How Santa Hijacked Christmas from Jesus (and what YOU can do about it)

Why you got to hate on me, bro?

Santa Just Broke Into Your House!

Imagine Christmas morning. Smell of fresh roasted coffee, baked bread, and an aroma of Christmas cookies. Christmas carols playing on the radio.

And some dirty footprints by the Christmas tree. “What the…?!?” You definitely weren’t wearing shoes last night as you dispensed the Christmas gifts under the tree.

“Who the %#@%*@”

That Santa guy just broke into your house again.

Before you start sweeping up the charcoal footprints, clearing his half-eaten plate of cookies or filing a police report on the break-in, let’s look at what Santa Claus has done to Christmas.

Did Santa Claus hijack Christmas?

The dude from the North Pole with magical elves and reindeer who can circle the world in 24 hours is a legend.

He’s in movies, stories, commercials, and is the hero of Christmas around the world.

He makes lists about who’s been good or bad, brings us expensive cool gadgets and captures the imagination of all children.

But has Santa hijacked the meaning of Christmas?

Think about it – this guy has basically flooded the market and capitalized on the birth of God’s son!?!

What a no good son-of-a %*@)*%)@

Instead of celebrating the life of the Savior, born to the Virgin Mary in a stable, we’re stuck with a jolly guy who loves junk food and Coca Cola!

It’s not just Santa but everything he’s come to represent – endless shopping, gift-buying, wrapping paper and bows, lay-aways and credit cards, Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays. Pre-Christmas and After-Christmas sales bonanzas!

Santa has become the poster boy of a giant marketing campaign. Everyone from Coke to Macy’s has made billions of dollars of this guy! The entire U.S. economy has come to depend on year-end gift buying for the holidays!

How to take Christmas back?

Although Santa’s hijacked the holidays, does Christmas have to be about gifts, presents, food and buying stuff?

NO!

HELL NO!

We can take Christmas back. We can celebrate the guy who made it all happen – Jesus, the savior. We can celebrate His birth, what he stood for and how He sacrificed his life! No, that’s not as fun to hear as a jolly red-suited man with presents but Jesus is the reason for the season.

Let’s pull our Bibles out and read a passage. Let’s learn about the man who gave up His life for us. Let’s live a holiday season based upon the principles Jesus taught us and the example he set.

Five ways to celebrate Christmas to make Jesus proud!

1. Go to church. Listen folks, I’m not even a Christian and I’ve been going to Christmas mass for the last few years!

Going to church on Christmas is the ideal situation for the wannabe, non-Church going and disenchanted Christian.

You get to be in Church during the holiest day of the year and celebrate the birth of the Savior. You also hear the gospel, celebrate with music and participate in an activity that’s actually related to the holiday.

As Andy Wood suggests, make a choice to rejoice in Christ! And spend time with prayer and scripture.

2. Be compassionate.

How about spending the holidays doing less gift-giving and being more compassionate?

Jesus was compassionate to the hungry, the homeless, the blind, and everyone else around him.

Giving to others in the form of gifts makes you both feel good and results in more stuff!

Being compassionate to others in need, on the other hand, will be a service to help others improve their lives.  Give with your money, your time or your attention to a person in need or cause this holiday season.

Can you practice compassion and open your heart?

If you need a toolkit to practice compassion, my friend Sandra has put together a list of resources on her blog. This toolkit is neither approved or endorsed by Santa!

3. Be Kind

Isn’t it interesting that we pull our hair out and are in a mad rush on our way to celebrate Christmas? So many relatives to visit, so many holiday parties, so much shopping to be done.

The craziness of the holidays turns us into demanding, impatient and inconsiderate individuals.

Want to be kinder on Christmas or throughout the year for that matter? Visit Alex Blackwell’s blog to read the manifesto on kindness which features at least 100+ kindness tips.

4. Stop buying stuff

A person’s life, “…is not in in the abundance of the thing which he possesses” Luke 12:15

If you feel that gift-buying and the obligatory purchases of high-end luxury items and technology products doesn’t soothe your soul, then stop the mindless act of purchasing stuff!

Boycott Santa and all his marketing messages. Stop the sales, stop the buy 1 get 1 free, stop the Coke-drinking! Stop getting him cookies! The dude needs to lose weight! (He needs a tough Black Friday workout with Amy Clover to get in shape.)

Instead, take on the Buy Nothing challenge Leo has Babauta has suggested on the Zen Habits blog. Instead of buying whatever the hell you see in sight, stop the madness! Adapt some of the rules Leo’s proposed and cut down on unwanted junk this year for you and for others.

5. Gift experiences.  What if instead of giving gifts, we gave experiences?

Marcella who writes at the Perpetual Vacation, reminds us that human relationships thrive on experiences more than goods. She suggests giving memories and gifts that enrich the soul, instead of stuff.

Instead of stuff, we could give each other our time and attention. We could strengthen our relationships with others by spending time with the people we love and value them. We could give our time and attention to those who need our help.

If Santa shows up at my house, I’m calling the cops this year. I’m leaving the cookies and milk for you, my friends and readers. Have a great holiday and celebrate like Jesus would! 

* Photo credit to nberry

Are you for Santa or for Jesus? How do you stand up to Santa’s aggressive sales and marketing efforts? Yes, you’ll piss Santa off but go ahead and leave a comment below anyways.

22 Comments

  1. Hi Vishnu! Thanks for the ping! Hope you have a bodacious holiday! Count me in for Jesus – but if you could see pics of the inside of my house, you’d see plenty of evidence for that cookie thief/teamster boss.

    1. Thanks for your comment Andy and for your article on how to make Christmas a celebration again! The 4 R’s you mention are the real way to celebrate Christmas -not the way jolly St. Nick proposes:) I’m sure I’ll see the big red-suited guy in your and everyone else’s home – he’s a brilliant marketer:)

  2. You are so funny, Vishnu! Seriously, you have the best sense of humor in cyberspace. But in that humor is so much warmth, insight, and kindness. Hey, I’m not a Christian either but my vote is for Jesus. He was a great role model so what a great idea, why not spend the day being inspired by all his wondrous virtues? And thanks for the link love, which you do in such an fun and educational way!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Sandra! I’m glad you’re standing with Jesus and what he stood for 🙂 We sometimes tend to forget what the whole celebration is about. I added the link because it’s a great resource (it was for me and hopefully will be for others too)

  3. Sandra is right–you are funny! My daughter Mia would agree with you about the Santa part–she was totally freaked out about the idea of someone coming in the house at night. No tooth fairy or Easter bunny either. But she did like the presents part! Love your suggestions, especially because you are not a Christian. What is beautiful about faith is that in its essence it transcends labels. Lovely.

    1. Thanks Galen! And that’s funny about your daughter’s reaction. Hopefully, she didn’t see Santa and no cops were ever called. But even if Santa doesn’t physically get in the house, I try to point out he gets in every other way – online, on TV, in the mail, sales ads. haha

      You’re right – the faith does transcend labels. And all of us can appreciate the day and the man who we celebrate it for.

  4. Vishnu this is a really awesome post.

    I love how you made a really funny point combined with a really interesting perspective. You make a really good point. In fact, prior to reading this post I had nothing against Santa – but now he is my enemy!

    Thanks for helping me find a new enemy.

    1. THanks Izzy for your feedback here and in person. haha really – appreciate your thoughts and inspiration. and the new direction of things:)

      I’m glad you’ve put Santa on your bad list. Let’s try out some of your ninja moves on him!

  5. Every little thing is commercial, Vishnu. Everything’s a marketing message for companies to capitalize on. Hmm.

    I am loving no.5 in your list. It is beautiful. Nothing can equal the time we spend with someone. Presence rather than presents.

    Love your post. Had me laughing!

    1. Hi Vidya – I should have used that in the title – presence rather than presents:)

      Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for sharing it with your readers on Twitter.

  6. Definitely, in Jesus’ corner!
    What a great, timely message, Vishnu. I especially like the giving of experiences vs. gifts; that’s what my husband and I do when we vacation at a cabin every year.
    Blessings!

    1. I didn’t have to ask where you stood on this issue Martha. I got that message loud and clear in your last post. I’m glad you’re spending time creating experiences and valuing your family during the Christmas season. Marcella wrote a great post about this and I was able to link to the article above.

  7. Church on Christmas Eve is one of my absolute favorite experiences. The joy and love in the air. The funny voices (including mine) singing Christmas carols about Jesus. I just love it. It makes me smile huge thinking about it 🙂

  8. Mr Vishnu,

    WE invented Santa, WE control Christmas and WE hijack EVERY holiday.

    Me, my company and every company every created under the guise of every holiday from Christmas to Flag day would appreciate it if you could please not tell any more people about the whole hijacking thing, that would be great.

    Hey! Hey, how about I give you a pair of Isotoner gloves….FOR FREE! How about that? Isotoners! Whoa.

    Thanks,
    R.P.

    1. A true pleasure to have the CEO of Macy’s visiting my blog. You’re doing a great job – how do I return this sweater I picked up:) ?? And I’ll email you about the Isotoner gloves!

  9. I am going to print this blog, gift wrap it and put it under the Christmas tree for everyone in my family! Thank you – you saved me a lot of money! By the way, I thought I will buy you a present for Christmas and that is not happening either. I enjoyed reading your post. Keep up the good work.

    1. Great idea 🙂 Let me make sure my address isn’t on the blog.

      I will gladly accept Christmas presents – unless they’re from Santa!!

  10. I honestly haven’t celebrated Christmas in a couple years (since being in Philippines). I’m through with the commercialist crap and don’t have to submit since I’m away from fam! 😛 Christmas mass is way cooler than any other time of year though.. have to give the Catholics that.

    1. J – no Christmas presents, Santa in the Philippines? haha Does Santa make it to Asia 🙂 ??

      Even if there is a Christmas celebration, the country’s economy probably does not exist on year-end gift-buying! Hope you had a good Christmas.

      1. i got my christmas presents when i found out i’d be a contestant in prosperity’s kitchen (1), a $500 scholarship from $100 Change (2), Seth Godin’s latest book I won from Natalie Sisson (3) and 4-Hour Chef book I won from Liz Dialto (4)!! A happy budding entrepreneur Christmas!

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