My kids have all come to know and believe in God so the Santa thing has not inhibited them. My hubby and I both grew up with Santa, so it is more of a tradition than a belief. When the kids outgrow it, we are fine with it, and then they get to help in the process. Our oldest has come to this point and loves to help out on Christmas Eve sneaking around the house placing the gifts under the tree and eating the cookies. It is a special time for him to really feel grown up and share a secret with Mom and Dad.
So how did he react when he found out about the truth of Santa? He point-blank asked us why we lied to him. We talked about the true St. Nichols and how the tradition of carrying on his kindness turned into the magical story of Santa. Once he understood that it was a tradition passed on from generation to generation, he understood and loved the idea of it all. He talked about how he loved the excitement of waiting for him to come, and how special it was to get some gifts he still treasures from him. He even got emotional once he put two and two together that we were giving him all those gifts from Santa. He knows that even though we are doing well off, we are most of the time just making it financially. So for him to appreciate all we had done over the years to make his Christmas morning special was just a sweet moment. Now those special Santa gifts, mean even more to him.
So if Santa is a lie, than how are we as Christians able to bring both, Santa and Jesus, into the season of Christmas and feel good about it? We have always explained to all our kids, that the reason Santa brings gifts around the world is because of what Jesus did for us. This season is all about Jesus, and Santa is just another person trying to take part in this celebration. Santa goes out of his way to make others happy each year. He has a selfless heart, which is a characteristic I want each of my kids to take hold of. This selfless heart is something that Jesus showed for us as well. So while Santa may be a lie, it is also a great illustration of how to be giving and kind. Jesus used lots of illustrations or parables in the Bible to help us understand things. In my eyes, Santa is just another parable of how we should try to live out this short life God has given us.
If you compare the two you can see that they both have done good for this world with their beyond human magical powers. Through their “magic” we are able to learn a lesson. Take a look at what I came up with for a list to compare.
- Spends all year preparing to help others.
- Gives of all he has to make kids smile.
- Can get a sled to fly.
- Reindeers fly with magic food.
- Can squeeze through a chimney, even with a gut.
- Can appear in homes without a chimney, without a key.
- Makes it around the world in one night.
- Carries all the presents, for all the children, on his sled.
- Never dies.
- Has an invisible house.
- Lives with Elves, which no kid has ever seen.
- Can afford to buy all the toys that they don’t make, without a real job.
- Can be at all the malls at the same time.
- Was born of a virgin.
- Changed water into wine.
- Controlled the weather, by calming the storm.
- Healed the sick.
- Healed the blind.
- Healed the lame.
- Raised the dead.
- Walked on water.
- Feed over 5,000 without enough food.
- Survived without a real job, yet had enough food, a place to sleep and clothes.
- Knew about people’s pasts and called them on it, even though they did not know Jesus yet.
- Never sinned.
- Committed his life to helping us.
- Agreed to being killed, without a negative word, just to save us.
- Raised himself from the dead after 3 days.
- Lives in Heaven but also in our hearts.
Once you compare the two you are able to see that both have amazing powers. However, looking at what Jesus did for us, we are able to see that he has even better powers than Santa ever will. Yes, both are doing things to help people, but what Jesus did truly helps us eternally and not just for a moment. Showing kids that Santa is a very special person that does/did a lot of good, but Jesus is truly who we need to look up to is how we are able to celebrate Jesus while still keeping to the tradition of Santa.
During the few short years that they believe in Santa, the season of Christmas is so sweet to see through their awe-struck eyes. They will have the rest of their lives to know the truth about who Santa, St. Nichols, really is. For now, we let them enjoy the magic and mystery of the season, all the while teaching them about the true magical person, our Lord Jesus.
This is a highly debated topic in the church. What are your thoughts on our view of Santa? How do you handle the Santa tradition? Comment below and start some conversation.