You Better Watch Out!... Really?


Do you remember this children’s Christmas song?...

You better watch out, you better not cry,
You better not pout, I’m telling you why,
Santa Claus is comin’ to town…
He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice,
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is comin’ to town.

As a young boy, I found the tune engaging, but I remember struggling with the idea of any naughty behavior factoring in to my gift worthiness. It just didn’t seem to reconcile with my understanding of God’s goodness. In some part of the world the custom is to put shoes or stockings out on St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th) with a similar warning that if you are not good, St. Nicholas may leave you a lump of coal or a switch instead of something nice. What a dreadful thought!

The world’s notions of Santa and St. Nicholas may have conditions for giving good gifts to children, but the only condition God has for His gifts is that we willingly receive them. Sure, repentance is a critical piece in our salvation, but not as a you-better-watch-out attitude that says you have to earn the gift. Rather, it’s just the opposite. Our repentance for our sin is an acknowledge of how undeserving we are of God’s grace, and how freely He offers what we don’t deserve. Thank goodness Santa’s way of giving is not God’s way of giving… for which I am grateful! Though disobedience always has consequences, God’s love and grace is not measured by my performance.

At this Christmas season, we would do well to remind our grandchildren how much they are loved even though we don’t deserve it. The “spirit of Christmas” is, in reality, the Spirit of Christ expressing the heart of our Father to those around us with undeserved love and generosity. 

What is your Christmas song?  “You’d better watch out…” or “Joy to the world, the Lord is come”? I’d love to hear YOUR stories of how you fan the flame of a legacy of giving and love in your family. 

GRANDPAUSE: “My legacy of love does not magically appear. It is intentionally and methodically crafted, not as much by the big things I do, as by the ways that I encourage, love and serve with kindness, compassion and grace.” – Unknown

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