A Christmas Cottage in Babylon

Christmas is a joy to my senses.  My memories are filled with the smells of a dinner smorgasbord, pine trees, and Christmas baking; the sounds of carols and children excitedly playing; the cool and crisp outdoors contrasted with the warmth of the hearth; the closeness of family and friends; visions of lights throughout the neighborhood with stars and nativity scenes decorating our home; the increased feelings of love, charity, service, and above all, the gratitude I feel toward my Savior.

And yet in all of this celebration, Santa and his reindeer are nowhere to be found…and we don’t miss them either.  We have made the choice for our family to not include Santa in our celebrations of the Savior’s birth.  We have taught our children about the historical “Saint Nicholas” who served others, but that is as far as he gets into our home (Okay, we do occasionally eat a chocolate-covered marshmallow Santa or Reindeer because I think they’re tasty, so I guess they have a place!).  The modern Santa character is wholly unnecessary in LDS religious traditions and we instead focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ.

With the vast wealth of scripture, stories, and testimony we have of Jesus Christ, why bring in a fictional character?  Why even muddy the water with unnecessary falsehoods and deception of our Children?  Can we not learn service, charity, and love through the example of Christ Himself?  Perhaps some families truly can include Santa in their celebrations without lying to their children or getting lost in the Babylonian trappings of the holiday, but my question is, why even try to fight a losing battle?

I am reminded of Jeffrey R. Holland’s BYU Devotional “The Best is Yet to Be“, given on January 13th, 2009, where he speaks of Lot’s wife lacking faith in God’s ability to give her a future better than the past she was not wanting to leave behind, and recounts Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s having said that such people know they should have their primary residence in Zion, but still hope to keep a Summer cottage in Babylon. (Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light (1990), 47)

Keeping Santa in Christmas, in my opinion, is one form of keeping a summer cottage in Babylon – one way of holding on to a “vain and foolish” tradition of our fathers that distracts us from truth and a brighter future offered by a loving Father in Heaven.   Many seem to feel that if they lost Santa they’d lose the traditions they hold dear.  I can share from experience that very little in the way of tradition is lost, and what is lost is not of any importance.

To be more specific, we DON’T have our pictures taken with Santa, we don’t write him letters, we don’t leave a plate of cookies with a carrot and cup of milk sitting out on Christmas Eve, and we don’t lie to our children about who judges their deeds, who buys their gifts, or how those gifts get into our home.

We DO give gifts, we do open them on Christmas morning, we do decorate our house (though it is decidedly more Christ-oriented than the social norm), we do have holiday meals, we do bake goodies, we do listen to and sing Christmas carols, we do serve others, and we do get together with our family and friends.  The spirit is so much stronger when we concentrate on those things of importance and leave out that which is of lesser value.

I also know that we aren’t finished in our progression as a family in this area.  We aren’t perfect, we’re trying.  We need to concentrate more on the story of Christmas and reading of related scriptures.  We still need less emphasis on gift giving of the purchase-required kind and more emphasis on service and charity.  We still need to do away with stockings (what purpose do they really serve, anyway?) and we haven’t discussed the tree yet. This will be the first year we will be celebrating Christmas without our extended family and we will be re-evaluating and starting our own traditions that are in alignment with the gospel and its teachings.  I have found many ideas for traditions to consider on lds.org and will include links below.  I’m excited at the options and the spirit they can bring to our home.

And Santa isn’t the only character missing at our house – the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy don’t visit either.  The traditions are still the same, but teaching our children falsehoods has been removed.  I’m sure we could improve on our Easter just as we can with our Christmas, but we’ve made the first steps of removing the hindering blocks and now need to improve on what we have.  This year our children (ages 8 and under) have made the informed decision on their own to have a dress-up party not based on evil spirits in lieu of celebrating Halloween.  We haven’t set specific parameters yet. In discussion are the options of an old fashioned ball, a tea for gentlemen and ladies in their finest dress and behavior, or a modest “anything but clothes” party for creativity and fun.  While we have taught our children about the true time of our Savior’s birth, we probably need to start celebrating that day as a family holiday as well, again creating our own Christ-centered traditions.

We have such a wealth of knowledge of our Savior at our fingertips, we need not look elsewhere.  Jesus Christ IS the source of truth and right.  Let us celebrate Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection by drawing on the well of living water from which, if we drink, we shall not thirst, and throw off the traditions of our fathers that would otherwise muddy that clean, pure source.

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64 Responses to A Christmas Cottage in Babylon

  1. Jared says:

    Amen!

    I have been working on eliminating Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the Spooky Halloween for years. There is always so much opposition, even from my most faithful family members, that this is always a source of disunity and pain. I have found that when we lack unity in Christ, the result is always pain and suffering.

    We need to focus on Christ, go out from Babylon, and “touch not the evil gift or the unclean thing.” Our test is that we transition from mechanical obedience to God’s commandments to “becoming new creatures in Christ” by continually keeping His commandments which are inspired within us through the “still-small voice.” This is the path to perfection and eternal lives wherein we may literally enter into His presence. (2 N. 31-32)

  2. Mark J Proudlock says:

    They have a religion in the world you should look into, it’s called Jehovahs Witness. Next are your going to tell me you don’t salute the flag, say the Pledge to the flag, give blood, and only 144,000 are going to heaven?

    • DRollingKearney says:

      Mark, your response is ridiculous. If you re-read the article, you will find that the author did NOT say he was against holidays, just against the falsehoods associated with certain holidays. I would suggest you read the following article:

      http://lds.org/general-conference/2000/10/cultivate-righteous-traditions?lang=eng&

      We’ve all been directed to gauge whether or not we’re cultivating righteous traditions in our homes. While the memory of the historical “Saint” Nick can be a great example of compassion, we must be careful not to teach our kids that he’s in God’s place: answering prayers, observing behavior, and giving punishments & rewards.

    • G. Michael Craig says:

      Mark, unlax. Sister Brown is making a valid point. You should appreciate her courage in stating her convictions, especially in this day and time when being politically incorrect can get you seriously persecuted, sometimes even killed. Her remarks remind me of the CES Coordinator years ago who was teaching an institute class one night at LSU. And remember, CES coordinators take their instructions directly from the general authorities. He illustrated with his hands that when the Church was only 50 years old, the standards of the Church had already deteriorated to the point where the standards of the world had been when the Church was first organized, and that this shift to the left in the Church has continued unabated to the present day. Elder Gene R. Cook said that

    • G. Michael Craig says:

      Mark, unlax. Sister Brown is making a valid point. You should appreciate her courage in stating her convictions, especially in this day and time when being politically incorrect can get you seriously persecuted, sometimes even killed. Her remarks remind me of the CES Coordinator years ago who was teaching an institute class one night at LSU. And remember, CES coordinators take their instructions directly from the general authorities. He illustrated with his hands that when the Church was only 50 years old, the standards of the Church had already deteriorated to the point where the standards of the world had been when the Church was first organized, and that this shift to the left in the Church has continued unabated to the present day.

      • G. Michael Craig says:

        Several years ago, Elder gene R. Cook stated that the Church is currently losing 60% of it’s youth, largely as a result of this leftward shift apparently. So how can you blame sister Brown or any other LDS for taking positive steps in her own family to reverse this trend to the extent that she has the authority, ability, and obligation to do so? I salute her, as would Captain Moroni, and as does the Savior. She is a jewel.

      • John Pack Lambert says:

        Saying the Church is deteriorating and acting as if “leftward” is inherently bad seem a bit much.

        However, there is no reason that Christmas should be about anyone but Christ. A recent BYU studies article argued that Christ was probably born in December and that the passage in the Doctrine and Covenants is not meant to be a literal statement that April 6th marks exactly that many years.

  3. Tiff says:

    @ Mark J. You must be new here. I strongly suggest you delve into other articles. Your ignorance of the vehement articles about the divinity and responsibility to America and the Constitution would put your fears to rest.
    And on another note, perhaps instead of making accusations and attacking what the author has shared as OPINION… you should pray about and ponder the implications of lying… especially to your children. just sayin.

  4. sean says:

    I see her point it makes me think….i like what she said. Have to wonder do we need to repent, but if we are going to totally leave the traditions of Babylon Maby we shouldn’t celebrate anything in October, no trunk or treats……Maby we should celebrate Christmas in April when Christ was actually born, just a thought. Enjoyed the article…….thank you.

  5. CBrown says:

    I don’t think we have to stop celebrating Christ’s birth in December (Should there be a limit to how often we celebrate the savior or when?), but April 6th will be a new holliday at my house and we can frame that holliday from scratch, without worldly influence. Maybe serving others without receiving gifts is the perfect way to celebrate? Exciting! And I thought I’d update (it has been a few weeks since I wrote the article) that we ended up having a harvest party with friends in leiu of Halloween.

    Thanks to all for the responses!

  6. stacy allen says:

    In my opinion there is nothing “vain and foolish” about letting my children participate in the fun and excitement of Santa Claus. We love and celebrate our Savior and make sure our children know the true meaning of Christmas. There is no harm in having fun. What is “vain and foolish” is thinking that you are above/smarter/more faithful than others just because you don’t allow Santa in your home. In the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, 1998, President James E. Faust spoke of Santa Claus, he said, “Santa is joyous, interested in making others happy…He is childlike, simple, humble, sincere…and he is a giver…for his way is the way of the Infant Jesus.” Don’t take yourselves so seriously all the time. Good clean fun is not a sin.

    • brit says:

      You can enjoy Santa, Halloween and the toothfairy while keeping Christ the center of your life. Moderation in all things!!!! Do some more research. President Monson has MULTIPLE stories he has used in many talks about Santa and wonderful life lessons taught through this tradition. Check out President Faust’s quote about how Santa Claus emulates the characteristics of Christ. Above all, loosen up and let your children have a childhood!

      • Paul Olsen says:

        I do believe that it is up to the parents to decide, but I think it naive to suggest that if you do not agree with the Santa tradition you are denying your children a childhood? Where does that false doctrine come from?

  7. LPS says:

    You may read “The Man Who Would Be Santa” (James E. Faust’s talk from the 1998 First Presidency Christmas Devotional) here:
    http://www.byub.org/talks/transcripts/fpcd/1998/12/fpcd1998126-2671.pdf

    I highly doubt that a member of the First Presidency would mention a fictional character in his devotional talk if he felt it would perpetuate a vain and foolish tradition. The fictional Santa is not “evil” (as your ugly “Santa/Satan” picture implies). He represents someone who loves children, and who cheerfully and selflessly serves them all year long. I also believe that the First Presidency would not have beautifully decorated Christmas trees on the stage in the Conference Center during the devotional if Christmas trees were a vain and foolish tradition.

    • John Pack Lambert says:

      Santa is a different figure today than he was a 13 years ago when President Faust gave that talk. The world is a different place and understandings of him are different. This may well mean that the tradition was workable in 1998 but is not now.

  8. CBrown says:

    If you read the above devotional talk, President Faust is quoting what someone else (no references in the link) said about Santa. The ending of the quote itself, when not taken out of context, says this:

    “Perhaps you and I could attain greater happiness if we emulated Santa Claus a little more, for his way is the way of the Infant Jesus also.”

    Here’s what Faust said himself:

    “For many children Christmas Eve is a very long night as they look forward with eager anticipation to the gifts Santa brings, which is why children love Santa Claus. Let me share what someone once
    said…
    …We can all reach out like Santa Claus and spread happiness to those around us.”

    That last sentence would appear to express his intent in sharing the quote.

  9. CBrown says:

    When the entire quote and words of James E. Faust are read in context, it is clear he is expressing (as well as the original author) that we should be more Christ-like, he is neither giving approval or disapproval of Santa.

    The questions are still these:

    Why do you need Santa in a celebration of Christ?

    And can you celebrate the traditional “Santa” Christmas without lying to your children?

    I haven’t put myself on a pedestal, I still have much work to do even in this area for our family, but I am willing to ask the questions. I would submit that the latter directly affects our temple worthiness. Are you honest in your dealings with your fellow man? I do not see how lying to your children can equate to “good and clean” fun in the Lord’s eyes.

    • stacy allen says:

      CBrown, I understand the point you are “trying” to make. Jesus is of course, the whole reason we celebrate Christmas even if we celebrate it at the wrong time of year and over the years have added a few unnecessary traditions to the celebration. This does not mean we are sinners for these reasons. I would venture to guess that there are MANY worthy temple recommend holders who celebrate the traditional Santa
      each Christmas. I respect your opinion and belief to not celebrate with Santa, however, when you start judging others negatively because they do, well, that seems a bit self righteous to me. Your interpretation of President Faust’s words is not necessarily the correct interpretation. His words seemed quite favorable of Santa.

    • LPS says:

      I love Elder Holland’s address entitled “Maybe Christmas Doesn’t Come From a Store.” In this address, he quoted a large part of Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which tells the story of the fictional Grinch who dresses up like the fictional Santa and tries to steal Christmas from the Whos in Whoville.

      A quote from this talk:

      “Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the East. Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph—and all would be welcome. But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby—that’s how Christmas began.”

      Did he really say that Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph would all be welcome? Yes.

      • Katie Moore says:

        This year our local church unit is going to have Breakfast With Santa as our official Christmas party. It will be held in the evening, and all the children are supposed to be attending in their pajamas. With recent statements in General Conference that “perhaps” the days of overnight slumber parties are over, we’re going to entertain anyone with even mild pedophilic thought with a parade of my little daughters and sons before their eyes in attire which is only appropriate for the family setting, you tell ME how harmless this little tradition is getting within the Church?

        • John Pack Lambert says:

          I think you should seriously point out the problem with encoraging people to come to Church in pajamas. I would reccomend not objecting to Santa at all, the pajams issue is too big to let pass. Pajamas at a church event is just not write, pajamas are for home.

    • Paul Olsen says:

      I see no doctrine that suggests we must have the Santa Tradition.

      http://www.LibertyCatechism.com

  10. stacy allen says:

    As far as those who celebrate the traditions of Santa being liars….are you serious?! I wonder, have you not ever pretended anything with your children? For example: Pretending as a child to be a school teacher, a policeman, a fireman or even a mother or father. Do your children not have baby dolls either, or they have them they just can’t pretend to be moms. Pretending for fun is not harmful, nor is it a sin. Part of being allowed to be a child is being allowed to use your imagination, and maybe even pretend a few things. One might even argue that a child can even learn and grow a little from being allowed to pretend and use their imaginations. Santa just takes this concept a bit further. I hope your Christmas is wonderful however you choose to celebrate.

    • Brian says:

      @Stacy… the author of the article was not calling you a liar, or saying that you couldn’t use your imagination, or pretend, and whatnot, simply that she did not want to lie to her children. I take the same approach with my children. They still have fun with their imaginations in regards to Santa, but they know that Santa is fictional, and that the presents come from mom and dad. We try to focus on Christ, but also let the children have fun with the other traditions of the holiday while also making sure to teach them the truth.

      I like this article. I love things that challenge the mainstream culture, and challenge traditions – whether good or bad – it allows me to re-examine my own beliefs and traditions.

      The comments are also fun to read.

    • Kellie says:

      In the situations you describe everyone knows that everyone is pretending. Your child does not really believe you or he are really firemen or policemen (unless you actually are). With Santa only one of you knows the truth, that is where the potential for future distrust enters.

    • brit says:

      Wonderful point!!

  11. stacy allen says:

    Excuse me Brian, but that is basically what she said in her last comment to me, maybe you should read the comments again. We will have to agree to disagree on this article and a few of the comments that follow it. I think if President Faust had said, “Keeping Santa in Christmas, in my opinion, is one form of keeping a summer cottage in Babylon-one way of holding on to a “vain and foolish” tradition of our fathers…”-I might be more apt to believe, but he didn’t. What he had to say about Santa comes much closer to my own beliefs. Many do not see “the Santa tradition” as “vain and foolish.”

    • Katie Moore says:

      You know what is really yummy is reading the actual St. Nicholas legends. Make sure you don’t have a full stomach when you read about all the miracles he performed… like putting a body back together which had been hacked up and stuffed into a barrel. He wasn’t the cherub-faced Coca-Cola-toting guy that Sears-Robuck invented for the American palate.

  12. CBrown says:

    Misapplying examples and attacking me instead of the topic at hand is becoming a theme…

    Celebrating Christ-only at Christmas equates to not celebrating holidays (or donating blood, etc, etc).

    Not lying to my children means I don’t allow pretend play.

    Stating that “lying” to children about Santa is wrong equates to saying that all who include Santa in their celebrations are sinners.

    Despite apostles and prophets using fictional examples regularly, using the example of Santa equates to an endorsement of those teaching children this fictional character is real.

  13. CBrown says:

    The topic of a lie doesn’t matter. Santa is not an exception to that commandment.

    In pretend play children know it is not real and is for fun. That is not a lie.

    If your children know each time you include Santa in your
    celebrations that it is just pretend, as Brain states he does, that isn’t lying. But teaching Santa to children as truth and reinforcing it yearly is not pretending.

    • sean says:

      Maby parents telling their children Santa is real is pretend play for them just as their parents did. It is like giving a gift and not taking credit for it…….

  14. stacy allen says:

    No one is attacking you. Your article is accusatory and inflamatory to those who “keep Santa in Christmas,” as you state as your opinion that when we do so, we are hanging onto a “vain and foolish” tradition of our fathers. I disagree with much of your article as it is just your opinion, as my comments are just that also, my opinion. I seriously doubt that pretending that Santa is real for a brief period of time (a small portion of childhood) will keep anyone from being worthy to enter the temple, as you indicated in an earlier comment. Ridiculous.

  15. LPS says:

    Pres. Monson took his children to see Santa Claus when they were young. Elder Holland quoted “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” in a Christmas talk. James E. Faust shared quotes and his own thoughts (all favorable) about Santa in a First Presidency Christmas Devotional. (And I really doubt he would have quoted that unnamed source if he disagreed with the sentiments he or she expressed. We usually quote others when we feel that the person whom we are quoting has expressed an idea or thought better than we could ourselves.)

    You are free to believe that you are somehow more worthy than those of us who let our kids watch “Polar Express” or take them to see Santa. I think I like my Christmas cottage and my neighbors in Babylon (Pres. Monson, Elder Holland, etc.).

    • Katie Moore says:

      Um… the prophets have to speak our language, so to speak, even if it means going to fairy tales or speaking of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, like President Uchtdorf has in recent addresses. I hardly call that a prophetic endorsement. When in Rome, speak Roman. I, for one, won’ t let my children see Polar Express… or anything else with Tom Hanks in it.

      • John Pack Lambert says:

        I am with you on boycotting Tom Hanks films. Anyone who would produce the horrible sitcom he did will not get any of my money.

        I guess Santa movies are ok, but I still like “It’s A Wonderful Life” better than any Santa Movie for Christmas.

  16. Hunter says:

    I like lying to my kids. I like it because their disappointment is palpable when they discover the truth. Kids are little temples, y’know? Holiness to the Lord. The house of the Lord.

    A disappointed kid is better prepared for the world because cynicism is the rule of thumb. If my kids didn’t grow up to be cynics, I’d feel I had done them a grand disservice. Only cynics can truly enjoy the bite of sarcasm. Only the thick-skinned will be able to bear the world to come.

    So of course I feed them lies. And I’m glad that my culture supports me in this. Even General Authorities, whom everyone knows are perfect. That a GA would participate in such mass-mutual mythos is proof positive that Jesus will keep the Santa Claus tradition alive throughout the Millennium.

  17. James says:

    I read all the comments thus far and I want to share an observation. When a post exudes that the poster was offended by the article, or when they are argumentative I take note that a good point was probably made. It’s not a slam dunk but we are often very visceral when a fault is examined under the blinding light. So while I enjoy the Santa tradition so far as it points to Christ, I am now questioning it. I am still on the fence, but I am thinking about it. I think if we ask with real intent, and sufficient humility, to act upon the answer we receive, God will reveal the correct path to us. But that does not mean I have the right to run around and beat it over everybody else heads either. It needs to be line upon line and precept upon precept as the Spirit dictates

    • John Pack Lambert says:

      Thinking about it, it may depend on the situation. Some children may be able to handle the Santa tradtion, but others may have their believing hearts ripped in having it revealed they were decieved. I am glad my Mom did not decieve, because I have never had to deal with what she told me being untrue, and I just do not deal well with untruths.

      • sean says:

        All my kids except the youngest (he still believes) figure it out on their own……..but Santa’s taking some heat here, iv’e heard everything except that he’s a communist, but you never know, he always where’s red, and he kind of look’s like Karl Marks…….just sayin

  18. James says:

    I do find it interesting that a Search for “santa” which is restricted to Presidents of the Church brings up only one Liahona Article. It’s from Pres Benson recounting a cherished memory of Christmas at his parents home upon returning from his first mission. It was recounting only what his Parents had done as an example of their careful selflessness. But it did not endorse nor deride Santa.
    However I do find it very curious that in all the words of the prophets this would be the only reference to Santa. It seems a disproportionately avoided topic by the president of the church.

    Or maybe the search function just doesn’t work well. :)

    • Joy says:

      You have to remember that this is a world-wide church, and Santa is a cultural figure that is mainly seen in the U.S. and parts of Europe (and Canada?). In Costa Rica (and I believe most of Latin America), it is not Santa but The Baby Jesus that brings presents on Christmas Eve. Other cultures around the world have similar secret gift-givers (like the wise men or Christmas gnomes) that visit on or near Christmas. I’m guessing that the leaders of the church would not talk about Santa Clause for the same reason that they put kilometers in the Ensign now.

  19. CBrown says:

    Hunter, you have a witty way with words!

    James, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I know that when I react with such a quick, emotional reaction (or use the “everyone’s doing it” justification) instead of looking at something more logically, it means that I need to reflect upon it more and usually need to improve in some way.

    I had such an experience when I first read quotes of the Prophets on birth control. I hadn’t actually acted against it, but my gut reaction was almost that of anger for being accused of doing so. It took me about a week to humble myself and have a complete change of heart. I still run into more areas like that, but never has my reaction been so pronounced. It was good to see it so clearly so I can recognize the more subtle ones.

  20. CBrown says:

    I included some links from LDS.org at the bottom of the article discussing both traditions and Christmas (and I remember one particularly about Easter) that you might find interesting in your reading. I especially enjoyed the one where they asked members of the 70 for traditions they enjoyed at Christmas time. I can’t wait to do some of them with my family this year!

  21. CMB says:

    If we are not to enjoy the simple pleasures of a man that exeplifies the act of giving because he is a wholly fictional character, why then did the Savior use fictional characters in his many parables? Are we to ignore anytime someone references the ten virgins or the good samaritan? Just because a good parable has been twisted and commercialized by the media and industry, does not mean it is a cottage in Babylon. What about all the paraphernalia out there with the Savior on it with phrases he never spoke? Does that mean having a painting of Christ in your home(like the Last Supper painting by da Vinci) that is not an official picture requested by the First Presidency make you a heretic? Where do you draw the line? Is there even a line to be drawn? Will I burn in Gehenna for writing this response and advocating Santa?

    • CBrown says:

      Again, lying and teaching falsehoods as truth is not the same as a pictoral representation of something or a parable using fictional situations and people. Christ, as well as President Monson and other Prophets and Apostles use parables to teach principles and help us undestand them better, they don’t tell us the fictional characters are real.

  22. Joy says:

    My mother never lied to me about Santa. She told me that Santa is someone who loves me and wants to give me gifts and remain anonymous. I still believe in Santa.

    • G. Michael Craig says:

      Joy, when our children were old enough to ask about Santa Claus, we just told them that anybody can be a Santa, and that lots of people are, if they enjoy giving gifts to others to help celebrate the birth of the Savior. They never again bothered us about it. BTW, our favorite Christmas tree ornament is of Santa Claus kneeling before a little manger wherein the baby Jesus is lying asleep.

  23. Katie Moore says:

    Thank you, oh kindred spirit. It took a sweet Baptist homeschooling neighbor to introduce me to the concept at all. She said, “I want my kids to believe me when I tell them to believe in Jesus Christ. So why would I then lie to them, and teach them to believe in the coming of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy? They will eventually learn that I asked them to believe three lies. What can I expect but that they will also then reject the truth, the Christ?” I am SO in your wavelength, Cathrine, only much more verbose.
    http://oilstories.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/halloween-grinchfest/
    http://oilstories.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/fall-of-the-house-of-gingerbread/

    • CBrown says:

      Really enjoyed your Halloween article…though I must admit I got lost in the part about the version of Macbeth (guess you have to see it, but I don’t want to!). I forwarded it on to my friend who is going all-but sugar free (home-processed dates and pure stevia leaf powder) for her kids’ teeth. It gave me a great idea for Thanksgiving…We’ll read the story of the family that got electricity in Monson’s “Divine Gift of Gratitude” to our children, then eat our dinner by lamp-light. They’ll enjoy it and the spirit will be stronger than my extended family’s football-laden Thanksgivings. I’m so excited we’re celebrating at our house this year! I’ll have to read your other article…

  24. John Pack Lambert says:

    My parents never included Santa in the teachings about Christmas. We may have a few Santa decorations, but we definately told the story of Jesus and had a nativity scene.

    I think the best point is that we should be truthful about who judges the deads we do. We should teach at all times that it is God who knows what we do, and not let Santa serve as some sort of low god.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    You should read the book, “Christmas With the Prophets”. It’s an excellent book to read this time of year and gives us a peak on the various ways the prophets have celebrated Christmas with their families. You will also find that there is more than one account of prophets celebrating Christmas with Santa traditions with their own children. There is nothing wrong with leaving Santa out, but as we see from following our prophets’ examples there is also nothing wrong with including him. If Santa has earned a spot in some of our dear prophets’ homes then he can certainly have a spot in mine as a symbol of giving. ;)

  26. Elizabeth says:

    I seek the kingdom of heaven, to not judge, and to “Follow the Prophet.” :)

  27. Zak says:

    Wow, the backlash against someone trying to explain their attempts to get closer to Christ at Christmastime is stunning. It reminds me of an experience I recently had. Our ward auxiliaries were tasked to plan and implement the ward Christmas party. At the June meeting, all agreed to have a simplified “Bethlehem” experience. Simplified meant lentil soup, figs and nuts and pita bread, an inexpensive, small meal for the ward in this down economy. Assignments were given, plans were made, and all was well. Fast forward to November. When word of the party reached the congregation, it all broke loose! The backlash and outrage was so great that the whole thing was scrapped and we had Santa come and entertain and everyone got a big pile of meat and soda for dinner.

  28. Seeker says:

    I know I am late to the party here, but I just found this site.
    This post has given me much to think about. My wife and I don’t quite agree on this subject. I go along with the Santa bit, but I think it is a disservice to our children. We could do much better by not teaching them about Santa and focusing on Christ. In reality, it is very hard to do with Santa in the mix. My kids know why we celebrate, but in the back of their heads I can hear them saying “Yeah, yeah, it’s Jesus’s birthday, but what is Santa bringing me?”

    If we say I am fine with Santa because the brethren/prophet do it – is it justifiable? Are they not men? Are they not able to fall into the trap of cultural traditions as we are? Maybe follow the prophet should not be our mantra, but follow Christ.

  29. This article is great, I have really suffered much in church and in the worl because I trully reject these false traditions which have caused so much pain and suffering in my life and the life of my family. The though things is to replace them with more essential things. And this author should really think about writing candidly about the wors of all these celebrations which is the day of Satan Levitan where millions upon millions break the word of wisdom and the commadments including the law of chasitity. ALERT…..Because if we are not building Zion, we are supporting Babylon

    Letting Go of the World: It is Time to “Sell the Summer Cottage in Babylon”

    http://ce.byu.edu/cw/womensconference/archive/2009/pdf/Letting_Go_of_the_World.pdf

  30. Mormon.org Posted this 2 hours ago

    “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (The Holy Bible, Ephesians 5:25).

    As Valentine’s Day approaches, it is safe to say this advice applies in the reverse as well. Everyone longs to be loved and appreciated. Today, show someone you care.

    Miguel Angel Tinoco Replied

    NO IT IS NOT SAFE….This is truly a time for prayer and fasting and to call a solemn assembly to warn the people, for it is a perilous time for our youth and those that are not so youth, for it is a time of wickedness and abominations where lots of people, especially the youth and the rising generation in all nations, lands, kindred, tongues and peoples inside or outside the gate of the kingdom break the word of wisdom and several of the commandments, more particularly the law of chastity because of these wicked and perverse traditions that you celebrate. Whosoever posted this in reference to St Levitan’s day is walking in darkness at noon time. Have you not read the scripture that say that the light and truth of these people is taken away and enter into apostasy by disobedience to the commandments and the traditions of this world or of your fathers? ….THIS IS IDOLATRY. How can you then associate the scriptures and the message of Christ’s love with the pornography and abomination and its paraphernalia of carnal, sensual and devilish celebrations that take place during these days? For it is written:

  31. Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God. And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.

    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 93:38 – 40)

    Wo unto the wicked, for they shall perish; for the reward of their hands shall be upon them! And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths. The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

    (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 13:11 – 13)

    But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awake you to an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls if your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you according to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin?

    Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher, it must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.

    Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness; and I will praise the holy name of my God. Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.

    (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:47 – 51)

    Because if we are not building Zion, we are supporting Babylon

    Letting Go of the World: It is Time to “Sell the Summer Cottage in Babylon”

    http://ce.byu.edu/cw/womensconference/archive/2009/pdf/Letting_Go_of_the_World.pdf

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