I remember hearing a while back about some parents who decided that because their children had broken a family heirloom and lied about it, they would be cancelling Christmas for all 3 of their children. While I do believe it is appropriate to discipline our children for not telling the truth I believe these parents missed an incredible opportunity to teach their children what Christmas is actually about.
When God sent his son Jesus as the once and for all gift for us, he didn’t exclude anyone based on behavior. The point of giving gifts on Christmas is (or should be) to bless others in a fraction of the way that we have been blessed by the gift of Jesus. Cancelling Christmas may sound like a good idea to teach our kids a lesson (and what parent hasn’t been tempted to do so) but I don’t believe it communicates grace in the way that God communicates grace to us.
The reality is that our kids never earned any of the gifts we got them in the first place, just like we didn’t earn any of the things that God has blessed us with. Naturally we don’t want to be dealing in cheap grace devoid of any repentance on the part of our children, but there are other ways in which to teach and discipline.
As a parent I know that these parents were only doing what they thought was best but what I also know is that they were reacting more out of hurt and betrayal. Our children will sin, and will sin against us and we must show them a savior who is willing, ready and able to forgive us and then gives us more than we deserve, not because we are good but because He is.