Like I was saying....

Is Santa coming to your house?

This past week or so I’ve had a few conversations and read a few blogs (1 & 2)about whether I/we should tell our kids that Santa Clause is real or not. Early on, before our first kid was old enough to even talk I’d heard the idea that telling kids that Santa is real, that he’s always watching, that he has super natural powers, and will bring good gifts to us if we are nice instead of naughty can be damaging. Damaging if you line it up next to telling children that Jesus is real, always watching, loves us, and gives His grace and mercy even though we’re undeserving.

But what happens to a kid’s mind when they grow older and realize that the whole Santa thing has been a ruse and that their parents had been pulling their leg about this guy? Will they start to question the validity of the Jesus guy as well if the Santa guy reality is blown out of the water? On one hand it makes sense, but then again, I know plenty of people who love and believe in Jesus, but thought Santa was real earlier too. So I don’t know.

But the perceived dilemma was solved for us when our oldest was deathly afraid of Santa early on. Now she knows he’s not real. And she doesn’t try to tell other kids that he’s not real. I’m not sure where our 2nd one is on Santa. She’s never asked either way. But we’ve decided not to “lie” to our kids by telling them that Santa is real. A lot of people will probably think we’re scrooges for that. Especially family.

But I was surprised by a few conversations where I found similar thinking. And then I saw a series of blog posts called “Giftless Christmas” by Shaun Groves. Really eye opening. Counter culture. And cool at the same time. I know that Christmas Eve might not be the time to sit down and read through four posts, but I encourage you to read it at some point if you have children.

Shaun Grove: Slaying Santa ClauseShaun Grove: Going Giftless Pt. 1
Shaun Grove: Going Giftless Pt. 2
Shaun Grove: Going Giftless Pt. 3
Shaun Grove: Going Giftless Pt. 4

So.. What happens at your house? Do your (or will your) kids believe in the whole Santa Clause thing?

3 Comments

  1. g

    I read “Slaying Santa Clause”. SG makes a lot of sense. This person does not think you are Scrooges.

    Merry (and Relaxing) Christmas!

  2. canudigit

    Santa came to my house — stockings only.

  3. Jeremy

    sorry i’m a bit late on this (as usual), but i took a break from blogging and even reading (mostly) throughout the past couple of weeks… not on purpose, just kinda happened.

    Anyway. Santa does not and never will live at our house. I have both spiritual reasons and practical reasons, but for the spiritual reasons I agree with what you said above: it usually doesn’t cause people to turn from Jesus anyway. From a practical stand point, i’ve yet to hear a good argument for keeping Santa alive (in a Christian household, at least). “Because it’s fun” … okay, well… so is sex, drugs, exorbitant spending, eating and drinking (so i’ve heard). Besides, who defines “fun” and what is the point of “fun?” There is a place for fun, no doubt, but I promise you my kids have plenty of fun on Christmas without Santa, and thankfully they are not commercialized by Christmas. Instead we look for fulfillment, worshipful living, and enjoyment at Christmas. And if you’ve ever gone through (your wife) giving birth, you know that fun doesn’t always go directly with Fulfillment and Enjoyment, but you’d choose fulfillment and enjoyment over fun any day. But the good news is that often fulfillment and enjoyment lead to fun.

    One thing that is difficult and Shaun touches on it in his posts is the perception that we are trying to be “holier than thou” by not allowing Santa to live. I get that, especially if we slip up and use the word “lie” in the conversation. But it’s not about being Holy, and honestly I couldn’t care less if others teach their children about Santa. But i often wonder if Christian parents go through the same lengths to teach their children about true servanthood, worship, and a Christ-following lifestyle as they do with this whole Santa get up, all in the name of “fun.” I’m sure plenty do, and I’m sure if we wanted to do both in our family we could, but I’m with Shaun, I don’t see the point.

    Thankfully Shaun has a wider audience and more guts to say it in a blog. This is about the most i’ve shared on the subject other than with my direct family. Don’t crucify me for it 🙂

    Jeremy´s last blog post..December Fun

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