Christmas Eve staple:
Becoming a parent really does change everything. Since having children we've becomes more intentional, focused and purposeful. We are defining Christmas movies not by the winter season or the symbols but if it points back to and includes the birth of Christ. There is enough in our media, music, tv and stores that are a distraction. We aren't adding anything else in our home during an already busy time of year.
While I support the heart and historical origin of Saint Nicholas, I think the current rendition of him and his elves, reindeer and location steal too much time, focus and attention. The heart of giving, sacrifice, charity, love and forgiveness is at the heart of our celebrations. As unpopular in mainstream culture as this is, we have chosen as a family to not lie to our children in any way, not even in fun. We simply can't reconcile giving a fictional character credit for real life activities. We can have fun with him on December 6th which is observed as St Nicholas day remembering he was a Christian and gave purposefully out of the love Christ had for him. The Advent season including December 25th is for preparing for and celebrating the birth of Christ. We pray the heart is what our children will carry with them through out the rest of the year, not just a gift they will outgrow but of the sacrifice God made for us by sending Christ to become human flesh so we would know we weren't alone. He know we needed a role model to look up to and emulate. I pray our children know God as our creator is our only source of true unconditional love, forgiveness, and acceptance. He is the ultimate teacher, protector, guide and parent.