Let me give proper warning, this is about to be a "rant". It has to do with that Elf on the Shelf® thingy. From their webpage:
The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.When I first heard about this I was disturbed. The more I think about it, the more disturbed I get.
There are spies in the living rooms of children all over America (and presumably the world). They are taking down the names and activities of the children in those houses and reporting them to the north Pole. What an awful idea. It perpetuates what, to me, is the biggest problem with Christmas as we celebrate it: You have to be good to get the gifts of Christmas.
The only reason some children are "being good" right now is that there is this Elf taking the information back to Santa. They want the presents. Talk about taking Christ OUT of Christmas. Using the "X" is an appropriate symbol for Christ used for centuries. Xmas is not anti-Christ. The idea of needing to be good to get what God is offering is the underlying idea that is enhanced by the Santa Claus story we have developed.
I don't know about you, but I got the presents from Santa whether I was good or bad, naughty or nice.
I think it was the first time I understood grace.
By the way, I believe in Santa. I like Santa. Not because he brings me gifts, but because he is a bringer of grace. Let's tell THAT story as well.