I was raised in a Christian home. And in that home we barely did Christmas at all, and Santa not even a little. My father didn’t feel the need to do much for Christmas and was completely against anything to do with Santa.
As an adult, I remember asking my mom why we didn’t ever do anything with Santa even after my dad moved out. The answer was one that I have grappled with myself and am sure that many other parents have done as well.
What if, after we found out that Santa was a lie, we began to doubt in the truth of Jesus?
It’s a good question. And an understandable one. But do we ask this question when we allow our kids to read comic books? Watch fairy tales? Play dress up? Or do any other sort of pretending?
I know that I don’t.
I never once worried about confusing a child over a superhero or princess. I have always been a fan of fairy tales and was raised on the magic of Disney.
So is there a line?
Yes, I think there is. No, I do not think that Santa is evil. As a matter of fact, it stems from something very good. But if we are constantly insisting to our children that a fictional character is real, then we are responsible for blurring the line.
Lets go back to the superheros.
It is not common for a Christian parent to stop a child from pretending to be Superman. Nor is it common for that same parent to prevent the child from enjoying the fun of the myth. But if the child asks if Superman is real, most parents are not going to insist that he is.
No, most parents will tell their child that Superman is a fictional character and that it is fun to pretend like he is real.
So why don’t we do the same with Santa?
Sure it is fun to imagine that Santa is real. It is fun to bake cookies, hang the stockings, wrap the presents, and prepare for the imaginary figure to come to our houses. It’s even fun to sing all the songs and learn the names of the reindeer. But when the child begins to question, it is important that we make sure that they know the truth.
This is a perfect opportunity to affirm their faith in Christ instead of destroy it. Talk to the kids about how much fun it is to pretend that Santa is real and then talk to them about the real Saint Nick.
(This is from just one of many sites that tell the story of the real Saint Nicholas and where Santa came from. A simple google search can give you all the information that you need.)
Then share with them how God’s son is the ultimate gift. Share with your kids the reason for the season. Tell them the reason for the gifts. Remind them that if it wasn’t for God’s gift of His Son that we wouldn’t have the Hope of eternal life, that we wouldn’t be able to have Peace on earth, and that we would not be able to experience the Joy that His love brings to us.
Instead of cowering in shame over “deceiving” your kids, use it as a teaching moment.
But for now, if through prayer and reading of the Word, you decide to indulge in the magic and let your kids be kids, go ahead, and don’t feel guilty about it. Just remember what the real reason for the season is. If you keep your eyes focused on that, everything else should fall into place.
Here is an article I found on this subject. I know there are a lot of opinions out there. I encourage you to read and really pray about this subject, if it is one that is on your heart.
Remember that this decision is between your family and God. You do not need to justify yourself to anyone else. Be confident in your decision and trust in God to work miracles in your child’s life.