Why should we leave Christ in Christmas?

I was walking around our neighborhood the other day, and the number of manger scenes or references to Jesus was minimal. Honestly, we don’t have one either, so this isn’t a criticism of not having a manger scene, but it’s just something I noticed. The other thing I observed was that there were tons of miniature Santas or snowmen or reindeer every few houses.

I started wondering, how did we get here? Meaning, how did we get to a place where we celebrate “good” things such as love and giving and family and twinkling lights, and yet ignore or dismiss the entire reason why we celebrate Christmas? It’s like we’re trying to hide the sun with our one hand, as we celebrate and point to the lantern we grasp with the other. We can sort of cover that sun up; and of course, the lantern is a good thing for sure. But the thing is, the lantern gives us a very bounded version of what the sun gives us. There’s so much more the sun provides compared to the lantern. The lantern is limited. The sun is not. The lantern gives us a glimpse of light while the sun gives us sustenance and life through the light it gives us. Big difference.

Same with Christmas. Has anyone noticed that within the name itself is the word, “Christ”? It’s not Santa-mas or Claus-mas. Or Snowman or Reindeer Day. It’s called CHRIST-mas. Sort of crazy how far down the slippery slope we’ve fallen in the American culture where we can’t even say “Merry Christmas” because it’s “culturally insensitive.” Really, at the end of the day, Jesus is offensive. Oh well. America celebrates Christmas and we certainly shouldn’t miss the fact that it’s Jesus we celebrate, not Santa. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, that’s an awesome thing.

Christmas is a day that traditionally celebrates family, generosity, and comfort food. And again, to be clear, these are all good things. According to history.com, the real Santa was a monk called St. Nicholas. He was a very generous person and famously gave money for a dowry to three destitute sisters who were about to be sold into slavery by their extremely poor father, thereby providing them an opportunity to be married and have a future.

And that points out to me where the struggle lies. Santa is not necessarily bad, per se. Following the lead of the generosity of a man who lived so long ago is a beautiful thing. HOWEVER, here’s the rub. Where is the focus? Again, this is not St. Nicholas Day! This is CHRIST-mas day. Today is the day we celebrate Jesus coming down from heaven to take on the form of a man in flesh to be the Savior of the world. Call me crazy, but that is something we should all celebrate and be thankful for. HE truly is the best gift we could receive. We think the gifts we look forward to receiving are awesome. And they are wonderful! But do we understand that if it weren’t for Jesus coming, we would all be lost forever? As in, we all deserve hell because of our sin, and not mercy or grace (not my words or thoughts, check out Rom 6:23), but that’s exactly what Jesus came to give us. He gives us mercy and grace when we turn and repent of our sin and accept Him as our Savior and our LORD (1 John 2:2; John 1:12). Without Him, we have no hope. No gift could ever make up for that. As R.C. Sproul once said, “What’s wrong with you people?” Don’t we see the significance of a holy God coming to save His depraved and undeserving people? Shouldn’t we joyfully celebrate that and unashamedly proclaim His goodness?

As for Santa, again, I can see how someone would want to be able to point to a person who exemplified well what dying to self means and sacrificing the riches we possess for the good of someone else. But no one does it like Jesus. So sure, Santa is great. But not comparable with the greatness of Jesus, the Son of God. When we elevate Santa to the same level as Jesus (which, if we’re honest with ourselves, is exactly what many of us tend to do), we devalue the magnificent gift we have received. None of it matters if we don’t have Jesus. NONE of it. Jesus is our foundation. Without Jesus, we have nothing we need. With Jesus, we have everything we need.

So this Christmas, remember to leave Christ in Christmas above everything else. Who cares if he was or was not actually born on December 25 over 2,000 years ago? That’s not the point. The point is to celebrate that the Son of God was born. Period. Born for each one of us. He is good. He is worthy to be praised. He is worthy to be obeyed and to be our LORD. He is worthy to celebrate.

Praise the LORD for the miraculous birth of our Savior, Jesus!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?