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.