Santa God is Coming to Town

He’s making a list,
Checking it twice;
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
~ John Coots/Haven Gillespie

Every year people talk about the need to Put Christ back into Christmas. Sometimes this is in response to materialism and sometimes it’s a reaction to the substitution of the letter X for the name ofย Christ. Christmas is the day that we’ve chosen to celebrate Christ’s birth. It’s also a day filled with cherished memories of Santa Claus and special treats and gift giving.
~
And Xmas isn’t a secular conspiracy to take Christ out of Christmas. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated in our alphabet as an X. The word Xmas (Christ-Mass) has been used by Christians, not against Christians, for hundreds of years. Christmas is a celebration of Truth and traditions.
~
I grew up loving Jesus and Santa Claus. We lived in such a small town that Santa Claus literally came to my front door on Christmas Eve to ask what gifts I wanted. This happened every year until I was in first grade when Sherry Miller told me the man on my porch in a red suit was her Dad. I quit believing in Santa when I was seven. I never quit believing in Jesus.
~
But somewhere along the line, I melded together God, Who I knew was real but hadn’t seen, with Santa, who I knew wasn’t real but had seen. I unconsciously carried this concept of Santa God into adulthood.
~
I pictured Santa God watching to see if I were being naughty or nice. I kept trying to be good for goodness sake and I was, mostly. But when I failed, my failures led to shame. Failing to be good as an adult meant something more serious than no gifts, it meant no grace. None to get. None to give.
~
I’d missed the message from the very start. I’d overlooked the incomprehensible gift of grace required of God for there to be a baby in a manger.
~
Christmas seems to be the one day we do think about Him and talk about Him. The challenge is thinking about Him just as much in January. The challenge is to share His message of Love and Grace the other 364 days.
~
The problem isn’t that there isn’t enough Christ in my Christmas. The problem is that there isn’t enough Christ in me.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

39 thoughts on “Santa God is Coming to Town”

  1. Love you, gracious one, who helps us sift through all things in this life. Even the Christmas things. ๐Ÿ™‚ Since not everyone in my home is able to focus on Jesus, I always felt like I failed somehow, each Christmas. That I hadn’t made it “all about Him”. So what you said at the end .. .there’s my answer to prayer. Just keep Jesus in me at Christmas and always. That will be enough. God bless you and thank you for always blessing me / us!

    1. dear deb –
      That does make it so hard and I’m truly sorry.
      I think Christians tend to put too much emphasis making Christmas “special” (just my opinion) and not enough emphasis on making others special every day. When so much is wrapped up in one day, it’s easy to be either oddly disappointed (or as you said, feel a sense of failure) or to feel “successful”. And then just return to our routines on the 26th.

  2. Wow! I love what you are saying. You really hit the nail on the head for me. “Reason for the season” signs frustrate me. Not because I don’t agree but because it seems like its about claiming what “team” you are on and not about actually knowing Christ. I truly feel as a Christian I don’t know to put a sign in my yard or a status update on Facebook trying to stick it to those who might not agree. I feel like I need to live with the same grace for others that God has give me. My very traditional extended family members will put up these kinds of post on Facebook but in no other way do I see Christ reflected. I see racist comments and hate filled prejudice. I see them claiming Christ for political reasons. I don’t want to be on that team. I want to be sharing the love and grace that has been shown to me by Christ. Sorry for the rather long comment ๐Ÿ™‚ You really summed up something for me that has been bothering me since Thanksgiving.

    1. dear bronzeagemoron –
      I love this: “I feel like I need to live with the same grace for others that God has given me.”
      You sum it up perfectly.
      If we did that – no bumper stickers or yard signs – just that, I think we’d change the world. I’m not very good at it but it certainly is my hearts desire.
      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughtful insights.

  3. My stars alive! That last line … I don’t know anyone who has more Christ in her than you: At least to my meager understanding of Grace and Christianity. Blessings my sweet friend. Mel

    1. Sweet Mel –
      Your ever generous but take my word for it, I’m just an apprentice.
      I do think, though, that your understanding of grace and Christianity is a lot greater than you think! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. oh buckwheatsrisk –
      I’m so very sorry. For me it was just a trite song and in many ways, a fairly happy song. There’s nothing trite or remotely happy about what you went through. I know it can make the concept of a loving Father very confusing.
      Blessing and grace to you, dear bwr

  4. This is so beautiful, Debbie–and heart-wrenching. Grace to you, in abundance, dear friend–Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year, overflowing with good health and His every provision. Love, sis Caddo Delight, SG

    1. hello dear Caddo –
      It was and thank you for your prayers and friendship that began this year but will stretch on until we get that beachfront cottage in the air! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Lovely. There is always enough Christ in you (us). It’s a matter of if we’re allowing Christ to shine THROUGH us. Merry Christmas, Debbie. It’s always like a warm hug reading your posts.

    1. hello dear Lori –
      Yes, He is certainly willing. Sometimes I’m not in the light mood.
      (I pray that that is less true each day)
      Thank you for reading my sporadic postings and for sharing your thoughts. It’s a great encouragement to me.

  6. Glad to see you write about the Xmas. It’s been going through my mind but I never could have said it as well as you, nor get to the point which is more Christ in me. Wonderful!

    1. Debby –
      Xmas gets a bad wrap! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      It ends up being just one more thing Christians are negative about.
      And we wonder why people don’t want to be like us?

  7. Personally, I’m all for giving up December 25th to whatever holiday they want to call it, and choosing another date to celebrate the birth of Christ. Chances are Jesus was born some other time anyway, probably during part of the year when shepherds would actually be in the hills tending sheep (not in winter). Then we could better separate materialism from the meaning of the Incarnation. And as you say, pay more attention to Christ in me rather than Christ in an event.

    1. David –
      Wouldn’t it be something if we could just stay more focused on Him (birth, life, death, resurrection) everyday. I think a life lived that way would be a sweet aroma of grace where ever we went.

  8. Wow! Therein lies the truth – there isn’t enough Christ in me
    I stumble into Christ’s Grace every moment, minute and every day.
    He watches over me with His sheperds staff – gently guiding and leading
    Oh, how Blessed I am
    Happy Birthday dear one
    God Bless
    susie

  9. Thanks for this brave post, Dearest.

    Who really looks after our sleeping with loving and not vengeful eyes?
    Who is eyes roam the earth, in the first place, for those who are turned toward HIM? Not for those who are turned away.
    Who knows when we’re awake?
    Who truly knows if we’ve been bad or good?
    Who is the only One Who is good, Whose sake is good?
    Who truly requires our not pouting, and saves/cherishes/dries all our tears, and promises a place of no tears, but never rebukes or punishes our tears?
    Who has listed all our names, really? Really. In a Book.

    Not some pastorial servant of the Lord named Nicholas, who gave gifts to poor children (not good children), and who died centuries ago.
    No. Not him.

    It is the Ever-Living One, Who pleads for us.

    โค K

    1. dear K –
      Yes, you see where I wandered off…
      That’s a curse of my jukebox brain. I have to keep an eye/ear on what’s playing up there.
      I think I was in my 30’s before I realized how much I’d interposed this little song with my mental image of God (white beard even, only not so chubby)
      Thanks for your thoughts and heart. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. You know, I don’t think that’s true, on the whole. “There isn’t enough Christ in me”. “Do not fear, for I have overcome the world.” I think there is enough Christ in you. I think the odd thing you do you regret after, or the thing you know you ought to do and don’t, or the doubt and the fear and the worry are all OK.

    All will be well.

    And- knowing you as I do from what you write, I think you are doing all right. And there is enough Grace.

    Love, xxx

    1. dear Clare –
      Maybe another way of saying it is that I can be so full of myself sometimes that I squeeze Jesus in where I find Him most comfortable/convenient. But you are so right, there is always sufficient grace – it’s simply a question of whether or not I chose to access it!
      Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement!

  11. I’m so happy to be the first to comment on this wonderful grace-filled piece. You are so amazing. Knowing your story brings a lot of meaning to this wisdom.

    Thank you very much for this. I especially love the ending, “The problem isnโ€™t that there isnโ€™t enough Christ in my Christmas. The problem is that there isnโ€™t enough Christ in me.”

    That’s been my problem all along. Railing against the materialism was only a side-show that kept my focus from the true issue. Thank you, Debbie.

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