Merry Christmas Eve! While millions of believers do celebrate this holiday as the entrance of Jesus Christ into the world, others do not. But those others do enjoy the spirit of giving, the lightness on people’s faces, spending more focused time with family, friends, and loved ones, and using it as an opportunity to engage in wonder.
One boss I had, who was Jewish, celebrated Christmas because, “People are so nice—and happy! I like that,” he said.
In case you haven’t noticed, our government officials are not happy that you choose to be happy and engage in events that spark joy. They don’t like the fact that they’re essentially being ignored about the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and all the other restrictions they are trying to impose on this most joyous of seasons. Even more egregious, they want to dictate what they consider is the way one should embrace the season. Don’t travel. Limit your interactions. Get a booster. Et cetera… et cetera… et cetera.
But people are opting for the goodness, the wonder, and gatherings and events of their own making, especially when typical holiday events are sorely lacking. One writer shared that this is his first Christmas celebration as a believer in Jesus Christ, and he is excited to embrace this awe and wonder from a different perspective. This writer also pointed out how California’s Governor Hair Gel deliberately scrubbed any mention of Jesus Christ from the State Capitol Tree Lighting celebration, under the claims of “inclusiveness.” As though including the main reason behind the holiday discarded all other reasons.
As my Gen Xers would say, Totally lame.
Earlier this month, Newsom hosted the ceremonial lighting of the Capitol Holiday Tree and expertly avoided any mention of Christianity — a stunning feat considering he was overseeing the lighting of a giant evergreen tree in December (talk about cultural appropriation!).
Newsom’s office told me that the ceremony was meant to be inclusive. There was a rabbi explaining the lighting of a Hanukkah menorah, an interfaith choir, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, a young student with developmental disabilities, Native Americans who offered prayer, a mariachi singer who worked in “Navidad,” a poet who spoke of unity and the announcers for the Giants and Dodgers.
It was an inclusive affair and everyone was invited — everyone except Jesus.
Sure, Christmas was mentioned a few times and there were two Christmas songs (that didn’t mention Jesus), plus a version of “Joy to the World” (which is overtly Christian normally but was altered to just repeat the lyrics “joy to the world). But it was obviously scrubbed of all Christian context.
Christians don’t own December, so having an inclusive affair is wonderful. But it wasn’t the lack of Jesus that stood out so much as the lengths Newsom went to avoid Him. It’s kind of sad when you think about it.
Very sad, but not surprising. When sharing this article on Twitter, I pointed out the fact that His Hairfulness wants to be the ONLY authority, so acknowledging any authority above him would cut into that delusion.
The fish wrap of record called The New York Times ran this exceptionally happy piece (full sarcasm) about how security experts are concerned that Elf on the Shelf is creepy and dangerous, teaching children the wrong lessons about acquiescing to a police state and surveillance, rather than having their own rights to privacy.
One wonders where these people were when Congress renewed the Patriot Act, let alone during the entire pandemic.
But, I digress….
The elf is not, several privacy organizations were careful to clarify, the biggest threat the world faces.
But they find him creepy. Invasive and dangerous, even. They fear that the lanky elf is teaching children all the wrong lessons, acclimating them to being monitored by a police state, teaching them to passively accept constantly being watched by an unseen authority figure.
“I don’t want to sound like a Grinch, but we shouldn’t be celebrating seasonal surveillance,” said Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, a civil rights and privacy group. “It’s really a terrible message for kids.”
“We shouldn’t be celebrating seasonal surveillance,” but surveillance of those who break COVID protocols, or whether someone has a vaccine card is okay? Because it sounds like Cahn is okay with surveillance of other kinds, just not anything connected to Holiday traditions.
The company that invented Elf on the Shelf stuck to their good intentions in encouraging the product. Those wicked capitalist dollars might have something to do with it, too.
The Lumistella Company, which owns the Elf on the Shelf brand, said the activity offered entirely wholesome benefits.
“Santa’s Scout Elves don’t just help to keep up with the Nice List; they also share with Santa how families are spreading the spirit of Christmas,” the company said in a statement. “Many children note that their favorite moments throughout each season include waking up to see where the family’s Scout Elf has landed and the humorous scenes they sometimes set up. Our hope is that the Elf on the Shelf will create cheerful holiday moments and precious family memories that will last a lifetime.”
Well, you can’t, but they can. Throwing parties at the White House with First Lady “Not that Kind of” Dr. Jill Biden and celebrities running around, unmasked. And nurses dancing?! Apparently the hospitals aren’t as overwhelmed as they are trying to make out. This is all well and good for them, just not for you. Some animals are more equal than others.
And God forbid a family have fun, and guide the lessons their children learn. Attorney General Merrick Garland calls them domestic terrorists. These surveillance experts just think it’s bad parenting.
But those who focus on the danger of surveillance in the everyday world find something sinister about the elf. They look beyond those cute, blue, very dilated eyes and see a presence they would never invite into their homes.
“I know a lot of families just see this as a fun thing, but it’s worth thinking about the messages it’s giving to children about surveillance by authorities,” said Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the A.C.L.U. Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “Personally, I consider success as a parent to be teaching my kids to do the right thing even when nobody is watching, whether they be from the North Pole or anywhere else.”
He added: “Maybe these are elves that should be left on store shelves.”
Here’s the rub. We have a generation of people who are doing really bad things, and they are filming those bad things for fame and recognition! They are quite proud of their evil. If these people can’t do the right thing when people are watching, how do you expect your children to get the lesson to do the right thing when no one is watching? Osmosis?
The smash and grab robberies, the criminal behavior we are experiencing across the nation are the very things that lead to the police state these people claim they fear; the fact that they are trying to blame a Christmas toy for fostering this concept boggles the mind.
When you don’t “self-police” you get policed by someone else. That’s the lesson that prisons are suppose to teach, but with Woke D.A.’s pushing criminal justice reform, it’s been watered down considerably.
And these geniuses are saying that Elf on the Shelf is bad?!
As the Zoomers would say, “Take ALL the seats!”
There was someone else who presented some lessons about intention and behavior. His name was John the Baptist, and he existed to pave the way for the adult Jesus, just as the archangels paved the way for the baby Jesus. But how did John alert the people to prepare for Jesus’ entry into their lives?
Luke 3:10-14 makes it plain:
“So the people asked him, saying, ‘What shall we do then?’
He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.”
Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
Notice it goes from the common man, to the government employees (tax collectors—ick!), to law enforcement. Interesting… So, no one is exempt from preparing the way for Jesus’ entrance, and modifying their behavior in order to do so. One could also classify this as “self governance,” in order for the ultimate governance to take its rightful place.
No, what these people really resent is that Elf on the Shelf, and in turn, Santa Claus, are non-religious ways to instruct children that someone does watch over them, and that there are consequences for their behavior, good or bad. Author Clement Clarke Moore’s interpretation of Santa Claus in The Night Before Christmas as happy, jolly, and giving, is a representation of the Father heart of God giving the ultimate gift of His son Jesus.
Elf on the Shelf is an agent of Santa fulfilling a higher calling—kind of like what parents do in raising their children according to values they hold dear. It’s the parent’s job to not make these lessons reasons for irrational fear (like certain government restrictions and mandates I could name), but a source of comfort and guidance for life. YOU are not in complete control, and that is ultimately a good thing; because the one who is in complete control is good and has good in store for you.
This higher authority that created you for good things and watches over you wants you to seek out good. This authority does gives you control over your thoughts and actions. So, will you choose to do good with your thoughts and actions? Or choose not to? And what are the lessons learned about how your choices affect the world and the people around you?
What is the problem with a toy that teaches and reinforces these truths? For bloated politicians, so-called experts, and intellectuals, apparently it’s a huge problem, because it undercuts their illusion of authority and takes the power out of their hands.
As it should be.
In the end, the government will be on His shoulders, not theirs. The Christmas Season gives us opportunities every year to re-learn this lesson. When we do, we experience the goodness and grace of God, and we partake of His peace.
For as in the day of Midian
You have shattered the yoke of their burden,
the bar across their shoulders,
and the rod of their oppressor.
For every trampling boot of battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given,
and the government will be upon His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
there will be no end.