In college I babysat for a family who didn't do Santa. I never heard of such a thing before! They explained to me that their decision rested in God. The husband came from a family full of liars & exaggerators & even himself would tell little lies for no reason. Lying was a generational sin in his family that was very strong & Scripture tells us that Satan is the father of all lies (no matter how big or small). Because lying was such a strong issue they knew they couldn't afford to lie to their children about anything, especially things that could cause confusion later on or that Satan could use their personal generational sin as leverage against them. Plus, because of their faith in Jesus, they wanted to focus on Him in all that they did year round. They also didn't do the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, but explained to their kids that other children did believe in this stuff & that if a child asked them if they believed, they should be honest & say no, but they didn't need to try & convince them, or make them feel bad because they believed.
I was a new believer & I had never heard of this concept before, but I thought it was pretty amazing, being honest about everything...who would've thought?! You see I grew up in lies. I knew my parents & siblings lied about lots of things. My friends from school would lie about things, & I would lie when I felt I needed or just wanted to. I knew lying was wrong, but apparently it wasn't that big of deal. I never really believed in Santa. I remember being 4 years old & arguing with my mom that Santa did not bring me my Strawberry Shortcake bike because the Sears logo was on it. (I was quite smart-ha)! In my head if Santa brought it it would've come from the North Pole not Sears, I had seen all the Christmas movies where elves made the toys. Then in 1st grade I found all my presents in a closet & when I asked my mom she said Santa brought them early because we weren't going to be home on Christmas. I didn't buy that either. I wanted to believe in Santa, but I just knew he wasn't real. It also made me mad that everyone kept lying to me & refused to just tell me the truth. So sometimes I would go along with it, even though I knew the truth.
I didn't feel any less "magic" at Christmas because let's face it, presents are good no matter where they come from! I think this time of year is full of "magic" for many people in spite of what you believe or don't believe because the "holiday" season has been engraved in our heads as a special time to give & get, to celebrate life & love, family & friends etc etc. No real need for Jesus at all right?
When I became a momma my thoughts & views on many things changed & have continued to change. The more I grow in my walk with Christ the more my thoughts & views change, because now Christ is opening my eyes & my heart to His ways. I battled Brady's 1st 3 Christmases over the Santa issue. He was too young to understand anyway, so I didn't really talk about it much. I debated about having Santa bring him 3 gifts because the Wisemen brought Jesus 3 gifts, but it still bugged me that I was lying to my child. Most people don't seem to think that lying about Santa is a big deal, that letting them believe in a myth is ok because "they're only kids once." Well, it bothers me. I know the majority of people who grew up believing in Santa aren't scarred because they realized it wasn't true, but my spirit was strongly opposed to it anyway.
When I 1st became a teacher there was a young child in another class that didn't believe in Santa & her teacher complained about how annoying it was that she didn't believe & all the other kids did. This teacher thought this young girl sucked the fun out of all her Santa activities because she knew the truth. I never understood it because I had never met this young girl. Two summers ago I got the privilege to hear this now teenage girl speak about her faith in Christ & how her Godly parents had raised her to know Jesus from early on & the truths of Scripture. Listening to her talk about her parents & how they raised her helped her to love others & speak the truth of Christ to everyone, especially the lost. My spirit was relieved, because I imagined her as child not annoyed by Santa, but probably heartbroken that her peers were more excited by a myth than the Reason for Christmas.
Two days later I was in Target with my boys & a worker came up to me & asked if I wanted her to tell them an older man down the aisle was Santa & he was spying on them. I looked at the man, big belly, snowy white beard, & laughed. I told her no, we didn't do Santa. She didn't scoff at me, she just politely said ok & complimented on how well behaved my boys were being. It was such a weird moment, but I knew God had orchestrated it for me. The very next day driving around, Brady, who was 5 asked me if Santa was real or make-believe. He didn't hear the woman ask about Santa, it was July so nothing about Santa was even around, so I'm not even sure what made him ask. I knew that this too was a moment God had put into motion for me & I answered truthfully, "He's make believe honey, but there was a real man named St. Nicholas..." & I proceeded to tell him what I knew about the real one.
When Christmas came around I prayed once again that God would give me the right words to share with my boys. I bought the Veggie Tale movie about St. Nicholas & we read a story about him & how Santa Claus came to be. Then we read about the birth of Jesus & I shared with him the true meaning of Christmas. We still get our picture taken with Santa each year, we enjoy looking at lights, & watching the many Christmas shows that come on, but Brady understands that Santa is a character like Buzz Lightyear & Lighting McQueen. That Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. We do lots of fun activities & crafts, we even do a Jesse Tree that teaches the genealogy of Christ.
I don't feel any pressure to make up stories or lies to make Christmas magical because it is magical in a supernatural way! I do enjoy seeing the crazy fun things people come up with for their Elves on Shelves & I don't think any less of any parent who does the worldly view of Christmas & the Christian view of Christmas. That is between them & Christ alone. I however have to do what Christ has led us to do.
Here are some Scriptures that remind me of why I won't lie to my kids about Santa & why I have to keep the focus solely on Jesus:
- 2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
- 1 Timothy 1:4 Don't pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
- Mark 7:13 setting aside the word of God for your tradition that you delivered; and many such like things you do.’
- 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; :4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.
- Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.As a Christian momma the best thing I can do for my children is to walk a Godly path the best I can, to continue to grow in Christ, to teach them truth & Scripture & how to apply it in their lives & not to give in on the convictions God has laid on me because someone else does it differently. So my only challenge for each of you reading is to seek Him. Ask the Lord if there are traditions & things you need to change for His sake. And then do as He calls you to. Not just about Santa, but in all things. It's not always easy, & I fail more than I like, but with Jesus by my side I know ALL things are possible!
Many Christmas blessings to you all!