As was mentioned in Crawford’s post last week, Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? this time of year brings out discussion on how Christians should respond to the holiday. What gets even more heated is the discussion on whether or not it’s appropriate to use Santa Claus in our festivities. Those on the assemblyHUB team who have children pitch in their thoughts.
I choose not to incorporate Santa into our Christmas celebration for three reasons.
- Society has taken Santa and given him godly attributes such as omnipresence (present everywhere) and omniscience (all knowing). One Christmas song says, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake, He knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!” If Santa knows when we are awake and if we have been bad or good he would be omniscient. Only God is all knowing.
- I want my kids to recognize that any gift they receive during Christmas reminds them of the true gift, our Savior Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus was grace gift. We did nothing to deserve this gift. Santa offers gifts based on how good we were for the year. The two do not go together.
- I have yet been convinced that Santa brings any glory to God. We try to separate the two but we shouldn’t. I feel I may be a little hypocritical because there are a lot of things I do that don’t bring honor and glory to God. I pray everyday though that my convictions would grow to that.
Phil 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Are we living out this verse by celebrating Santa? Not only should we rethink how we handle Santa, but we should rethink anything we expose our children to.
I grew up believing that Santa would come down our chimney & deliver presents on Christmas eve. I cannot describe the excitement I felt on Christmas morning waking up and seeing the presents that were delivered the night before and the thought of waking up on Christmas morning still brings GREAT memories. The reason why I believed in Santa was because my parents allowed it but didn’t push it. The only thing I really remember them saying was that I should go to bed so Santa can come & deliver the presents which he did because what they didn’t tell me was that Santa was my dad and mom.
I viewed all of our Christmas experience as being focused on the Lord and not Santa so I guess I never thought it was that big of a deal. As a child I NEVER likened Santa with the Lord Jesus and because my parents loved the Lord and their life reflected it, I never had the thought that if they “fooled” me about Santa maybe they did the same about God since they talked about the Lord all of the time & only mentioned Santa one night a year.
I view Santa as more of a cultural thing and not as an overall threat to our children. Some of my friends don’t allow their children to believe in Santa and for good reason but these same friends also never grew up believing in Santa and I guess they don’t miss that feeling on Christmas morning cause they never had it or at least the same way that I did.
Obviously I don’t have a good biblical reason why I should allow my children to believe in Santa. My main reason is that I want them to have as much fun at Christmas as I did with the belief in Santa (who happens to be me) and I justify fooling them just like I would a joke being said. I think we should be careful to classify something as “wrong” when the Lord knows the thoughts & intents of our hearts.
I am not “against” Santa but we don’t incorporate him in our celebrations at home. But we also just look at him as a fun part of Christmas in relation to our culture. We would participate in an activity that included him, but the kids know he is not the true meaning of Christmas. Just a fun part like the shopping and gifts and decorations. Same as the tooth fairy and Easter bunny. A cultural thing but not giving real credence to it. I see three key areas in regards to Santa.
- Don’t attribute the attributes of God to him. Make sure to explain songs like “He sees you when you’re sleeping”, etc. and give the true perspective.
- Don’t use him as a threat or incentive for good behavior. This gives credence to him throughout the year, creates fear or confusion in kids and we want pleasing the Lord to be the reason for good behavior.
- Don’t have him as the main focus of Christmas.
With our kids we avoided using Santa Claus. We do not have any Santa Claus decorations, we do not write letters to Santa, we do not leave cookies out for the reindeer, we do not tell them any of the gifts come from Santa, etc. etc. When the topic comes up we tell them that “Santa is not real… it’s just pretend. Some families do it just for fun. This doesn’t make them bad people, they simply have different convictions than we have.”
My concern about the whole Santa thing is that if we raise our kids telling them or implying to them that Santa, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, and God are all real, inevitably as they grow up they will realize one at a time that Santa, EB, TF are not real and their parents lied to them. Might they also think God isn’t real and their parents lied to them about that as well?