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It’s almost Christmas and every year Christians around the world get upset with the whole Santa thing, the commercialism of Christmas and how to live in this world while not taking it’s standards as their own. When my kids were growing up I worried about the same things and in the end chose the route of teaching my children how to discern for themselves instead of using blanket “no’s” to many things.

When our kids got to an age where they could understand (about two – three years old) we explained Santa to them. They grew up understanding that he was make-believe yet fun and we didn’t feel it compromised our Christianity by allowing our children to partake in make-believe. After all God gave us our imagination to use not only to dream with him and see into the spiritual realms but to imagine – to make things up – thats where CS Lewis dreamed up Narnia and his other wonderful stories – in his imagination. (The world would be a very sad place if all imagination was removed – we would be automatons without dreams or vision and nothing that man has dreamed up would have been created yet)

The other day I was checking out some craft blogs and came across this wonderful example of explaining the whole Jesus & Santa thing. The explanation doesn’t kick in until a little bit down the page but I loved what they have chosen to do to explain it all. The couple in the blog are also learning to walk in grace-based parenting and share a couple of great books in the link that I’m sure would be well worth the read. Here’s the amazon link for them as well as another one called “Grace based parenting” which is on the same page.

I hope it gives you some ideas of how you can approach this whole subject with your family. I am certainly going to share it with my kids and hopefully we can incorporate something like it into their Christmas family traditions.

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Christmas, Xmas, Happy Holidays – everyone says something different and sometimes people get so hung up over the right term to use it can get a little crazy. I learnt something interesting not so long ago It’s not earth shatteringly life changing but it does bring some clarity to the Christmas / Xmas debate that often rages around this time.

Apparently the term Xmas is not a new thing but originates from New Testament times. Patricia King (Extreme Prophetic’s leader in the USA) sent us this little article to explain it all. Interestingly it is also where our XP logo originated.

“The idea of using “X” in place of Christ is not a modern idea. In the Modern Roman Alphabet, which comes from the Greeks who were before Rome, the first letter of the word “Christ” is “chi” which is represented by a symbol similar to the letter “X.”

X in Ancient Greek is pronounced as the hard “ch.” The Greek Chi or X is the first letter in the Greek word Christos as in Iesus Christos aka Jesus Christ. You will frequently see people write Xmas, as well as Xian, which means Christian, using the same principle.

Chi is written as an “X” and Rho is written as a “P,” but they are the first two letters of the Greek word Christ “savior” that “XP” is sometimes used to stand for. Sometimes X is used alone. This is the case in the Chi (X) abbreviation for Christ in Xmas.

Thus, Xmas is not directly a way of secularizing the holiday, but since “X” is not Chi in English, we read the word as X-mas and see no connection with Christ. It’s really not the word Xmas’s fault, but our ignorance. Some may use the word Xmas today as an unchristian shortcut for Christmas, but the ancient abbreviation by no means originated as such. The scribes who copied New Testament manuscripts had no intention of taking Christ out of the New Testament. They used the abbreviation simply to save time and space.”

So Merry Christmas or Happy Xmas to you all! Take time to enjoy the true meaning of the season and don’t get hung up over a few letters, they really aren’t that important in God’s grand scheme of things.

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