Re-posting this from last year…
I have a few issues with the “Santa game,” here are some of the main points.
What do I have against Santa?
-It takes away from Jesus. The focus of this time of year should be on Jesus. He should get ALL the attention, it’s HIS birthday.
-Telling our children that Santa brings them gifts and all the stories that go with that (reindeer, chimneys, milk and cookies, North Pole, elves, etc) are fun, but they are lies, Santa isn’t real. When is it okay to lie? Especially to our children.
-And for some children when they get a little older and learn that Santa is not real can feel deceived by their parents and have a sense of mistrust. By this time we have told them dozens of lies to cover up the fact that Santa is not real. I don’t ever want my children to wonder when I’m telling the truth and when I’m “fibbing” to them. I want them to know Mama will always tell them things that are true only. This builds a solid tower of trust.
-I want my children to know that I got them those gifts, that I handpicked them out of my love for them. They are tokens of my special love for my child. They are not from a magical man with unending resources, this breeds the “gimme’s.” Their gifts (and the handwritten special note I always include for each child) that are laid out for them on Christmas morning are from Dada and Mama out of love for them. Santa can’t make my children feel as loved and special as I can.
I’m definitely not a Scrooge, I know that the whole Santa story is all fun and games. But let’s be truthful with our children, let’s tell our children it’s “all fun and games,” “it’s just a pretend story for fun,” “it’s not really real.”
Keep Jesus the focus of the season!
Here’s an article I liked:
Question: “What should parents tell their children about Santa Claus?”
Answer: Although Santa Claus is a mythical figure, his creation is based in part on a great Christian man named Saint Nicholas of Myra, who lived in the 4th century. Nicholas was born to Christian parents who left him an inheritance when they died, which he distributed to the poor. He became a priest at a young age and was well-known for his compassion and generosity. He had a reputation for giving gifts anonymously, and he would throw bags of money into people’s homes (and sometimes down their chimneys) under the cover of night to avoid being spotted. Nicholas passed away on December 6 sometime around the 340s or 350s AD, and the day of his death became an annual feast in which children would put out food for Nicholas and straw for his donkey.
Many Christian parents are torn as to whether or not they should play the “Santa game” with their children. The focus of Christmas should be on Jesus Christ and how much He has already given us.
Parents need to use their own judgment in deciding whether or not to include Santa during the holidays, but here are some things to consider: Children who believe that the gifts they receive Christmas morning are from a magical man with unending resources are less likely to appreciate what they have been given, and the sacrifices their parents make in providing them. Greed and materialism can overshadow the holiday season, which is meant to be about giving, loving, and worshiping God. Children whose parents are on a tight budget may feel that they have been overlooked by Santa, or even worse, deemed one of the “bad” boys or girls.
An even more troubling aspect of telling our children that Santa comes down the chimney each year to leave their gifts is that it is, obviously, a lie. We live in a society that believes that lying for the “right” reason is acceptable. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, it is not a problem. This is contrary to what the Bible tells us. Of course, telling our children that Santa is real is not a malicious deception, but it is, nevertheless, a lie.
Although it is probably not typical, some children honestly feel deceived and betrayed by their parents when they find out that Santa is not real. Children trust their parents to tell them the truth, and it is our responsibility not to break this trust. If we do, they will not believe more important things we tell them, such as the truth about Christ, whom they also cannot physically see.
Parents can still take the opportunity to tell their children about the godly qualities of the real Saint Nicholas, who dedicated his life to serving others and made himself into a living example of Jesus Christ.