I have a conflicted relationship with Christmas.
I love the idea of it all, the decorations and lights, caroling and cocoa, candlelight services and matching plaid pajamas. But the reality of pulling it all off leaves me overwhelmed. At my core, I am a type B person with type A expectations.
And then, there’s my fingernails-on-the-chalkboard-level annoyance with one of the great travesties of the season.
I know you’ve seen it.
There’s a book.
Bald Santa says "Hats Off for Baby Jesus!"
Ornaments by the zillion.
"Please, Baby Jesus, heal me from the metal hook in my head."
"Dude, thank goodness you're here. The wise men's gifts sucked. Got a 'Tickle Me Elmo' in that bag?"
And of course, the holiest of holies. Yard art.
"Uh, Baby Jesus, your diaper is glowing. I'm going to go find Mary."
Look, I get the thought behind Kneeling Santa: that the trappings and gifts we spend so much time on are not at the heart of the season. But then — “Oh the irony!” We package up that anti-commercial message in a clever little package and make MILLIONS selling tacky tchotchkes.
Search “Kneeling Santa” and you get hundreds of thousands of matches, many of them all yours for the low, low price of $19.99. Act now and at Easter, we’ll ship you a limited edition ornament of the Easter Bunny crying at the foot of the cross.
Just no, okay?
Santa didn’t come to the manager on his sled. Rudolph’s red nose didn’t illuminate the angels as they appeared to the shepherds. There were no stockings hung in the stable. Frosty didn’t tip his top hat to the King of Kings. The Grinch brought no Roast Beast.
That night in Bethlehem is already the ultimate mix of holy and human, when God became flesh and dwelt among us. You don’t need to shove Santa in with the Savior and hang Christmas lights on the manger to make it more compelling.
But, I must admit, that motion-activated recording of “Oh Come, Let Us Adore Him?”
That’s a nice touch.