Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Problem With Christmas #3

#3: The Nice List

While this post could be geared toward parents who choose to let their children believe in Santa, I'm not just talking about Santa's nice list, I'm talking about the general idea of the nice list.

I know of parents who tell their kids to be good in anticipation of Christmas, to imply that better behavior warrants more, or better, gifts. This really is a diabolical system, not in line with what Christ would have for us at all. Why?

Because all the time we're telling our children to be good, they think that those brightly wrapped packages under the tree will be gifts. But they won't be. No, after our children have worked so hard to keep from talking back, to share with their brothers and sisters, and take out the trash, those crisp, colorful boxes and bags are rewards, not gifts.

And there is a distinct difference between a gift and a reward.

When God sent His son to us, to love us, teach us, and die for our sins, that was a gift, the greatest gift ever. We didn't do anything, not a damn thing, to deserve that:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Not only were we without merit deserving of Christ's sacrifice for us, but we were actually at enmity with God. God gave the greatest gift ever to people that hated Him.

A reward, however, is something that someone works to earn. If you tell your children to be good or Santa will give them coal, or that they might not recieve such a myriad of gifts, be sure to tell them that you're not giving them presents simply because you love them.

Make sure to tell them what you're really doing is paying them.


Diesel said...

I agree. My children are the ones who tell the other kids at school there's no such thing as Santa Claus. Sue me.

Allen said...

Thank you! Finally some sanity in this whole screwy mess! Though I kinda like the idea of Krampus coming and beating up bad kids.

Joel Bezaire said...

Well said, that's been your best post in this excellent series.