than Santa and Rudolph. We have worked diligently to teach them about Jesus' birthday and why His birth is the best gift we will ever receive. We want them to learn the words to Away in a Manger as well as Santa Claus is Coming to Town. But I know I need to stop and just talk to God.

Just as Santa has become a photo op instead of a magical time to share what we would love for Christmas, Jesus can become just a figure in the nativity instead of a living God who wants a relationship with us.

This Christmas I want to talk to my Lord. I want to thank him for my blessings. I want to know Him intimately. I want to know how I can serve Him better in this upcoming year. I want to talk..... and listen.


Erin said...

What a great post Lauren. Thank you for writing this.

starnes family said...

Well said!

And, while our kids always talk to Santa (where are you going????), it's not like it was when we were kids. Definitely.

The Khans said...

Totally agree Lauren. I have tried to be better this year with the boys discussing the birth of Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas. Last year it was all about presents it seemed and I didn't like that. Definitely a balancing act.

Brittny said...

100% AGREE.

Before you know it there will be no Santa, just a text sent to our toddlers who will have an isomething already.

Donnie Manis said...

An awesome observation, Lauren! A great reminder to talk TO Jesus, not just about him. Thanks!