Wednesday, December 12, 2012

to Santa or not to Santa?

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.

I'm sure there is a happy wonderful middle road out there, and I have a year to figure it out. How do you celebrate Christmas?


  1. I completely agree with you on this and actually Eric and I both do. We still don't really know how to avoid Santa and present it appropriately. We do have one thing that we are implementing this year and hopeing that when Anders get older it will help keep things in perspective. We will be giving Anderson three gifts, because Jesus got three gifts. I want to make sure that Jesus always comes up if not more than Santa and I think directly connecting them might be a start.
    This year he will only get three gifts and no Santa gifts because he will get way too much from our families. Plus we also want to get in the three gift habit.
    I personally feel that finding out you have been lied to about Santa makes one doubt God, so I certainly don't want that to be an issue. I don't know how I am going to handle it, but I hope to explain him a thing like mickey mouse verses and actual person.

  2. I don't know the answer for you. We do Santa, but if you ask Caden what Christmas is all about he says Its Jesus's birthday and we celebrate it by giving presents to each other since Jesus is not here to give him gifts (he lives in our heart). I too wonder what is right. But I don't want him to resent not having Santa (the fun of it) because his parents are Christians. (This stems back from parents who were extremely strict in secular things when I got older.) Its a very fine line. I then tell myself that I had Santa as a kid and I ended up knowing what Christmas was really about. I think at the end of the day, Jesus is not something we discuss just at Christmas but rather all year long and THAT is what is important.

  3. Good question. I found this ebook through a friend, and I am planning on trying it (or something similar) when Michael is old enough.

    We'll keep ole Saint Nick around too, I'm sure, but in his secondary place.


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