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“So, are you guys gonna do Santa?” she asked, my five day old daughter cradled in her arms.
“Uh, I don’t know,” I answered my friend. “Yeah. Wait, why wouldn’t we?”
Until that moment, I had no idea that Santa Clause was a matter of contention among Christians. But as it turned out, we would not, in fact, “do Santa” in our home.
Santa teaches your kids to question what you tell them.
It is natural for kids to question the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy once they find out that Santa is not real. But some kids begin questioning God too.
In fact, the friend who first asked me if we would teach our daughter about Santa had a good reason for her concern. For years after learning the truth about Santa, her husband struggled with whether God was real.
My kids’ faith will be challenged enough in ways that I can’t control. After hearing my friend’s story, I knew I did not want to add another potential stumbling block.
Santa’s message is the opposite of Grace.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our savior. Who shows us grace that we do not deserve. Santa brings gifts to children who have earned them with good behavior.
It is perfectly fine to reward good behavior. And punish bad behavior. As parents, this is part of raising our children.
But this message is incongruous with the message of the Gospel. Whose person we celebrate on Christmas.
We are setting children up for disappointment.
If we introduce our kids to Santa, they will inevitably find out the truth. And very likely be disappointed.
Life hold many disappointments. And we will not be able to shield our children from most of them.
But it is okay to decide not to willfully contribute to them. And that is one more reason we do not to do Santa.
Traits attributed to Santa rightfully belong to God.
There is one who “sees you when you’re sleeping” and “knows if you’ve been bad or good” all of the time. But his name is not Santa.
Giving gifts? Okay. People do that too.
But seeing and knowing all? That gets a little too close to God’s role for me.
So. Much. Magic.
Mama, Santa practices magic. Flying reindeer, bending time, living forever on Earth.
Yes, it is “nice” magic. He is not using a Ouija Board to discern wish lists.
But God does not distinguish. Instead, the Revelation puts magic in the same category as murder and lying.
So we do our imperfect best to avoid it.
We want our kids to know where gifts come from, and why.
Santa gives gifts based on merit. From himself. And out of unlimited resources.
But we give our children gifts for the simple and sole reason that we love them. And want to give them good things.
Further, our kids should remember that all good things truly come from God. And they should thank Him from truly grateful hearts. Because, like the rest of us, they do not deserve those good things.
Finally, He blesses them through Earthly parents. Whose resources and knowledge are limited. So sometimes our children do not see the priciest of their gift requests under the tree.
Not because they were not “good enough”. But because there may not have been disposable income enough.
Should your family do Santa?
Are you are struggling with whether or not to do Santa? I hope that our family’s reasons for keeping Santa at bay provide some helpful considerations.
But Mama, the awesome news is that Santa has nothing to do with eternal salvation. Whether to include him in your Christmas traditions is a personal choice. And should not be a question that divides believers.
Instead, let’s pray for wisdom, grace, and each other! Merry Christmas!