Thursday, December 20, 2007

To Santa or Not To Santa


In our home we do not acknowledge Santa. On a practical level I have a hard time giving credit to a fat guy in a red suit who really does not exists. I also have a hard time lying, yes lying, to our children about a fictional character on a yearly basis.

I know some of you think that I am hindering the children's joy of Christmas, killing their precious little imaginations and overall just taking the fun out of the holidays. I disagree. I think that Santa, just like the "Easter Bunny," really takes the focus off of the original intent (Christ's birth or Christ's resurrection) and shifts it to something that is not real. I did not say that Santa is really Satan spelled differently or that the Bunny is wicked. I just think that we need to shoot straight with our children in a day where diversions are the order of the day.

What do you think? Do you home acknowledge these characters in your home and if so, why?

15 comments:

Pastorboy said...

I took Ray Comforts advice, got a Santa Suit, and did open-air preaching.

I think Santa is a lousy substitute for the real story of Christmas. He is a cultural reality, so we must find ways to redeem the old guy, so open air preaching is the best option in my view.

The Santa suit was so good, I got invited to show up at local businesses as santa. They wouldn't allow me to hand out Gospel Tracts, so I declined.

I think anytime we focus on the gift and not the giver it is not pleasing to God. I think Santa tends to do this; he becomes the gift giver and not Christ, who is the giver of all good things. It is idolatry, and the entire focus of many children is coveteousness throughout.

gods.geek said...

My wife and I agonized over this when we had our first son. We prayed and gave it a lot of thought and ultimately decided against having Santa as part of our Christmas celebration. Our reasoning is similar; mostly we did not want to lie to our children over something relatively trivial that would only last for a few years anyway. Trust me, it has not hurt the imagination of my 5 year old one little bit and he and his younger brother have no trouble enjoying the holiday.

We celebrate Christmas by baking a birthday cake for Jesus and making Him a card. We read the Christmas story and pray and praise God. And open presents, of course. Nothing is lost for our little ones and much is gained by putting the focus of the day in the right direction.

Aduladi' said...

I struggle soooo much with this. When our first son was born my husband and I were adamant that Santa was not going to be a "big deal" for our kids. 8 years and three kids later they all believe in Santa and I have no clue how to counteract it.

Had we not been big marshmallows on the issue, we would have been proactive on dispelling Santa, but we get caught up in it too... sigh!

Now that they are 8, 5 and 4 we would like to tell them the truth without damaging their little psyches somehow, LOL!

Any thoughts on the best way to admit that their parents have lied to them thus far about the fat guy in the suit (although technically we have never outright said there is a Santa, we also have never told them that there is not nor dashed their hopes of him)?

Joseph said...

The decision in our family was pretty simple. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc are all fictional characters. We have never said or intimated that they are real and I make an effort especially to teach them that Santa is fictional. I did not want to present these characters as real and then have to back track and say, "Well, they're all fake but Jesus is real."

We read Luke 2 on Christmas morning and have several kids books etc. on the real meaning of Christmas. I even preach that Santa is fictional and we have kids in the congregation...never had a complaint.
The truth can be quite powerful.

However a family incorporates Santa in Christmas, decorations etc, is another issue. Whenever my children see a Santa in the mall, a Santa decoration, no matter the context, they will always know he is fictional.

They know that Christ however, is the true reason for the season. (is that too cliche) :-)

dsstanfield said...

We have never done Santa Claus. Have you ever noticed the similarities between Santa Claus and God? They both know everything. They reward you when you are good.

I could not lie to my children about Santa Claus.

Some of my family members do promote Santa Claus, and I find it sad that their children know more information about him than they do about Christ.

dss
--------------------------------------
Hey DT,

How about a subject on presidential hopefuls?

Dead Theologians said...

PastorBoy,

Thanks for the comment. I figured that they would not let you hand out tracts.
Also, you are right. It is idolatrous.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

gods.geek,

Thanks for the comment.

Just keep pointing your kids to Jesus. He is supposed to be our focus always.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

aduladi,

You asked for advice. I've always got advice. :)

Instead of axing Santa just don't bring him up anymore. Keep elevating Christ and his virgin birth and Santa will soon fade into oblivion.
The little ones need to see that Christ and His glory are preeminent in your home.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

Joseph,

"They know that Christ however, is the true reason for the season."

That's a new one. Just Kidding. You are right.

I think in the end Santa is not evil it is just that Jesus is King, Lord and Sovereign over everything. Sometimes we give Santa Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent qualities. These are ONLY reserved for our Lord. Anything that takes away from Christ and His glory needs to be elminated.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

ds,

The comments that I just made to Joseph line up with what you are saying.
Santa is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.

The presidential thing is coming. Never fear.

DT

Joseph said...

Good points ds and DT.
Great topic DT, keep 'em coming!

Chris said...

What did Luther,Calvin,Edwards,Spurgeon etc have to say about acknowledging Christ birth.

Sherry said...

Our son goes to a Christian school and he says that many of the kids believe in Santa. !?! He is in 2nd grade. When you don't grow up believing in Santa it's easy to raise your kids in the same way. I saw an ad in our local paper where they had a "Good Kid" list. "No one is righteous, no not one". Christmas is about God sending his one and only Son to rescue us from our sin. God should get all the glory.

It's always been a bit tricky making sure our son doesn't spill the beans to the other kids.

If your kids believe in Santa, I would encourage parents to be honest. They will respect you. Maybe read the story about the real Nicholas who did give presents to children.

I love the open air preaching in the santa suit idea!!

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

In Bible College I heard a girl's tesitmony that when her parents finally told her Santa wasn't real she began to doubt whether Jesus was real. We always told our children that Santa was like Disney characters, not real.

Sadly, Christmas is no longer centered upon Christ.

Dead Theologians said...

Chris,

I do not know what these gentlemen said about acknowledging Christ's birth.

Sherry,

Thanks for the comment. Being honest is always going to pay off. Good advice.

Rick,

I most certainly agree with you. Could we not say that this goes for the bunny at Easter also? What about the tooth fairy? Where does it fit?

DT

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