Do you do the Santa Claus thing?
I’m about to get a ton of unsubscribes and hate mail for this one, I’m almost sure of it… but I am so strongly against Santa Claus. My mom sheds a tear or two at this and thinks it’s excessive. I know you too are probably thinking, “WTHeck?! Who hates Santa Claus?!” Stick with me on this because I’ve got 3 good reasons why we don’t celebrate our Christmas with Santa Claus. I’m going to make my case here, share our alternatives, and how we prevent any problems that arise as a result.
(Please also know that while I think this is best everyone, I am specifically talking to my family in Christ)
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Keeping Christ at the Center
I know you have seen (a billion times) the saying, “The reason for the season.” Yet for as much as I see that fly around Facebook, when I worked in retail, all I saw were mounds of people racking up debt. They’d confess to me that they couldn’t afford it, but they had to. It broke my heart. And don’t even get me started on the elves that moms are killing themselves over when they forget to move them. Unfortunately, I know I don’t get that devastated when I forget a Christmas devotional or study and I’m betting they don’t either.
Think about any other religious holiday (outside of Christianity or Judaism). Do you celebrate it? Do agnostics celebrate it? I am sure many say they don’t celebrate Jesus, but they do quickly celebrate Santa Claus and Christmas. I get it, and I’m happy to welcome anyone and everyone on board any way that is comfortable… but if you’re a Christan, I challenge you to think over your Santa Claus decision for a moment. Are we really showing them Jesus through this? I think, by leaving Santa Claus out of it, we are setting ourselves apart as an example for our kids and making a statement to the world.
The hypocrisy of Santa Claus
Sorry! >_< I know that probably is abrasive on the ears. That first point brings us to this next point- I’ve seen family and friends (non-believers whom I love) poke fun at the fact that I believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful, God who judges our deeds and character. I’ve been belittled and scoffed at for raising my children with these beliefs. “Let them choose for themselves!” These same people actively go out of their way to convince their own kids that there is this all-knowing, all-powerful, man who judges our deeds and character.
That they are okay with…
Santa Claus breaks down trust
And of course, this leads me to point number three. I have a zero lying policy with my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t tell them everything, but I am always honest. Even when I don’t want to be. When things are too much for their maturity level, I simply tell them that they are too young to know the whole truth. I remind them I’ve promised to never lie to them, so they’ll have to wait. This trust thing seems to be a very important and useful practice for my ASDer especially. If you have questions about that, ask me in the comments.
So when I spend my sons’ whole lives teaching them about a loving, wise, gracious God who happens to be an all-knowing, all-powerful, God who judges our deeds and character, they don’t have the seed of doubt planted by Santa Claus. I feel having that closely held hope dashed in their formative years jades their hearts a bit. The ability to trust faithfully in the unseen is a bit spoiled.
Does that mean we don’t do presents?
Nope. We totally do presents still. What I’ve explained to my kids is that we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, but He doesn’t need presents (often we even make a cake in His honor). I tell them that our present to Him is our love, relationship, and obedience. Jesus provides all we need and more; and just like He gave his life for us, the gifts we receive in His name are also a reminder of that.
But what about telling other kids?
I admit this is a concern, but that’s where our presents do come in handy. I do still hold them a bit for ransom. I’ve let both of my kids know that most kids believe in Santa and it’s their right; their parents are just trying to have fun with them. We’ve talked about how it would feel for other people to ruin their surprises and how these are private, personal matters.
In the end, point blank, I let them know that if they blow it for other families, we will be celebrating Jesus’ birthday without presents. After all, they are just something nice, not something we need or deserve. They get it, and we’ve had pretty good luck overall! I’ve had a couple of close calls as they got older, but no full exposures. =) I also tend to warn other moms when we get together around the holidays.
So all that to say…
If Santa Claus works for you, and you use it to draw a parallel for Jesus, I get it and more power to ya! If you are actively using him as a way to speak Jesus into the lives of non-believers, that’s great too… I don’t want to crunch everyone’s toes with my personal opinion, but as an Aspie mom, I feel it’s been an important way of life for us on our Christian walk and wanted to give you some food for thought. I feel like these white lies are a dangerous thing for of families. I’m not trying to be a legalist by any means, after all, I rely heavily on grace.
The important thing, if nothing else, is to evaluate where Santa and Jesus both fit into your holiday.
Your Turn: Do you celebrate with Santa Claus? Why or why not?
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