Why Tell Lies When the Truth Is So Much Better?
I'm gonna tell you right up front that this article is about Santa Claus. I know this is a touchy subject for some of you, but if you are a Christian parent I hope you might take a moment to consider the following points.
Why would we sell our kids a lie about a pretend man when we could instead tell them the wonderful truth about Jesus?
First off, lying to our kids is never a good idea. It's not biblical and it will always come back to bite you. I don't tell my kids Santa is real for the same reason I don't tell them they can do anything they put their minds to - it's simply not true. And someday when our kids are older and they realize these things aren't true, they will probably start questioning what other untruths we have told them. What about the Easter Bunny? What about the Tooth Fairy? What about God? Is Jesus make-believe, too? This is a dangerous game, so we choose not to play.
Just because we don't celebrate Santa, that doesn't mean we don't have fun. On the contrary, there is soooo much truth for a Christian to celebrate at Christmas (and all year long) that we don't have time for all the false substitutes. Santa is for people who need a stand-in for Jesus, and he's a pretty poor stand-in. When you put them side by side, there really is no comparison.
Santa - sees you when you're sleeping (which is slightly creepy) and watches you all year long to see if you are being naughty or nice
Jesus - sees you always (even before you were born) and watches you constantly because He loves you and cares for you, protects you and provides for you
Santa - magically travels around the world in one night each year
Jesus - omnipresent...boom.
Santa - gives good kids presents and bad kids coal
Jesus - says there aren't any good kids, but paid for all the bad ones to have the best gift of all - Himself
It's really hard to imagine that someone looked at the gospel of God putting on flesh to dwell among us and thought, "You know what this story needs? More magic!" The story of God and his love for us is plenty magical in the truest and purest sense. The only reason you need Santa is if you want to celebrate Christmas but you'd rather not think about Christ.
We're not offended by Santa; we think he's fun. We just keep him in that make-believe category with all of our Paw Patrol friends. I wouldn't even be opposed to someone giving my kids a gift "from Santa." We would all just smile and play along, because we are all in on the joke. It's fun to pretend, and we coach our kids to let other kids pretend too, so we're not that family running through the mall shouting that Santa is a big fat lie. You're welcome.
So, without Santa, how do you celebrate? I'm so glad you asked! You can check out some of our favorite traditions and activities here.
Another way to incorporate Santa into your celebration (without lying) is to teach your kids about Saint Nick. He was a real man who loved God and lived a generous life. In fact, I just purchased this book which does a great job of explaining who Saint Nicholas was and how we came to celebrate traditions, like setting out stockings, in addition to celebrating Christ's birth.
But the main thing you can do to fill that Santa void is celebrate Jesus! He is so much better, and we never outgrow Him. The good news that God so loved the world that He sent His Son to live with us, die for us, and rise again for us is a joy we can wear all year long.
Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
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