Monday, December 9, 2013

On Why We Do Santa



There are many blog posts explaining why people choose not to do Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, etc.  If that is you, stop reading and Google one of those articles.  There's a lot of well written blog posts about it that will support your decision.

I am 100% fine if you choose not to do those.  You be you.  I'll be me.

I am surrounded by a lot of people who choose not to do Santa.  The only annoyance I have with this choice is some of their children have no qualms announcing their opinion.   Other than that, I am thankful we live in a place where we have the choice.  

Because of this strong disdain for the fat guy, I've thoroughly thought through my decision, and so I thought I would share that with those who are in a similar situation to mine.  

You know I love lists.  So here is my list.  

1.  Concern: "It is lying to my children."  
My opinion: This one makes me laugh.  Because who among us doesn't lie to our children? I am not saying it's right; I'm just saying it's true.  From hidden chocolate stashes to "don't answer the front door; pretend we aren't home" to "Mommy and Daddy are going to take a nap (wink, wink)"......there's lies.  I don't understand how we all of a sudden become agents of absolute truth in December.  

Furthermore, Santa is imaginary.  When my kids are playing pretend, I don't barge in, "IT'S LIES! IT'S ALL LIES!  Those dolls aren't real.  You aren't really their mom.  Stop lying and telling them that." That's obviously absurd.  

Children imagine.  It's a beautiful part of childhood.  If my children are normal (and that's debatable), imaginative play is what they do probably 80% of their day.  Santa is a fun part of imaginative play.  I love listening to my kids dream up ways to capture Santa on video.  I love how excited they get when they call Santa. It makes the holiday season absolutely magical.  


2.  Concern:  "Why will they believe Jesus is real if I say Santa is real?"       
My opinion (it's a strong one): If Jesus and Santa are anywhere on the same level, you may want to rethink the Jesus you know.  Because the Jesus I know??  His presence is real. He answers prayers.  He changes lives.  He heals the sick.  He performs miracles everyday.  He is the giver of life, joy, and hope.  He is so, so good.  He leads our family.  We trust Him.  We pray to Him throughout the day and at bedtime.  

Santa?  We talk about him 3 weeks a year.  


3.  Concern: "Telling kids to be good for Santa isn't wise."  
My opinion: I 100% agree with this.  We never use Santa as a means to get our kids to obey (though I am not above it and would bring out the big guns if I needed to, haha).  I tell them there's not really a naughty list.  I tell my kids Santa doesn't really watch over them.  This is where I take a stand: when Santa starts acting like Jesus (omnipresent).  


4.  Concern: "I don't want to give into commercialism."  
My opinion:  I use the tradition of gift giving to turn my kids back to Jesus.  I say, "It's Jesus' birthday!  Instead of receiving gifts, He is so good that He loves to give His children gifts for His birthday."  
While our gifts are from Santa, he is more of an agent to deliver Jesus' birthday gifts.  My kids (so far) are good with this and are so thankful for their Christmas gifts.  We never go into debt, and we don't go overboard with gifts (you know I hate clutter).  
I do not buy my kids toys much during the year.  We have generous grandparents and friends, so it's not like they go without....but Brett and I really don't buy them toys much....so I have no problem with splurging a bit at Christmas.  


5.  Concern: "Santa takes away the real meaning of Christmas."  
My opinion: Sort of like the above statement, in our family, we talk wayyyyy more about the real meaning of Christmas than the fun traditions of Santa, gifts, etc.  Because the nature of God is good, and He is so generous and kind....it's the perfect season to reiterate His goodness.  All of this (family, fun, gifts) is because Jesus loves us so much and wants to us to celebrate His love for us by celebrating His birthday.  We focus on Jesus in a number of ways:
- the top of our tree is a crown to represent the King who was born 
- we have a birthday cake for Jesus
- we read the Biblical account of His birth
- we give to others (as the Bible says)
- the Christmas carols we play throughout the season are beautiful worship songs     

The list goes on.


This post isn't meant to change the minds of those who don't do Santa.  I see that side of things and can definitely see why that's the choice some make.  It is always my stance that you should do whatever is best for your family.  

This post is just to offer my opinion on why I love to incorporate Santa into our holiday traditions.  This list isn't exhaustive; it's just the highlights.  

To conclude, Jesus is truly the reason for the season.  Whether you do Santa or not, I hope you find meaningful ways to honor the Lord during December and all year long.  He is so worthy of our affection and attention.  

I am so thankful He came as a baby born with humble beginnings to change the world for all eternity.  Jesus is so, so good.  

4 comments:

  1. You gave me some great ideas! Thank you! We do much the same as you do. We decided that Santa brings 1 gift to each child and leaves it on the hearth, then all the gifts under the tree are from Mom and Dad. The idea was that if Santa doesn't bring all the gifts, they won't be overly concerned with him. They are 2 and 4, so who knows. :)

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  2. If they think Santa is real, then it isn't imaginative play. They think he's real, so it's not imaginative.

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    1. You're right. But my six-year-old also thinks he's a real ninja. He's not pretending there, either. I am of the opinion for our family that if I don't go out of my way to perpetuate a delusion, then we're good. I'm not going to have my hubby dress up as Santa when they got to that critical year to try to convince them Santa's real. When I was a kid, my brother and I did everything we could to "catch" Santa in the act. We got to an age where we just tried to catch Mom and Dad in the act to confirm what we suspected. Then we just didn't care any more. If you make Santa the main event, I can see how kids would be devastated. For us it was a fun aside. And I hope that's what it is for my kids.

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    2. Sorry I'm anonymous, I don't have an ID.z Sarah, here. My kiddo's the ninja. We don't do white lies in our household, either. I'm not trying to sound all holy or anything, but that is a value of ours. We are perhaps uncomfortably honest round these parts. We DO have a LOT of imaginative play in our house, and my kids' imaginations are often the first thing that people notice about our kids. :) When my kiddos ask me about Santa (we DO "do" Santa), we tell them about the historical person of St. Nicholas.

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