Christmas is a holy week like Hanukkah. No man can serve 2 masters: help the children understand it is Christ, not Santa, that is to be thanked for their gifts.
“Jesus Christ is the source of every blessing we receive” said President Henry B. Eyring. Teach the children that gifts are from people who love them like parents, siblings, and neighbors. Teach them that the Holy Ghost, whom is the messenger of Jesus Christ, is who inspired them to be kind and give gifts.
President Nelson recently received the revelation for the church that using the title of Mormons was inappropriate and offensive to God, in that it sidetracks from the real name of the church, which is the church of Jesus Christ. Would it not stand to reason that we are doing something similar with Christmas when we make Santa the focal point of benevolence & accountability? Surely the time in which we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World should be one where he is the central character. There was no room for his birth back then, and there is apparently still no room to this day.
When children are contemplating weather they are on the ‘naughty or nice list’, teach them that it is Christ, not Santa, who holds that list. Christ truly holds them accountable, and truly does watch their every move. It is interesting how the secular world uses Santa to hold children accountable. They recognize that the key factor in behavior is accountability. Conveniently, they have selected a man who has set no real expectations to be their standard of accountability.
While Santa isn’t the epitome of evil, he has, however well intending, gotten in the way of teaching children about Christ. If Santa gets in the way of Christ, we can say, like Christ said to well-intending Peter, ‘get thee behind me Satan, for thou savorest not the things of God.’ Santa is Satan when he undermines Christ. If ‘Santa’ does good to others, then he is of Christ, because whatsoever persuades men to do good is of Christ. But the second he becomes bigger than Christ, he needs to step down.
Easter, the true time of the birth of Christ, must also be used to teach symbols of new life in Christ.
Halloween can be a time of light rather than darkness, a time of abiding joy rather than fear and fleeting pleasures. Wear white all week long. Keep the lights on all week long. If you are celebrating the dead, celebrate them in beauty, looking forward to the resurrection of the dead. Looking forward to the realms of light in which we will meet them again.
New Year’s should be a time to contemplate the creation of the earth. In ancient times, the new year was always a time to reenact the creation of the earth through dramatic plays and ceremonies. Similarly, we can contemplate the beginning as a new era comes upon us. A time to start afresh doing things the way that God originally intended them to be.
At the end of the day, we may as well throw out the pagan holidays, and put in Judeo-Christian ones. Celebrate Passover and other biblical festivals. Ensure your celebrations are centered on the plan of salvation.
Plan of Salvation as told in the Holidays: An Analogy:
Note: this is just a fun study of comparing and contrasting holidays in the order they occur, and relating that to the plan of salvation in the order of eternal events, or the choosing of a higher or lower kingdom.
In reality, anytime people come together with friends and family is a great time. I love all holidays (but especially Christmas!)
The Creation Holiday: New Year’s Day
-we remember beginnings, especially the creation of earth & being raised as “young” spirits in pre-mortality
The Holiday of Promise: Easter
-we learn in premortality of Jesus Christ and Gods plan for us to have immortal bodies like himself
The Holiday of War: Memorial Day
-we fought in pre-mortality between Jehovah (Christ) and Lucifer
The Pre-Mortal Holiday: Independence Day
-becoming free, as in the election of Christ instead of Lucifer, and thus coming to earth to work out our salvation
The Mortal Holiday: Labor Day
-this life is the day for men to perform their labors, to prepare to meet God
***Now moving on to the 3 core holidays, typical of the 3 kingdoms of glory assigned after this life:
The Telestial Holiday, Halloween:
-FOOD: empty calories which give only immediate pleasure and later chronic illness.
-acting like kids
-HEROISM: pretending like you’re a hero, usually a pretend one
-getting people to look at you
The Terrestrial Holiday, Thanksgiving:
-FOOD: wholesome foods
-appreciating family / those who appreciate us
-HEROISM: giving reverence to / remembering heroes who have gone before (to make America, etc.)
-honoring America for its freedom
The Celestial Holiday, Christmas:
-FOOD: giving food to the poor
-HEROISM: worshiping Jesus Christ, the prototypical hero who can help you become a hero, and doing heroic acts