Santa, I Can’t Decide

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I love the story of St. Nicholas. In fact my daughter has watched the Veggietales movie that tells the story like a million times. We have watched the movie all year. The story of St. Nicholas is a great tale to share with your children. A true Christian hero who selflessly seeks to help those in his community who are in need.

We love St. Nicholas, but we are still undecided on Santa Clause. My wife and I have discussed whether we will tell our daughters that Santa Clause uses magic to sneak into our house at night to leave presents as long as they are good all year. I grew up with my parents doing the whole Santa thing. But as an adult I have some issues with playing Santa.

Quick disclaimer, I am in no way saying you should not allow Santa to visit your house on the night before December 25th. I am only sharing my views on the pros and cons of having the jolly elf pay my children a visit.

I will start with the pros:

1. It is fun. Come on we all know that we continue the Santa tradition because it is fun for us. We enjoy magic and hope our children will embrace the belief in something unexplainable. My wife has many cherished memories of her parents telling her about Santa, and she hates to miss out on that with our girls.

2. Conformity… Although I could strongly argue against this one. It will be easier to teach our girls what every other parent is teaching their children. If we choose not to do Santa, I do not look forward to the phone calls from other parents when my angels blow the magic for someone else’s little one.

3. If you tell the story of St. Nicholas to your children you will be telling them about someone who unselfishly gives to the children of the world. I do see some value in the story of Santa Clause.

That is all I have. Do you have any pros to add to the list?

Now the cons:

1. I have to lie to my children. This is something I never want to do. I cringe at the thought of lying to my girls. Even if it is for fun. I want them to always trust what their daddy says.

2. We lose a great opportunity to teach our girls how much we love them. Most families experience great sacrifices to celebrate Christmas with a traditional Christmas morning opening gifts. I believe it is important that our girls learn that we work hard all year and Christmas is a celebration of giving. Gifts cost something. Santa doesn’t teach that, he owns a sweat shop full of elves who crank out toys each year…

3. Materialism. I am afraid Santa has been used to over commercialize Christmas. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, but think about it for a moment. Our children fill out lists of items to receive from some benefactor they only see at the mall. To them there is no cost involved. Wouldn’t I be teaching my girls to covet?

4. He overshadows Jesus. A child does not fully understand the importance of Jesus gift, but can easily grasp a man dropping off gifts one night of the year. Admit it, it is hard to compete with that.

What do you think? Any other reasons why I shouldn’t teach my girls that Santa Clause will sneak in our house and leave them presents?

Again, I am not trying to tell you that you shouldn’t celebrate Christmas with Santa Clause. What ever we decide I know we will still include the books, the stories, and the movies that include him. I am just unsure if we will tell the. As if they are the truth. My daughter loves and enjoys Mickey Mouse, but we do t pretend that he is real…

Disney

Don’t forget to teach your children what this Christmas and every Christmas after is all about. We give gifts to celebrate the greatest of all gifts. We love our family and friends because of the love that has been given to us. Don’t forget to celebrate the birth of our savior. Enjoy the lights, enjoy the gatherings, and the gifts, but do not forget about Jesus. Whether it includes Santa Clause or not, Merry Christmas!

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About Mitchell Norton
My life was changed when God saw fit to forgive me of my rebellion against him. I am not worthy of a righteous God, and I am thankful that he reached out to me. My walk with the Lord has lead me to understand that loving others is just as important as loving God. I am a husband to a beautiful wife, father to an adorable daughter (and one on the way!), and servent of the Gospel. I am not perfect, but one day I will be. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence." - Jeremiah 17:7

4 Responses to Santa, I Can’t Decide

  1. Sarah Long says:

    Looks like the pros outweigh the cons! 🙂 We do not do the whole Santa Clause
    thing. Of course my children know about him, but they are told from the beginning that he is pretend. We also share with them the story of the real St.Nicholas, which is much different from what America has turned in to Santa Clause. I want my children to do what is right because that is what God wants them to do, not so they can get presents. The emphasis should be on Jesus and giving, not getting! That’s just my 2 cents. 🙂

    • Sarah, thank you for reading my blog! And double thanks for commenting!

      I definately feel the advantage is found with teaching the girls the true meaning of Christmas. I hear people become pretty hardcore on either view, and I was hoping to see some opinions like your own. The more I have thought on the matter the more I believe my views allign with your own. I believe Santa actually takes away from the Christmas spirit of giving.

      Thank you for your comment. Anyone feel passionately about the other side? Or do you all agree on the subject?

  2. Helen says:

    My parents did tell us about St Nicholas and we know that Santa was not a real person. We were aware from a young age that many children learn about Santa and that it was the parents who chose to do this, so we never broke the news to the unsuspecting children. It did bring some interesting situations where as a child people tried to convince me Santa was real, but I didn’t doubt my parents. Even from a young age I thought it unfortunate that parents deceived their children into believing their presents came from an imaginary person.

    • Helen! Two comments! You are officialy my favorite reader of my blog(s).

      Thank you for your input. We have decided to not tell our children that Santa is not real, but to also not tell them he is stopping at our house to deliver presents. We have (as mentioned) shared he story of St. Nicholas with our two year old. She doesn’t get all of it (and she is still asking for more presents) but I believe we are laying some good groundwork.

      On a funny note, Our oldest actually made the decision easy for us. She saw the opening to the movie Elf, and became terrified of Santa because she thought he stole the baby from the orphanage… It was dramatic but funny. Someone asked her if Santa came to our house and she said, “Nooooooooo.” It was cute.

      We have experienced a couple of ackward moments when people have asked her what Santa brought her. I don’t really know how to respond to them. We just casually said, “Lexi tell ________ what you had under the Christmas tree…” It seemed to work out ok.

      Helen thans again for the comments. Much love from the States.

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