Wednesday, December 7, 2011

VeggieTales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving

At our house we don’t watch much TV.  When we do, it is typically a video.  (We don’t like commercials because they waste time and expose us to content that is often inappropriate for little ones.)  Because we don’t watch much TV, when we do, it is a treat.  As a result, in our celebration of the season of Advent, we’ve watched a few Christmas movies at our house.  One in particular I thought was quite good and wanted to mention it in this blog.

I have written in my predecessor blog about the VeggieTales, which is a Christian video cartoon series where all the characters are vegetables.  (Well, Bob the Tomato and Madame Blueberry are technically fruit, but we’ll let that slide.)  My husband became aware of the VeggieTales franchise years ago before we were even parents, but were volunteering as Sunday school teachers.  The director of the children’s ministry raved about the VeggieTales and we occasionally used them in our lessons.

 As parents, we have developed an even greater appreciation of the VeggieTales.  They are fun and cute.  The music is catchy.  They make us laugh.  And my husband and I often say that we have learned a lot from watching VeggieTales shows.  (We’re only half joking.)

Though we like the VeggieTales a lot, we haven’t seen every episode.  In honor of Advent, I found and screened for our family a Christmas themed episode: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving.  It was excellent.

In true VeggieTales fashion, it explains to children where we got the myth of Santa Claus.  It tells the story of the life of the real Saint Nicolas—as portrayed by an adorable little chili pepper.  I won’t give away the plot, but it is a wonderful story to help children understand the importance of helping people in need.  It also does a good job of explaining the secular cult of Santa Claus for a Christian audience. 

Because we want our family’s celebration of Christmas to focus on the religious meaning of the holiday and we aspire to not have it sidetracked by all the secular nonsense, we’ve always been honest with our children about the myth of Santa Claus.  But it is hard to be so countercultural when most little kids in our social circle believe in Santa.  So, our family (and our church) tries to get our kids to focus on the man behind the myth: Saint Nicolas of Myra.  In light of that tradition, this particular VeggieTales episode was especially fun for us.

Luke 12:33
Sell your possessions and give to those in need. Make for yourselves wallets that don’t wear out—a treasure in heaven that never runs out. No thief comes near there, and no moth destroys.

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