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Santa worships Jesus

So, I've seen various versions of this picture floating around Facebook this year.  (As far as I can recall, this is the first year I've seen this.)  I understand the sentiment, really I do.  It's a reminder that Christmas is really supposed to be a celebration of Jesus' birth and not just centered around Santa and buying lots of things you don't need.  And I really do hope that people who are posting this are making a sincere effort to center their celebration of loving other people and being kind rather than buying out of control and trying to impress people with their thoughtful gifts.  I am always disgusted at the commercialism and greed that we promote and cultivate in our society, and I'm glad to see efforts to curtail that.

But, do you really want this image to represent your beliefs?  Let me suggest why you might want to reconsider the concept of this picture.  Last year, I wrote a post about the parallels of Santa and God, about how the story of Santa really is more credible than the story of God, and about how I feel that they're basically on the same level, as far as their connection with reality.  But, if you're a Christian, do you also want to send that message?  Do you want people to equate Santa with Jesus?  Putting them in the same picture like this elevates Santa up to the same level (as far as being real or not being real goes) as Jesus.  You have a painting of Santa in the same room as Jesus.  And he's worshipping Jesus.  It would be just as ridiculous to have the tooth fairy at the Pearly Gates in Heaven.  It sends the message that you're okay with mixing myth with your religion.  (Again, I'm okay with that too, but that's because I think your religion is just as mythical as Santa.)

Personally, I would like to see more of this kind of thing.  For one reason, it might then lead people to the same conclusion as myself--that Santa and God are equally likely to be real.  For another thing, it is a symbol of putting the spirit of love and kindness above the spirit of buying incessantly.  And I'm in favor of that too.  As a word of advice, I'll suggest that if you're trying to promote belief in God, you find other methods than putting Jesus and Santa in the same painting, but I'm all in favor of any concerted effort of discourage big spending in December.

I think that I will take the opportunity during the Christmas season to reflect on my own behavior, to be more compassionate of others and to try harder to understand other people and where they're coming from.  I would like to re-evaluate myself and try to be more like the person I want to be.  I want to be more forgiving.  I want to be more understanding.  I want to be more loving.  I want to be more likable.  I want to be more compassionate.

This season, I will buy gifts for friends and family.  I have bought some already, and I may buy some more.  Mostly this is out of tradition.  My family has a gift exchange rotation.  Each year, we have someone else in the family to buy gifts for.  I enjoy participating in that tradition, so I will.  But, to be honest, my gift purchases have been very modest this year.  I don't want to spend a lot of money on things for my friends and family that already have everything they need.  I don't want to perpetuate the commercialization of Christmas.  I want to promote responsible spending and living within one's means, at this time of year and always.  I also want to promote spending money on people who have very little in life rather than on people who have all of life's necessities.

I would recommend to my readers to find a charity and donate money there instead of spending it on games and toys and other excessive things.  (Not that having and playing games is excessive, but when a child has a room full of toys, giving em more seems excessive to me.)  And I would recommend taking the opportunity to develop compassion, empathy, and love.  

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