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