Wednesday, December 14, 2011

JESUS trumps Santa!

Thinking about Christmas and all that it entails, I had to share this post circulating the blog and FaceBook world.....

Here is the link if you wanna read the entire thing........... or here is an excerpt:

"When I was in sixth grade, I received two Christmas presents I distinctly remember:

1.) The most coveted, desired beautiful "Forenza" tag on a pair of black leggings with a corresponding purple and black plaid shirt. (The outfit could've been anything, as long as it was from The Limited. Outback Red, anyone? Omg. If I could've conjured riches back then, I would've spent every red cent on OBR.)

2.) A fun, quirky red "football jersey type" sweatshirt.

I loved them both. Loved, loved, loved. I was certain these gifts were my ticket out of Dorkville. The feathered, product-less boy haircut and Bargain Selection glasses would become moot in light of my new, stylish garb. The popular kids would wonder what they ever didn't see in me. The cute boys I pined over would fight over inviting me to Sadie Hawkins, and they would say things like, "Why haven't we noticed her before? We're like Saul after the scales fell from his eyes." Or at least something very, very similar to that.

Until one very unfortunate eavesdropping session.

Supposed to be in bed but creeping in the hall listening to my parents' conversation which simply seemed like a naughty, awesome thing to do, I heard my mom say this:

"Her red sweatshirt? I found it at Walmart for $3.00."


And just like that, the sweatshirt was ruined. In front of my eyes, it lost all its charm and it simply became something a Walmart girl would wear because she couldn't afford Esprit and her mother refused to buy her Guess jeans. All of a sudden, it communicated: I'm poor. (I was in sixth grade, people. It was a very dramatic time.)

Here's why I tell you about my persecutions: That is the only thing I remember from Christmas 1985. Not Jesus. Not reverence. Not generosity. Not gratitude. Just a selfish, materialistic reaction because every single gift of mine wasn't from an overpriced store with a namebrand I could casually brag about wearing. What a brat.

This sort of bull crap is still happening every year.

What happened to Christmas? What on earth happened to it? When did it transform from something simple and beautiful to what it is now? How insiduously did the enemy work to slowly hijack Jesus' birth and hand it over on a silver platter to Big Marketing, tricking His own followers into financing the confiscation?

We all know it. We all feel it. Every year we bear this tension. Each December, the world feels off kilter. But in the absence of a better plan or an alternative rhythm or - let's just say it - courage, we feed the machine yet again, giving Jesus lip service while teaching our kids to ask Santa for whatever they want, because, you know, that's really what Christmas boils down to.

I just cannot take it anymore, yall. I cannot.

What if a bunch of us pulled out of the system? What if we said something very radical and un-American, like: "Our family is going to celebrate Jesus this year in a manner worthy of a humble Savior who was born to two poor teenagers in a barn and yet still managed to rescue humanity." 

If you did read the entire thing, you may have felt a number of things; selfishness, overspending, guilt, embarrassment, or maybe you felt nothing of the sort at all. I had such a range of emotions to this post when I read it off my dear Sissy-In-Law's Fbook page.  I had to contemplate the depth of it for about a week. I re-read it today (cause it was lonnnnngggg); I had not buried it amongst all the craziness going on in my life right now, I had simply put it on the back burner until another day. Why...because this post is so true on so many levels and it's a lot to think about.This girl has got it G-O-I-N' ON! - I applaud her efforts, stepping out of the box and taking FAITH far beyond where most of us would.

Occasionally, I post about great gift finds, local shopping, and some latest trendiness at times. Does that make me a bad person??? NO IT DOES NOT.  Does it mean that my priorities are not what they should be????...MAYBE...or MAYBE NOT! ! However, in thinking about Jesus, the most precious gift of all, Here are a couple things I wanted to throw out about priorities, AND this post from up there.... and these are not dents into what she is saying - these are my thoughts about the entire concept of Santa / Christmas and the most important gift of all Jesus Christ.

1. We shouldn't have that attitude just at Christmas - it should be something that we teach to our children year-round.- It should apply to Every area of our life - Not just CHRISTMAS!- This goes far beyond holidays. It is daily LIVING people!

2. The only thing I ever wanted to be (and actually knew that I wanted to do) was be a mother - and with that comes seeing joy and happiness on your child's face on Christmas morning - Santa or No Santa -I so look forward to Christmas morning and all that it brings - even if that means I spent money on gifts that she asked for..... But, I don't think that we are one of those crazy parents - that spend a ridiculous amount on our 4 year old for something that not even a middle-schooler should be allowed to have.  Memories are so precious and you cannot get them back. Do what is right for your family. This year will be our (me and GA) first Christmas with our own family; Just the three of us. What an exciting chance for us to share the story of Jesus with our daughter. And then we get to go to church on Sunday!!! 
Happy Birthday JESUS! 

And we are so STILL rocking the Santa at the Austin House!  
However, JESUS will always trump Santa!

3. Our children soak up wayyyy more than we can ever imagine. I dare to say that actions speak louder than words. I think that our actions for others weighs just as heavily as those gifts...or more.  - for example, every night GA looks forward to reading the selection from our advent calendar (and she is absorbing it), she helps me shop for angel tree gifts, and she knows that we as a family give to those less fortunate. We have an extreme responsibility as parents to drill into their tiny little heads what we want them to know about everything, and the importance of it all. So my plan is, BOTH! We can be reasonable with our children in what we purchase, give, and allow them to HAVE. We can teach them to give to others, we have to guide them to be good global citizens and good stewards of our earnings and property. We can teach them Jesus and have Santa too.

And ....
"As for me and my house we will serve the LORD!" Joshua 24:15 - What we want our children to know, grow-in, and absorb will come from what we teach them at home. I am so blessed that I was raised in a Christian home that made doggone sure that Jesus was priority. Santa or no Santa. I plan to make sure that GA and any future children (wayyyyyyyy down the road) will be brought up the same way. It is a hard thing to explain to little ones. Here are a few ideas for sharing Jesus with little ones:

1. Get an advent calendar (if it's too late for you, it's OK. Start from the beginning and "catch up") 
2. Get books that share the Good News with holiday spirit. Here are a few of my faves: 

"Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree"

Frazier, The Crooked Christmas Tree - This book is dear to my heart. It was written by Sheila Barrick, one of the ministers at the church I used to work at - First Presbyterian Church in Downtown Raleigh, NC - GA has her own special signed copy. I saw that they are also available online through Barnes and         

 #3) TALK with your CHILDREN - tell them what you want them to know. Share with them the good news of Jesus. Children are most influenced by their parents and caregivers. We have an extreme responsibility to lead them! 

Finally, I am so thankful for the sharing of Jen's post that I shared up there. It really made me think.  It really sunk in.  More than anything, I am so thankful for the conversations that GA and I have had over the last few nights at bedtime, conversations in the car, the questions she asks me and Sean, and thankful for the desire in my heart for her to know the Lord. Thankful for the ones in my family who instilled that in me, and the friends that were Jesus accessories in my life. Now those are things to shop for! 

Merry CHRISTmas!!!!!  


  1. First, let me just interject, clearly I have neglected my obligation as blogging bestie because I totally missed the new layout and I DIG! It roX...;)
    Secondly, I enjoyed your S-I-L's excerpt. WHOA! That might've been someone reading my mail circa 1990 something, but hey! It's all the same. I think it's safe to say we've come a long way! I want Griffin to grow up feeling secure in who he is, but NOT a spoiled-rotten brat, like his momma was. (Oh, girl, I have come FAR!) Anywho, I was "amen"-ing through the whole thing! I hope you and your family have a VERY Merry Christmas and that 2012 brings abundant blessings!

  2. I read that blog post. Got me to thinkin too. I hope to buy all those books one day to share with a mini Davis. :)


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