As some of you probably know already, my family is not celebrating Christmas this year. Contrary to popular belief, we are not running away in terror from every single Christmas nuance seen, and we are even walking in a “Christmas” parade this year. We just believe that Christmas might not be the best way to celebrate Christ, so we are choosing not to celebrate in our home.
In the same regard, we are not turning in disgust at the mention or depiction of Santa Claus. While his roots are pagan, the jolly old elf we see today in and of itself isn’t purely evil.
I would love to share the history of Santa in regards to our family. My first three children are pretty close in age (I had three children under three for almost a year), and I did the whole Santa thing with them wholeheartedly. I always told myself that if one of them asked the truth about Santa, I wouldn’t lie to them. (Although I already was lying to them…I just didn’t realize it). My oldest daughter asked at around the age of six, and I let the cat out of the bag. But, I also told her that if any of her younger siblings asked her the same question, she was to lie. Thus began a cycle of older children asking me the truth about Santa, me finally being truthful, and then asking them to lie. What in the world was I doing?
Finally, when my oldest was 10, I came clean to all of my children. It was wonderful! At the same time, I bemoaned the fact that I had ruined the “Christmas magic” for them. In all honestly however, I hadn’t. This “magic” is simply an elaborate scheme that our culture and parents have made up for our kids enjoyment. And yes, our kids enjoy it. But couldn’t we make childhood wonderfully fun for our children without “magic” and lying? I believe that we can. With just a little bit of creativity, it most definitely can be done!
I’ve heard that “We all lie to our children in some ways, and that little white lies are innocent.” Please, please, please don’t believe this. When my three year old asks if I like his drawing attempts, I can honestly say yes. If he asks if they are “good,” I can honestly say yes, because I believe they are good for a three year old. If he says he and his toys are going to the moon, I say, What a fun thing to pretend! If my seven-year-old daughter gets a boo-boo and asks if it looks bad, I say, Well, of course it doesn’t look like it normally does, but accidents happen. It will heal up in no time and will be good as new. I honestly believe that parents can go through life without lying to their children. Of course sometimes truth might sting a little, but we are doing our children a disservice if we lie to them.
As Christians, we shouldn’t lie, even if done in “fun,” or in the name of “Christmas magic”.
One other little thing about Santa…during the Christmas holiday, both Santa and Jesus are in the forefront, but Santa normally wins the top spot in our culture. Also, did you know that Santa’s name “Kris Kringle,” actually means “Christ Child”? This is definitely food for thought when you decide how to celebrate this holiday.
Finally mommas, please, please, please, do not add to the deception by claiming the “Santa has Jesus in his heart,” etc, to your children. Please do not go there. I’ve seen many mommas do this, I guess to clear their conscience about “doing” Santa during a “holiday” that is supposed to be about Jesus. Don’t write notes from Santa to your children that talk about Jesus. This does not make Santa “okay,” and only adds to the deception while bringing our Savior’s name into it.
Would Jesus want to be involved in a deception with a fictional character that bears a name that rightfully belongs to Him, for the express purpose of giving many non-essential gifts which in turn breeds a spirit of covetousness in children’s hearts?
I would say, that’s a no.
Mommas, it is so easy to just go along with the culture, and celebrate holidays the way everyone else does. That isn’t the way it must be however, and our children will not suffer if we are truly seeking the Lord’s will for our lives.