I'm not the biggest fan of Santa. I'm sure its not difficult to figure out why. We take a holiday that is designed to celebrate the birth of our Savior, who came to Earth so that we may have a chance to be saved and enter the Kingdom of Heaven and push a jolly big fat man as being more important. This strange man sneaks into our houses in the middle of the night and leaves presents. We take a gift (Jesus' birth) and a holiday and turn it around to make it all about receiving and materialism.
So no, I'm not his biggest fan.
I'm not entirely anti-Santa either though because make-believe is fun, imagining is fun, a bullied reindeer that saves the day is everyone's heroic underdog and the idea that we get gifts for being good is great... but, when I think back to my Christmas memories.... it was all about presents and what we GOT. I remember one particular Christmas when my little brother counted everyone's presents and then proceeded to throw the biggest tantrum (at the age of 6 or 7) because he didn't GET as many presents as someone else. Its so easy to lose the thought of giving to others and the fact that this holiday is JESUS!
So my question is, since I still have at least another year to figure all this out, thank goodness, how do you sorta-not really-kinda do Santa, but mostly do Jesus for Christmas? I've seen cute things like service advent calendars that I really like, that every day you open a day and get the fun piece of candy, but also do something for someone else (as simple as praying for someone else, making a card, cookies, or could even be going to visit a nursing home). I like that a lot. I think it would help my children, but also myself. I used to love advent calendars when I was little, but ONLY because there was a piece of candy in it. I didn't really have any idea what it meant. (My grandmother sent it to me, but no one ever explained it.)
Back to the question - if we don't welcome Santa into our home, my children will be the ones going around spoiling it for everyone else in Kindergarten (or pre-school) telling them, they are crazy, there's no Santa! In which case, I don't think that will help them, nor Ben and I, keep friends.
Anyways, thankfully this year, N has no idea who Santa is (besides the strange man his nanny took him to sit on last week) so I don't have to make that decision yet, but I still wonder what the best option is. I don't want to kill imagination, but I don't want to turn a holiday away from our incredible Savior and the amazing gift he gave us.