December 12, 2008

A Merry Little Rant

This is our Christmas mantel for 2008. I have a strange little hobby of decorating our mantle with each new season, month, or any other reason that comes along. My family has deemed these my "mantlescapes" after someone on the Food Network (who will remain nameless on my blog) who makes "tablescapes". This year I was going for an "I Spy" look on the mantle. I linked the title in case you've never enjoyed one of these fun books. If you click on the pictures below you can see all the little goodies on the mantle.

You'll obviously notice that there are lots of secular Christmas decorations and symbols on our mantle. There was a time in the recent past when I would have been apologetic with other Christians about my fondness for all things of the North Pole. But now I realize that trying to prove we are keeping this holiday sacred by banning all these little symbols is truly ludicrous. Enjoying Santa and all the other fantastical aspects of the Christmas season can in no way pull us off track from the real story of Christmas. Nor do I feel the need to display a Santa who is kneeling at the manger - are you kidding me?

I grew up as a card carrying member of the Santa believers club and even after I had made the logical leap of knowing that it couldn't be real, it was still just plain, joyful fun. But as excited as I was about the toys that were coming my way, my favorite thing to do on Christmas Eve was to stare out at the sky and imagine what it was like at the manger that amazing night. We carried on the Santa tradition with our daughter, and believe me the real message of Christmas was never lost on this child. Her first full sentence was "Seep in heaveny peace". She was draped in one of her blankets as 'Mary' and she was talking to a doll that she had swaddled to be baby Jesus. I think she knew the real Christmas story!
I'm all for analyzing what we do and holding things up to scripture to make sure we're operating in an honest way, but political correctness reigns in our world today and we overthink everything. For the record, if one more person tries to tell me that the first Thanksgiving wasn't the way it's portrayed in paintings, I may just swing a turkey leg at them! And I don't buy into the idea that Halloween is of the devil - only if we let that happen rather than protecting it as an innocent childhood celebration will it really be something evil. So I'm going to enjoy Santa and the reindeer and all the sappy movies and TV specials and have that joy once a year. More importantly we will continue embracing the joy of Christ, which sustains us every day of the year, and endeavor to reflect that joy in the way we live, rather than the way we decorate the house in December.

Well, this is all then.

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