December 14, 2012

santa is a party clown

Being Aunt Meggie is one of the very most prized roles in my life up to this point. I love when I get to spend time with the little preshy-pies, and also I love quoting things they say and writing blog posts about them. I quote them a lot because regardless of our significant age difference, they are for sure smarter than me. I'm sure of it because they are constantly saying things that make my internal dialogue go something like this: I knew that. Right? I did, didn't I? Surely... I must have... They say things that are so funny and profound all at once that it's hard to fully wrap my mind around it. Given their track record, I wasn't that surprised last year when Timmy [age 7, then] said to Amie, about Christmas, the following:

So, is Santa like a clown for Jesus' birthday?

I mean, really. These kids. They're like  tiny theologians.

I feel sure there have been days during this very season where I spent more time trying to come up with a Christmas list than thinking about Jesus. I'm embarrassed about it, but it's the truth. And that's what my tender-hearted, brilliant little nephew was getting at when he said that to my sister. 

Jesus is what's important, right? 
Santa is fun but Jesus is the big deal, right? 
Isn't this party is really for Jesus?

Whether he knew it or not, with that little question, Timmy hit a pretty hard theological nerve, at least for me. Because I think no matter how good we are, no matter how much we love Jesus and how well we evangelize and how many seminary degrees we have - yes, even for us - there may come a moment where we're so caught up with the clown that we forget about the real reason for the party. There are moments when things that are not the point take the spotlight over the real reason we're celebrating. When our focus goes to gifts that are shiny and tangible over the ones that actually mean something.

Clowns aren't bad. They can be fun, I guess,  if you're into that kind of thing, and so long as they're not starring in a horror movie. But if you're at a birthday party, you don't fawn over the entertainment, do you? You don't tell the clown how much you love it, right, how glad you are it was born? Unless of course it's a clown's birthday; but let's forget that as an option or my whole analogy is shot. My point is this: Christmas is fun. So much fun. I love it, and I intend to continue enjoying the many perks of the yuletide season. But instead of spending the holiday season focused on frivolous entertainment - on Santa Claus and Christmas lists, the plethora of ABC Family Christmas movies available on Netflix, Skinny Peppermint Mochas, and the Mariah Carey Christmas album - I hope that we can all [myself perhaps the very most] heed Timmy's warning and not lose sight of what we're celebrating.

Because this party is really for Jesus.

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