December 18, 2012

Getting Rid of The Naughty List

As Michael and I have grown in our faith and our relationship with Christ, we seem to start raising our eyebrows once the Christmas season rolls around. "Do we do Santa? Do we not do Santa? What about the elf?" We have been struggling to find a balance between making Christ the focus of Christmas and keeping it magical and memorable for the kids.
So here we are, the 1st week of December and we are in full Christmas swing around here. Tree has been up for 3 weeks. The rest of the decor has been up for about 2 weeks now. Lights on the house, ABC Family Christmas show or movie every night after bed, and so on.  The kids had started asking when Alfredo, our elf, would show up.  Well Praise the Lord for Pinterest!! I came across this awesome blog that had exactly what we were looking for!!  I am just totally and completely in love with LeAna. She came up with such a perfect way to celebrate Christmas with some magic yet not turn it in to something 'works based'. 
A Small Snippet
Michael and I have both tried to keep grace as a focus in our hearts and something we teach the boys daily. When you really and truly receive His grace and realize that He loves you 'just because' and not because of anything you did or didn't do, it will rock you to the core. 
God gave his Son freely. Jesus loves us freely. If we are His children and God doesn't expect us to be nice vs. naughty, then why should Santa? He shows up and gives us his big fat sleigh of love regardless if we've been bad or good, for goodness sake!
My parents always said that they allowed Santa to be a part of the celebration because it was an example to us to believe in things we couldn't see.  Even though we couldn't see Santa, as long as we believed he would come to visit us. Just like our Heavenly Father, as long as we put our faith in Him, He will deliver his promises! 

Here is our Santa letter. Modeled very similar after LeAna's. We just brought it down to our kid's level a bit. 

We did a Breakfast to celebrate the arrival of our Elf, Alfredo. He decorated the kitchen all kooky and had a spread of donuts, gingerbread men, & hot cocoa!

Dear Caney Boys,
Michael, Lincoln, and Knox
I am writing to you to explain about how things really work. I am sure you have heard stories about the naughty and nice list. The naughty and nice list is something people made up to try to get their kids to behave. That’s not how I ever wanted children to think about Santa.

Boys, I give gifts simply because I love children. Boys and girls misbehave all the time. I want you to be good not to get gifts but because you love your daddy and mommy. Santa is not the reason for Christmas. Christmas is all about Jesus. I love Jesus and he is in my heart. I know you love Jesus too. Jesus came to love us and give us all the gifts we don’t deserve. That is called grace.

We cannot do anything to get grace. It is a gift Jesus gives to those whom he chooses to save. Because I love Jesus, I like to give out gifts too! I need a favor from you, though. I have a little elf friend named Alfredo. Alfredo is a good elf and we really like him here at the north pole. But sometimes Alfredo can get into trouble. I need to send him somewhere that he can learn about how to be nice and love Jesus.

I know you boys love Jesus and that your daddy and mommy teach about Jesus. If I send Alfredo to your house this year do you think you could help me by setting an example for him? He doesn’t talk during the day and always stays very still. But he is always watching and learning. At night, when everyone is asleep, is when he does his playing and moving around.

So Caney boys, you are going to get gifts this year because Jesus loves you, and because Jesus loves to give good gifts to his children, I will bring gifts. You need to remember to give gifts to others who don’t have as much as you. That is the real story of Jesus, Christmas, and Santa Claus. Please keep an eye on Alfredo for me and teach him to be a good elf.

God Bless You and Merry Christmas,

Santa Claus