Of Crèche Sets and Christ

Merry Christmas!  I hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Savior, the birth of Hope!  I hope it was full of family, fun, and frivolity!

This post today is short(er) – I don’t want to take you away from family for too long!  They are really just some random thoughts I have about the real Story of Christmas: Jesus.

A Crèche Set Story

I grew up in a household that had probably about 20 crèche sets.  I loved looking at all of them and putting them out each year.  They each were unique and special to me, each bearing a memory of Christmas past.  I’m not sure I could choose one favorite.

When I got older I started to wonder: which one was Mary’s favorite?


The Gifts of Santa Claus

Growing up, there was never any doubt that Santa existed.  It helped, I suppose, that I spent those early childhood years in Germany, where Nikolaustag was celebrated on December 6 each year.  My parents were quick to equate St. Nicholas and Santa Claus (as they should – they are the same person), and thus saved me a great deal of trauma in finding out the “truth.”

Of course people believed in Santa!, child-me thought.  I figured all the hoopla in America was just in honor of him.  I was about eight when I realized the truth: many children believed in an actual human being (elf?) who lived at the North Pole, had flying reindeer, and delivered presents every Christmas.

Being a highly rational creature, I decided the best thing to do was to make up for lost time.  I went into a sort of denial-based belief, and literally CHOSE to believe Santa was real.  After all, I had lost a valuable eight years of not putting cookies and milk out for Santa!

This only lasted a year or two.  After all, I knew the truth.  Now, I’m a married adult and looking to eventually in the future have children…And I’m faced with this dilemma: what do I tell my kids?

It’s a hot button issue in our culture, and things can get personal quickly.  But I think if we looked at the actual person of St. Nicholas – whom Santa Claus is derived from – we might just feel a little better about the concept of “Santa” (which just means “Saint,” anyway).


The Light of Santa Lucia

I have always loved the lights at Christmas time.  I even wrote a blog about them several years ago.  Light brings warmth, hope…and it symbolizes an indescribable longing.  A longing that maybe – just maybe – the Light will overcome the Darkness.    

Is it any wonder light is tied to Christmas?  We longed for a Savior – even the Gentiles had this longing.  We longed for Light to triumph over the Dark forces of this world.

And then the Light of the World came, and He dispelled the Darkness from our souls, giving us the hope of Life (John 8:12).

This longing for light is universal, and never more so than in the winter months, when light (before the advent of electricity) was scarce.  The pagans had their traditions about winter and Light…and God used that in a very special way.  One of those ways was through Santa Lucia…


Seeking God in the Stories we Tell at Christmas Time

It’s that wonderful time of year once again!  There is holiday cheer and well wishes, gift giving and receiving, and an all around joyful atmosphere (usually).  The lights are up, Santa’s are out, and creche sets have been placed.

And once again, it’s time for an advent blog.  It’s actually my fourth Christmas blog, although I kind of cheated last year by just incorporating Christmas into my existing series.  It worked…but this year I didn’t do a fall series, and I was left in the quandary of having to figure out a suitable blog.

I’ll admit, I was all out of ideas.  At first I was going to just “blog” a short story about the Christmas season (which will one day, God willing, make it into a novel).  However, I wasn’t satisfied with that option. I’m just not ready to be *that* vulnerable yet, and I felt I didn’t have sufficient time to do research or flesh out the characters.

I toyed with the idea of not posting anything at all, but that seemed rather lame.  So, I asked myself, “What is a good advent blog? What stories do we tell about Christmas?”

And then it hit me: Santa.