Grinch List #10: Jesus vs. Santa
The last few Decembers I have made a Grinch List– things that I would steal from the holiday season if I could. This year I’m going to try to turn that list into something positive. Along with the reasons I am annoyed by each item, I will try to find a solution–an angle to adjust the way I feel about it in order to celebrate the season appropriately. I can’t promise I will change my mind about anything, but I can attempt to change my attitude.
After yesterday’s discussion of celebrating secular or sacred Christmas, I started to realize that people have argued this for years and just called it something different. Instead of thinking of it in terms of sacred and secular celebrations, they have personified the entire argument into a battle between Jesus and Santa Claus. Both sides of these arguments have always annoyed me. Some act like depriving a child of belief in Santa is akin to registering to vote as a Nazi, while others view Santa-peddlers as liars and manipulative false prophets.
Perhaps we should settle this right now:
LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!!!!!!!
In this corner, the challenger is wearing red with white trim. He stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed in at 473 pounds. His reach is across the entire globe in one night…the Bearded Brawler, the Overweight Heavyweight, the Roof-Top Wrangler, Santa “the Sleigher” Claus!!!
In the other corner, our champion is wearing swaddling clothes. With a length of 22 and ½ inches, he tips the scales at 6 pounds and 11 ounces…
Wait a second, really? That’s the fight? An overweight elf versus a baby?
I know that I could elaborate on Jesus’ credentials with all of His divine attributes. Omnipotence is pretty difficult to block. I never heard Rocky’s trainer tell him to “turn the other cheek” though. It may not be a bad strategy, however, because you can’t hit someone with perfect foreknowledge…unless He wants you to.
And there’s the beauty of Christmas—Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be made into an inferior being and didn’t dodge punches He knew were coming from the beginning of time. His strategy was the ultimate rope-a-dope, because, although Jesus allowed Himself to be beaten mercilessly, three days after the final ten-count, He picked Himself up and reclaimed His title.
I don’t care to hear arguments about whether Santa is harmful or harmless. I don’t care to pit St. Nick against Jesus because it’s not even a fair fight. They’re not in the same class primarily because one is fictional and the other is a very real, very personal, very powerful being.
And the truth is that anyone who is even remotely honest with himself knows it.
We don’t need the debate, we just need to admit what we already know to be true—your attitude toward a fictional character doesn’t matter. Your response to your Creator does.