I know that this post is probably not going to make me popular, but I have to get this out in the open – even if it just to get my reasons down in a (somewhat) coherent format.
Santa does not come to our house. In our house…up until this year, his name was not even mentioned to our kids. Caleb is turning 4 this year, though, and we just can’t ignore and avoid the issue anymore. “Santa” is everywhere! It drives me nuts! We cannot go anywhere without seeing a Santa image…not the grocery store or the mall, or someone else’s house…we cannot even drive down the street thanks to those pop-up air-blown lawn decorations. My children cannot talk to anyone without being asked if they are excited about what Santa is going to bring them. So – we have honestly told them the truth. That Santa is a story, just like Paddington Bear and Thomas the Train. We have not filled them in on the details, I’m sure they will figure out what this story is all about in time.
Why? Well, you may or may not agree with me on this, but I believe that this Santa thing has been taken way too far, it’s not just a white lie, it’s deception and lying – and if I expect my children to be honest with me I need to be honest with them. If I want them to trust what I say as truth, I need to say only things that are true and trustworthy.
Secondly, and more importantly, Santa should have nothing to do with Christmas, a holiday that is supposed to celebrate the birth of Christ – and the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan for the world. It’s a time to praise and thank God for his wonderful gift of grace and love to a world who is totally lost without him.
Except for Santa, we have chosen to keep the holiday in much the same way as the rest of our friends and family do, with gift-giving, feasting, time with family etc. As our children get older we would like to serve others more, and encourage them to give to the poor and needy (all year, but especially at Christmas). Some Christians have taken a very radical standpoint against Christmas in its entirety, and I can appreciate where they are coming from, but for our situation I feel that we would be alienating ourselves and building walls in our relationships with friends and family by boycotting the holiday completely – rather than showing them the love of Christ, I fear they would feel that we were judgmental, hypocritical and self-righteous.
Our traditions leading up to Christmas are focussed on Christ – this year we are doing a Jesse Tree, reading scripture together, and singing and playing lots of carols about Christ throughout the day. When I was young preparation for Christmas was about baking cookies, the Christmas shows on TV, writing to Santa, decorations, etc., and although we may do some of those things in our home – they are not the focus of Christmas, they are done more as “winter” activities.
So – are our children less-happy than those who believe in Santa? Not in the least! They are learning of the true joy of the season – God’s gift of love, His plan to save us, His unfathomable grace and mercy. They love our daily family time together reading a Bible story and creating an ornament for our Jesse Tree. My husband and I are also not frantically caught up in the materialism of the season – and are taking time to keep our own hearts where they ought to be. Our home is (mostly) a peaceful, loving place to be – and that’s a gift that keeps on giving!
I am open to your comments and opinions. I know that the choices we have made are not right for everyone – I just had to get it off my chest!
Blessings! and Merry Christmas!