The Santa Claus Delimma

I was just random blogging as it's one of those few nights when I woke up and can't go back to sleep.  I ran across Servant Girl.  She has only a handful of posts since last year, but one question she asked about was what people reading her blog do about Santa Claus.  This is such an important question and one I went ahead and answered even though it was at least 8 months old. 


And, before we know it, Christmas will once again be upon us.  So I thought it might be useful here too.  I have amended it somewhat from exactly what was written at Servantgirl.


 


I grew up with Santa Claus.  It was fun.  But I never realized the message my parents sent me by not being honest with us.  Our children still have fun.  I still have fun. But they know that it's not some being that showers them with little tokens of love– but their loving parents who nuture, protect and teach them that are showering them with little tokens of love.  And we are doing our best to teach the children and remind ourselves the true reason for the CHRISTmas season.


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We do not do Santa for several reasons.


First, telling your children there is a Santa for years for them only to discover that there is no Santa is a lie.  We don't do the “easter bunny” (or the “tooth fairy”grandpa and grandma give a quarter per tooth) for the same reasons. 


If we play up these figures, we play down, the true reason we celebrate CHRISTmas and Easter.  We do advent readings all month, we also have the Family Life tree ornaments that we do the 12 days before Christmas.  Then on Christmas Eve we exchange inexpensive homemade gifts with each other.  We do have stockings, but the children know that Dad and Mom fill them. 


We feel there is too much confusion between two beings that you cannot see Santa (not real) and Jesus (real).  When children become old enough to learn the truth, how do you explain that Jesus is real, but Santa isn't?  Esp. after you've lied to them about Santa?
Our children know about Santa, that it's a game some people play, that it's not our place to voice opinions (unless asked) or to tell other children that “he” is not real.   Each parent must decide what they will do about Santa.
We will sometimes rent “Santa Claus” with Tim Allen because it's so funny.  But we are certain to explain that this is pretend. 
Santa also promotes selfishness, (how many short lists do you see for Santa?) and good behavior only through the holidays (what tactic do you use for good behavior in July when Christmas is 6 months away). 


 


These are our conclusions.


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The advent readings are our evening devotionals during December.  Bubba almost always asks to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus each night. 


 


On a side note, we don't do Halloween, “Trunk or Treat” or other Alternatives either.  Halloween isn't just some innocent little holiday– it is a day where Satanic activity is extremely high.  He gets enough attention 364 days a year why should we “celebrate” him all the more the other day.  We usually rent a good movie and sit down with a big bowl of popcorn.  Or Shane reads some out of whatever family reading book we are working through at the time. 


 

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6 thoughts on “The Santa Claus Delimma

  1. We personally created the Santa experience for our children. Me, my parents, my grandparents, etc. all believed in him as we were growing up. It is a tradition that has been passed down for generations in many families. Not one of us questioned whether Jesus was real or not when we found out the truth about Santa. Nor did my children when they found out. It was a time of magic and excitement. Why not give them that time to experience something that only exists in fairy tales? I know that my children will have to deal with enough “real” life when they grew up. It has also been a tradition in my family, as I am sure it is in most, that the reason for Christmas and Easter is Christ. The story of Jesus’s birth and resurrection is included with each holiday. That story never changes, no matter how old you are.

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  2. we have never done santa in our home. even before we were saved we didn’t want our children to think that some old fat guy gave them things when my husband was the one who worked hard all year long for the money to buy things. my son thinks it is wrong that parents get to lie about santa but children get in trouble if they lie

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  3. Man Christine you are talking right to my heart on this one. We have and still do Santa and Easter Bunny also the toothfairy but I have to be honest with you, it is really starting to bug me. Just these afternoon as my daughter who is 10 and still believes in Santa or says she does, was sitting with me I felt I should really talk with her about it. For me it seems to be a lost of innocence. Like once they know their childhood fun is some how gone. I know that is not true but I have such great memories of Christmas but is be honest it had nothing to do with Jesus. So thanks for your thoughts. My husband and myself have a lot of thinking to do.

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  4. This was not an easy decision for me either. I had wonderful memories of Santa from my childhood days too. In fact, they were some of the best I have. Getting up early Christmas morning all bleary eyed after trying to stay up to see him. Amazing, our children still get up early, early Christmas morning, but they go to bed a lot easier. THey know what we’re doing and it’s not an issue for them. We do put one gift out unwrapped, the same way “Santa” did at my house. And the gifts in the stockings are wrapped like they did at Shane’s house. So we all still get to have fun too. . And it’s fun being able to share with them about their gifts. For example, several years ago we banned Princess from the basement in late October. Shane made a large dollhouse (4 rooms each at least a foot wide and deep) and I painted it. Then we couldn’t get it upstairs through the kitchen door, so Christmas eve, we are carrying this huge, heavy dollhouse around the side of the house in through the front door and I think there was still snow on the ground from a couple of days before. It was exciting for Princess to hear how hard we worked on it for her. If Santa would have brought this gift, we couldn’t have shared anything about it with her. After just asking them, they are glad they don’t have to write letters to Santa and it is exciting for them to come out on Chrismas morning even though it’s Dad and Mom instead of Santa giving the gifts. And now that I think about it, having my children sitting on a strange man’s lap, esp. in this day and age, whispering in his ear what they want for Christmas gives me the creeps.

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  5. hey…you reminded me of a great post i will write someday…in God’s providence October 31st is also the day that Luther nailed his 95 theses on the Wittenburg Door. for the past eight years, we’ve celebrated reformation day (but not as an alternative to halloween). our church now throws an annual bash and we focus on one of the reformers (last year was John Knox – it was “a party to knox your socks off!”). anyhow, we convert our house to a 16th century reformation village complete with barnyard animals, props, activities for kids, etc… we have about 200 guests that come dressed as reformation folk…
    by the way, santa is out – there is no easter bunny (but we still do candy), and the toothfairy is dad (and i only leave coins – none of this paper money stuff – sheesh! i’d go broke).

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  6. We started out sort of doing all that. Then we just turned it into mom and dad are Santa and Mrs. Claus. Mom is the tooth fairy (no one wants to give up their teeth lately anyway so I don’t get to play that anymore.) Easter bunny is never mentioned.

    We went to a Reformation Day thing last year. Its a good celebration.

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