Children and Christmas

If a child were asked to which day of the year he looks forward with the greatest gladness, he would no doubt answer that it was Christmas. If a number of children were asked why this day above all others, many would be likely to say that it was because of the presents which they expected to receive and the good time to which they looked forward. Others might say that they loved Christmas because it was the day on which Jesus was born. The pity is that the children's thoughts have to a large extent been deflected from the coming of Jesus and turned toward a mythical, pagan concept called Santa Claus as the sender of all the good things at Christmas time.

In Christian Science, children and adults alike are taught the tremendous importance of recognizing truth first, last, and always; and because Christ Jesus himself insisted upon this, and because it was an essential part of his healing work, Mrs. Eddy has wisely instructed Christian Scientists to speak the truth on this point as on all others. On page 261 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" she asks the question, "How shall we cheer the children's Christmas and profit them withal?" To this she replies: "The wisdom of their elders, who seek wisdom of God, seems to have amply provided for this, according to the custom of the age and to the full supply of juvenile joy. Let it continue thus with one exception: the children should not be taught to believe that Santa Claus has aught to do with this pastime. A deceit or falsehood is never wise." It were well for all parents and guardians who are Christian Scientists to study prayerfully the whole of her article and gather from it lessons not alone for Christmas day but for all the days of the year.

Among the Churches
December 21, 1918

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