I saw this sight on the way to the Y today. Don't tell me Santa isn't about consumerism! I guess he's traded in his pipe for some e-cigs. That's my problem with Santa's brand of Christmas--it's just a branch of capitalism.
Don't get me wrong. I like the image of Santa. They jolly, old, bearded man who provides gifts to children. I like the Father Christmas image. Santa brings a lot of childhood memories, of course.
Truth be told, I don't have an issue with the lying/make believe. A little imagination and play is good. Honestly, I tend to be more like Calvin's dad sometimes. Which is dangerous because I can be a bit believable.
But Santa's brand of Christmas is very different from that of the Christ whose birth we celebrate.
Santa: keeps a list of naughty and nice; you have to behave in order to get a present
Jesus: His gift is for anyone who would believe, regardless of what they've done
Santa: encourages us to make a list of what we want; the focus is on getting
Jesus: gives us our every need; is our example in giving
Santa: comes once a year; our only interaction is possibly sitting on his lap in a mall, sharing our list with him
Jesus: with us every day; desires a relationship with us; wants us to talk with Him any time
Santa: advertises e-cigarrettes
I do honestly wonder if most companies would survive if it weren't for the economic boost of Christmas.
What would happen if instead of buying gifts for people who already have enough if instead we bought a meal for a homeless person? Or helped a refugee family? Or sent a shoebox of gifts to children overseas? Or bought a cow, medicine, or educational supplies for people in a developing nation?
Giving gifts isn't wrong of course. We do it because of the magi's example in giving gifts to the baby Jesus. My children have a gift under the tree. I love them. I like to give them gifts. We all do it for our families for the same reason.
But let's not confuse the Christmas ideologies of Santa with the Christmas of the Christchild.