Father Christmas and the Gifts

In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe Lewis describes the delightful approach of Father Christmas and his giving of gifts to the children while they are on the run from the White Witch. A few pages later the White Witch comes upon “a merry party, a squirrel and his wife with their children and two satyrs and a dwarf and an old dog-fox, all on stools round a table”  eating “something like a plum pudding.” The White Witch asks, “What is the meaning of this?…..What is the meaning of all this gluttony, this waste, this self-indulgence? Where did you get these things?”

And so it is still the case that when God’s people are rejoicing in His gifts, the other team wants to call it wasteful, gluttonous, and selfish. The enemies of God hate to see His people delighting in and celebrating His Great Advent. Why should our celebrating with our gifts and lights and candles and songs (and cookies and fudge) still annoy the White Witch and her minions? Because without Christ, there is no reason to celebrate, and there is a deep longing in the heart of sinful man to justify his own emptiness by means of envy and greed.  And greed and envy hate to see others enjoying themselves.

So, as my husband pointed out in an exhortation a couple of weeks ago, when you hear people complaining about how much money we waste on celebrating Christmas, remember the White Witch. It is not Aslan speaking through her.

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15 thoughts on “Father Christmas and the Gifts

  1. Funny, that this would be written on December 6. Envy is for the illegitimate. And we should all remember the weapons that were given to the chosen four, from Father Christmas. Cheers!

  2. John the Baptist came not eating, and they said “he has a demon.”

    The Son of Man came eating and drinking and the said, “he is a glutton, a wine bibber, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners.”

    P.S. Only Peter, Susan, and Lucy got the gifts. :-)

  3. I do see your point, but I’ll have to admit that the idea of giving gifts for every week of advent (and not necessarily small ones) was/is a bit of a shocker to me. Though it would be easier [for me] to justify if the kids/grandkids only want some grass for Christmas and water for the duck. :)

    P.S. The perspective of a single, underemployed woman raised in a low-income family and with a very practical mother. I don’t think there’s envy involved….

  4. The gifts don’t have to be big for them to be enjoyable. The less money to spend, the more creative. It could be a scavenger hunt for a chocolate bar. The fun is in the time spent together, the clues, and then enjoying the chocolate. Or coloring books and a pack of crayons. With 4 children, many of our 12 days of Christmas are covered for less than $5 total–the dollar store is my new friend! Wrap up one of their outfits for going out, and when it’s opened, it must mean you’re going somewhere…libraries are pretty cheap and loads of fun! Girls can always get special mommy manicurist sessions. Boys, a game of some sort. Cookie making day… I’m certain there are scads of inexpensive ideas that are heavy on celebratory effect. All it takes is a little planning!

  5. KL,

    Wrong. Edmund got the assurance he would be saved because he knew his siblings were coming for him.

    Peace.

  6. We have the pleasure this year of entertaining a couple of little girls on Mondays evenings. We decided to do Advent with their family before their Mom goes to school for the evening. We are all enjoying it so much. The girls visiably relish in finishing the time by searching for the Advent present with their name on it. The idea of presents before Christmas is not only novel for them but wonderful. First week was Advent pj’s – thanks for the heads up. This week was Cooties – It was an evening of “Cooties and Cuties” – hadn’t played it in years. Thank you for reminding us to relish in the joy of celbrating His Birth. It is much appreciated.

  7. My husband and I were discussing this the other night. Lately, we have heard several “Christians” claim that, “Christmas is a sinful, pagan celebration because feasting is unnecessary under the new covenant, so therefore it is gluttonous and we should remember Christ as a king, not a baby.”

    *Intermission for people to blow raspberrries*

    We both agreed (after gaffawing a good deal) that it was a bunch of hooey, rot, and downright stupidity. Not to mention that, obviously, their Bibles haven’t seen the light of day for a while. If there is any occasion that is feast-worthy, it is certainly in celebration of the coming of our Lord and Savior.

  8. Naomi,

    I’ve gotta agree with KL on this one. Edmund got blessed, fo’ sho’, but he didn’t get any gifts from Father Christmas. If memory serves, that’s reiterated in Prince Caspian when they find the gifts (sans Susan’s horn) in the ruins of Cair Paravel.

  9. Claire – I know several people who choose not to celebrate Christmas. I think we should be careful not to ridicule someone for something they believe in. Calling them (inverted commas) “Christians”, implies they have a superficial (or non-existant) faith and for the most I believe them all to be sincere.

    Good original post

  10. Not sure why celebrating generously means doing it so much on self/family–perhaps celebrating generously could be smaller for this group so it’s larger for others?? Pondering….

  11. It’s great, isn’t it, the way that Father Christmas is described as “big and glad and real”? I don’t know if I want “big” to describe me, but I’ll take the other two.
    I also find it interesting that he gave the children tools not toys…

  12. I’m with Jean on this one. We are working hard to celebrate heartily with our 11 children, while downplaying the “wish lists” and “I wants” of Christmas. We chose, from the start–18 Christmases ago–to bless our children with small gifts in their stockings, but no other ones. We do our best to lavish them with gifts when it’s THEIR birthday, not Jesus’. At Christmas we look for ways to bless others generously, especially missionaries.

  13. I read this the day it was posted and just had to come back and say a belated thank you for writing this Nancy. I’ve really been saddened by the number of Christian blog posts I’ve come across that have a strong leaning toward the way of the White Witch.

    Jean and Cheryl – I agree wholeheartedly that our generous celebrations should include more than just our own families. We should be looking for ways to bless others and train our children to do the same (and not just at Christmastime).

    Our children ought to be the first in the list of others we as parents are called to bless generously. :)

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