Christmas is looming, which means decisions. As the girls understand more and more, I have to step up my protective barriers against materialism, and other earthly evils. I have a hard time with this. I found Halloween season absolutely exhausting. I was constantly trying to keep an eye on what the girls were watching on t.v. because at any given moment something evil could pop up under the guise of "nice" ("good witches" and "nice ghosts," etc.). I don't want to keep the girls so separate from the world that they can't function in it, but I would rather err on the side of caution when it comes to priorities at Christmastime.
I haven't always had a problem with Santa. Until last year, I was perfectly fine with his presence. Then I had a sudden realization that children aren't capable of understanding that eternal salvation is more exciting than a Barbie doll. They shouldn't be expected to prioritize the Sovereign God taking human form over a fat guy who brings them lots of cool stuff. (I wrote my thoughts on this subject extensively in this post from last year.) It takes parenting to keep them from this all too common pitfall, and the challenge is daunting.
Like most things, it's all about finding the proper balance. I definitely want the girls to respect the decisions of other parents (and I DO NOT think it's wrong to incorporate Santa Clause into Christmas celebrations). I want to be careful about how I handle this. It isn't sinful to play a nice game of pretend (though lying is), but I prefer to keep any distractions that could steal attention and affection from Jesus out of the way.
So, here I am, mentally planning how we will celebrate, wondering how to direct the thoughts of a toddler and a preschooler to Christ. I have a little time, which is good because an infinite God being born in the finite form of an infant is a BIG DEAL, which warrants plenty of thought.