SPOILER ALERT! SEND THE CHILDREN OUT OF THE ROOM! Santa has been discounted! Oh, the humanity! I was in CVS last week and the Santa figures were discounted to $129.99. Originally, Santa was going for $400. He's been discounted just under 67%. Is that a deal, or what? I think it fits in the category of "or what." Being the universal cultural symbol of this season, to have him reduced by such a large amount might be sending an unintended message. Santa is Santa all over the globe. He, the elves, and the reindeer (and Mrs. Claus) are ubiquitous. Their presence in advertising and songs and TV specials can't be exaggerated. They can't be ignored. Neither can they be taken for granted. They aren't just necessary additions to the holiday gift giving season, they've become near reality in our culture. However, let me gently remind you about what you already know. Santa and Jesus are not twins. Santa comes only once a year in December. And while the baby Jesus also comes in December, as the Only Begotten Son of God, he is present and alive and real every minute of every day all year long. If you want to talk ubiquity, it's Jesus. While a drug store Santa can be discounted for clearance purposes, the child of Mary remains un-discounted because he isn't for sale. He's for sharing and praising and worshiping. It is he whom we await. O, come, O come, Immanuel. And ransom captive Israel.
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