Suppress the Santa cynic

On Sunday we took the kids to the Santa parade – the very name of it has put me off for years (yes, I deprive my kids!), but it was not as bad as I expected.
While it was very secular (only one or two floats mentioned Jesus), it was not as tacky or commercialized as I had expected it to be. Maybe living in a very small city at the bottom of the world has kept us more colloquial than I thought.

My reason for going along was for the kids – the idea of standing in the hot sun for several hours with cranky kids and several thousand other people was not really my idea of a good time. But I recalled similar parades that I went to as a child and how much I enjoyed them. This offset my self-righteous disapproval of the whole concept of a Santa parade masquerading as a celebration of Jesus’ birthday.

And it was fun, people were friendly, the floats were interesting, kids were happy and we didn’t get too sunburned. When considered simply as a representation of the Kiwi cultural norm in which Christmas is a family time with some fantasy fun for the kids to liven it up, the Santa parade is an enjoyable community event and cynical Christians like me need to extend the grace to others of accepting their beliefs (or lack thereof).

I am the odd one out in our society in that I have a very strong and deep conviction that God exists and Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of a virgin, crucified for my sins and bodily raised from the dead on the third day – this is sheer nuttiness to most New Zealanders. I am a religious nutter and have to be comfortable with that.

Once I accept how odd I appear to most people it becomes a lot easier to enjoy the good aspects of my own culture.

6 thoughts on “Suppress the Santa cynic

  1. I don’t find that view at all odd but I guess that might be because I was brought up without Christmas trees and presents because dad was of the strong opinion that Christmas should be kept strictly as a celebration of Christ’s birth and that presents would divert the attention away from that.


  2. enjoyed your post…your outlook and your witness
    and when others others ask us the reason for the joy in our lives and our hope… they will get much better than a Santa Claus parade 🙂


    • Hi Duane,
      Thanks for calling by. God had all the say in me being here – He orchestrated for me to be born here! I’d love to experience Christmas in Iowa though. It is good for me to remember that my own community desperately needs Christ, it is too easy to assume their disinterest is permanent, but I used to be like that once too.


  3. Yes, a much better hope! Christmas without Jesus coming as the hope of the world is a hollow thing, a highlight in the year but leaving that bittersweet sense of something huge being missing.


  4. Hi JD,
    I agree that presents divert attention away from the celebration of Christ’s birth. We are trying to reduce the emphasis on presents each year (which tends to be thwarted by grandparents!), I prefer the idea of giving presents (useful stuff) to the poor rather than to ourselves. I must admit though, I do rather like Christmas trees – the real pine ones filling the house with fresh scent.


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