Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jesus and Santa - The Great Debate

I've seen lots of posts on Facebook this week about whether or not it is okay to allow children to believe in Santa.  While the answer varies family to family, this is what our family believes.

Jesus is the reason for the season.  It is all about Him.  Everything we do - year round - point to Him.  We celebrate Jesus through giving to others, through learning more about Him using our Jesus Tree, and by sharing the joy He has given us to all that we may come in contact with.

When I was a child, I was allowed to believe in Santa.  I remember not believing the truth that he was not real even after being told by my parents.  I was sure their disbelief was based on their age - surely they'd just grown too old to remember.  And I remember the disappointment I felt when I did finally come to the realization that Santa was indeed just a myth.

Hoping to strike a balance in my family between the anti-Santa crowd and the truth that is CHRISTmas, we have always told the story of Santa as just that - a story.  There are no gifts from Santa under the tree on Christmas morning.  They are all from Mom and Dad.

We usually read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve and The Christmas Story from Luke 2 before we open gifts Christmas morning.

We have an Elf on the Shelf.  His name is Elvis.  Again, my kids know that it is pretend, but we all awake each morning through December anxiously waiting to see what mischief Elvis got into through the night.

At bedtime each night, we have family time.  We spend time in reflection, reading from the Word, singing carols, and praying.  We honor Christ in our deeds and actions.

There is no comparison between Jesus and Santa.  Jesus is real.  He came, died for our sins, and rose again.  He is alive today sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for each of us.  Santa is a fairy-tale like Snow White or Alice in Wonderland.  While the character of Santa is based on the person of St. Nicholas, Santa is just a story.  Only Jesus can change a life.  Santa is just a story.

I like how Christian recording artist, Natalie Grant, said it on her Facebook page:

In my house, we've told our children from the get go that Santa is our favorite fairy-tale. So we've never encouraged them to believe he's real. This isn't for some overly-spiritual reason or conviction. I just didn't want my little girls to look at me one day and wonder why I lied to them.

We celebrate Santa for the magical, whimsical, fabulous fictional character that he is. We get pictures taken with him, we sing songs about him, we give each of our children a gift "from Santa" and we fill their stockings. It in no way takes away from the real meaning of CHRISTmas. We know the reason for the season, and we are all about Jesus. 
If you choose to let your children believe in Santa you'll get no judgement from me. We've just chosen to do it differently in our family. I'll never understand why legalistic Christians get all riled up about Santa. Listen, if you're a follower of Jesus, you know Christmas is about Jesus. Period. Whether you celebrate the man in the big red suit or not.  - NG

  Celebrate Jesus.  Today.  Christmas-day.  Everyday.  He is the reason for every season!

1 comment:

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