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.
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.
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.