Posted by: Diane | December 12, 2013

Majesty AND Magic

Apparently, I’m on Santa’s naughty list this year! Check out the window display at the store!

naughty - better color

I know, I know…the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about Santa.

To be honest, as our kids grew up, I just couldn’t bring myself to telling them about Santa and for years, I semi-struggled with this “untruth.” I knew some Christian friends who did not play up the Santa thing at all – right from the start, Jesus was the reason for the season. Period. There was no Santa. I don’t know why but I always felt a little sad for those children. They didn’t put cookies out for Santa or carrots for his reindeer and there were no stockings to be stuffed. It just seemed like something was missing.

Growing up in a non-Christian family,  it seemed foreign to remove Santa from our family Christmas celebrations so I figured I would try to straddle the situation and celebrate both  – majesty and magic.

My husband and I strongly emphasized Jesus’ birth – we even role-played the whole nativity scene every Christmas Eve. in our living room – I was the angel on the hill! (Tee, hee) We bundled up in warm clothes and faithfully brought our kids to the live nativity scene at Fairy Lake every December 23rd, until the kids got old enough to rebel and absolutely refuse to go. (They preferred to stay home, eat cookies and drink hot chocolate!) For years, the three kids were in Christmas plays about the true meaning of Christmas, we attended the Christmas Eve service at church, we gave to many charities and always had “strangers” over for Christmas dinner, who didn’t have a place to go. Our homemade advent calendar counted down the days until Christmas with felt figures and scripture. We’re still using the same one 25 years later!

Full Advent Calendar

We prayed and read books about Christ’s birth and we focused on the importance of giving to others.

We also took our kids to the mall so they could sit on Santa’s lap. We left a little note for Santa on his plate of cookies and we made reindeer tracks in the back yard, leading up to our house. I never liked the “Christmas wish list” – all the stuff “I” want – so we never went that route with our children. For me, that crossed a line. Funny – there really were boundaries that I dared not cross.

We decorated our tree and our house, inside and out. Every Christmas Eve, we all got to open up a Christmas ornament and pajamas before we went to bed. My husband and I stayed up late into the night, setting up stockings on specific chairs that the kids had picked for their presents.  We were always woken up extra early on Christmas morning with three children jumping on us and yelling, “Merry Christmas!” and the rule was that the kids had to sit at the top of the stairs and wait until we got downstairs to turn on all the Christmas lights and music.

To this day, I still don’t know the best way to do Christmas. There is both magic and majesty to this holiday – I don’t think it’s one or the other. Our kids are grown and now we have a grandson…and we’re celebrating Christmas the same way.

He believes in Jesus and he still believes in Santa.

What are your thoughts on this?  How do you combine the secular with the non-secular perspectives? Can there be Jesus AND Santa? I’d love to hear from you!

Talking about Santa, I had to chuckle at this sign – The Four Stages Of Life.

Four Stages of Life


  1. Hi We do both too! When Joshua was six, he looked at me straight in the eyes and asked me if Santa were real. He asked me to tell him the pure truth. Uh ho I told him that Santa wasn’t real but it is fun to pretend that he is real and also there was a real man who gave gifts to the poor long time ago and that is how it started. I remember being so excited about Santa being on my roof to drop off gifts. It is ok to imagine!

  2. Maybe I’m mislead – but my perception is that Christmas is a pagan holiday to begin with, and was never about Christ. It was the church taking a secular holiday and putting a spin on it. Is this not correct? I always thought the idea of celebrating Christ’s birth on the 25th was more of a tradition than anything. But in my mind, this celebration or the embracing of the “festive holidays” has no bearing on what is right or wrong to partake in. And I 100% agree with you, they can most certainly have a hand in each other.

  3. I am wondering if you could share you Advent calendar details with me. It looks very similar to the one my family used when I was growing up and I can’t find ours anywhere. I loved the symbols and the meaning behind them and the verses to go with each day. I’m getting married in June and I would love to make one for our first Christmas together 🙂

    • Hi Faith,
      I will email you personally ( I have to get my husband to scan all the sheets for you) and send you the 25 days of writing as well as the pattern for each of the days. The sheet that I’ve been working off is dated 1979 so this advent calendar has been in our family for a very long time. So glad that you like it!
      Merry Christmas to you and your fiance! Diane Lindstrom

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