WOAH. Stacy Hanna, what are you thinking? How could you possibly deprive your child from the classic childhood experience of Santa Clause—It goes hand-in-hand with being a kid. Karaline needs to experience magic, make believe and wonder!
Before we get all stressed out, lets take a deep breath. (que moment for deep breath). Okay, lets move forward.
I understand how this can come as a shock. I know so many people who look back on their childhood seeing Santa Claus as such a fun, sweet memory and you want to give that to your children as well. Let me explain to you why Andrew and I feel so strongly about something that may seem trivial to many.
Yes, we have already told our two year old that there is no Santa Clause. Obviously, she doesn’t understand yet, but this was a calculated decision that Andrew and I talked about before we were even married. I’m not here to preach that it’s immoral to tell your kids that there’s a Santa Clause. But in the spirit of desiring to be intentional in our parenting, I’ll lay out why we decided that our children will be told from the get go that the fictional Santa Clause who jumps down chimneys, lives in the North Pole and delivers gifts is not real.
I’m not here to preach that it’s immoral to tell your kids that there is a Santa Clause.
There are three reasons for this decision as far as Andrew and I are concerned. I will briefly cover them so that this blog is not massive.
First, we believe that any type of lying to our children is inappropriate and whatever we do disciples our children that it is okay. Children who believe in Santa Clause are too young to decipher fictional stories from non fictional stories. To them, Santa Clause and Jesus both fall into the same category. Upon hearing that Santa Clause was not real, my older brother looked directly at both of my parents and asked, “Is Jesus not real then, too?” Obviously, they immediately had the discussion with all of us regarding the truth of Jesus and the make believe story of Santa Clause. To go to the lengths to not only tell our kids a story about Santa Clause but manipulate circumstances (ex milk and cookies, visiting santa to tell him what you want etc) so that they live in a world of make believe, to us, is at the best unfair to them, at the worst being dishonest to our children.
Upon hearing that Santa Clause was not real, my older brother looked directly at both of my parents and asked, “Is Jesus not real then, too?”
Secondly, Christmas is simply not about Santa Clause and I do not want to be held accountable for mis guiding my children on this issue. To create a world of make believe; all centered around getting presents…this is not what Christmas is about. We desire to raise our children to understand the original meaning of Christmas; the celebration of Jesus’ birth and to value truth. Yes, we will be giving presents, all the while having explained to them why presents are given; in remembrance of the three wise men who visited Jesus as a toddler and brought gifts. There is a neat principle too in giving and receiving gifts; being able to bless others is a great character quality to instill in kids. But folks, Christmas is not about Santa Clause. It is about the incarnation (God made flesh) of our Savior Jesus Christ; coming into the world to die a brutal death so that we may have the ability to spend eternity with Him. This is a massive event to celebrate. Get your kids excited about what really matters.
Christmas is simply not about Santa Clause and I do not want to be held accountable for mis guiding my children on this issue.
Thirdly, Santa Clause is a real person; Saint Nick. The story of Saint Nick is a really neat one. Research it and tell your kids about him. There is an element of gift giving in his story and it is a fun story to tell as an alternative to Santa Clause. It is the history behind the modern day story of Santa Clause and a great way for your kids to understand why so many people celebrate him today.
The story of Saint Nick is a really neat one!
That is my short explanation of why Andrew and I decided that for us, we feel convicted regarding telling our kids that Santa Clause is real. I would encourage you to at least give it a thought. Pray and be intentional about all parenting decisions. We are entrusted with precious little souls. Don’t take that blessing and responsibility lightly.
***I do need to add a caveat. I think it’s so important that if you do decide not to tell your kids about Santa Clause that you also explain to them the importance of staying quiet about what they know around other kids. This could really cause anger and hurt in other families. It’s a private family decision (as much as families are able to keep their toddlers quiet 🙂 ), and respect for others decisions in this is still important.***
Additional helpful resource:
John Piper: “Santa Claus- Harmless Fun or Tragic Distraction?” http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/santa-claus-harmless-fun-or-tragic-distraction