A few weeks ago, Sara and I watched the Polar Express. It was my first time to watch it and it was pretty good. It wasn’t spectacular by any means. I can’t remember the specific part of the movie, but there was a place where the elves were trying to determine whether a child was going to get a gift because he had been on the naughty list. I remember my wife and I having a short conversation about that part. It’s one of the elements of the entire Santa myth that is most troublesome to me.

Sara and I haven’t exactly sat down to discuss how we’re going to handle Santa with Titus. He’s three this year and he still really doesn’t know anything about Santa. He knows who he is, we just haven’t talked about him. I don’t have anything against Santa, but I do kind of have a thing against his naughty list. In many ways, it’s completely opposite to the Christian Christmas message. The naughty list feeds an incorrect view of right and wrong. Most people’s worldview states that if they might just get to go to heaven if they’ve been good more than they’ve been bad. I’m not saying that the two are related, but if the loudest message a child hears growing up that they better be good, then they’re probably going to grow up with that bent in life.

The truth is that we’re all on the naughty list. God gave all of us a gift bigger than Santa could ever deliver. God gave us this gift BECAUSE we were on the naughty list. Grace is God’s unmerited favor and that’s what we have through Jesus.