Since I did get challenged earlier on this topic I just wanted to clear it up!! These are my views on it.
If my kids believe in Santa Claus, that’s ok. Kids believe in all kinds of things. Thanks to Disney, most of our kids believe in talking fish and dinosaurs. It seems to me that part of being a kid, and part of the fun in dealing with kids, is that imagination and fantasy.
I will not directly lie to my kids about Santa or anything else for that matter. They will get presents from Santa, and leave a letter for Santa (they will even get a reply every year), and leave cookies each year. If they ask, I may try to change the subject or avoid the question. Heck, I may even play some mind games like “What do you think?” or “Do you get presents from Santa?” But, I won’t take the easy way out and just lie to them. Some people may suggest that this is a distinction without a difference – if you lead your kids to believe in something, that is essentially lying to them. In the interest of full disclosure, this is the issue I wrestle with. However, in the same way I do not feel the need to give my kids a disclaimer that there are no such things as talking vegietables every time I turn on an episode of Veggietales, I don’t mind allowing them believe in Santa.
My kids need to understand the difference when we talk about Jesus and when we talk about Santa. Jesus is the risen Son of God whose existence and divinity are well attested to and evidenced by Bible and the other sources. Santa is just Santa Claus – a jolly old guy who lives at the North Pole with elves. Unlike Jesus, there is no proof of Santa’s existence. Frankly, I find Santa a good jumping off point for a discussion of the differences between blind faith and reasoned faith. I never want to leave my kids in a position where they can say “Mom said Santa was true and I don’t believe that anymore so maybe I shouldn’t believe what she says about Jesus either.” I think the key to avoiding this is living Christ out in front of them as much as possible. Santa drops off some packages once a year and brings temporary happiness. Christ changes lives and brings us eternal joy.
Santa can never, and will never, be at the center of Christmas in my house. Christmas is about Christ – plain and simple! Christmas is about God’s plan to save us from our sins. That is the fundamental truth of Christmas and Santa has nothing to do with that. I think so long as my kids understand this, whether or not they believe in Santa is irrelevant. Every good thing comes from above, and whether the delivery man for those things is Santa or Mom and Dad does not really matter!
Shared with Permission by Traci Tingley