“You better watch out, you better not cry.
You better not pout I’m telling you why,
_ _ is coming to town.
He’s making a list and checking it twice.
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.”
Who’s coming to town? And who’s making and checking the list twice? Didn’t we all grow up singing that song? Didn’t we at one time thought that a bearded big fellow in red suit would come down and place our gift under the Christmas tree?
Of course, who wouldn’t know the famous Christmas character, Santa Claus? He’s always present in every shopping mall during Christmas time. In fact, some parents would look forward on that meet and greet Santa, in which kids may sit on his lap while mommies take a photo. Or are you also one of those parents who promise their kids a huge gift from Santa, if they behave well and not be naughty?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I too am guilty as charge. I basically grew up in the myth of Santa Claus coming down on Christmas Eve and placing my gift under the Christmas tree. Of course, I eventually discovered that my Tatay was the “Santa Claus” who kept placing my Christmas gift under the tree. And since I thought it was fun, I handed down to my daughter the same tradition, thinking it was a harmless tradition. Or so I thought.
However as I meditated on that tradition and specifically as I thought of Christmas and Santa Claus, one thing is impressed in my heart – are we devaluating the true meaning of Christmas? Are we unconsciously substituting Jesus with Santa?
Isn’t it preposterous that we oftentimes have representation of Santa in our Christmas Party or any Christmas gathering merely because he represents fun but not joy? He embodies amusement but not fulfillment. Or he may symbolize giving but not generosity.
The truth is, Jesus can neither be substituted nor replaced by Santa Claus. Jesus is the central point of Christmas. Did He not say He’s a jealous God? (Exodus 34:14) For this reason, Jesus does not like sharing limelight with Santa Claus.
Moreover, when we focus solely on Jesus we lose sight of what is temporal but get hold of what is perpetual because He offers not just fun but joy. Beyond amusement, He assures us of heavenly fulfillment. Over and above giving, Jesus demonstrated the ultimate generosity when He offered His life for our salvation.
And make no mistake, Jesus is coming to town. He is knocking on everyone’s heart, that we may accept His priceless, eternal gift of salvation.