Saturday, December 22, 2007

Here Comes Santa Claus?

Four score and 7 years ago... no, hang on, it was just 7 years ago.... okay, closer to 8 years ago, Mr. Clean and I gave birth to our first child, K.Z. We decided that there was not going to be any Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, yada, yada, yada, around our kids.

Fast forward to the present and we have three kids, Santa, and two out of the three "yadas" present and accounted for in this family (sorry Bunny, you were never included). Lately I have been more and more convicted that the man in the red suit with the fat bum needs to get up and get out. I love the story of St. Nicholas and the historical aspect of it, but that is not the man who rules modern culture now. It is the classic "Coca-Cola Santa".

My kids love the thought of Santa. They also love Christ The King and know that Christmas is the celebration of His birth. But is there room for both? I am not so sure anymore.

I grew up with Santa as did Mr. Clean and we did not suffer any great harm from it, but our focus for those first few formative years most certainly was not on Christ, but on tradition and what Santa would be bringing. That's just not good enough for my kids. I want their focus firmly on Christ. For that matter, I want my focus firmly on Christ and I know how hard that is as an adult who knows the importance. Forget being young, starry eyed and caught up in the magic of Mr. Claus and knowing how crucial it is to put Christ first.

Mr. Clean and I have talked before about "killing Santa" (as he refers to it) and we might just do it this year (no fear, we will not traumatize the children with tales of Santa falling out of the sleigh in flight or the like). We will gently tell them the truth and explain why.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Where do you fall in the whole Santa debate?

12 comments:

Susie said...

As someone who has had both in our home (and grew up with both in a Christian home), I can say that in my humble opinion I don't think there's harm in it -- depending on how it's handled.

We have said from the start (and I suspect you've done the same) that he's not the reason for the holiday....Jesus is. We have a Nativity set and sing songs about Jesus. We give gifts to each other from our hearts.

But this time goes by oh-so-quickly, and you'll find in a few years that the kids will have kicked him out on their own...because they'll have stopped believing anyway....

Besides, we all turned out okay...didn't we? Um...I think...er, uh...I hope... ;o)

LOL!

Dead Theologians said...

Hello,

As I commented earlier to someone else...
Sometimes we give Santa Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent qualities. These are ONLY reserved for our Lord. Anything that takes away from Christ and His glory needs to be elminated.

DT

Mamma D said...

I actually just blogged about this... We let the kids "have Santa" until they were about 3-4, but then told them the truth about it. There is a downside, which is what I blogged about - Big Brother is driving us CRAZY asking about what he is getting. It was much easier when they thought Santa was bringing it all Christmas eve.

Jamie said...

My hubby could come up with some great 'Santa's dead' stories;) We don't do Santa, presents come from mom and dad, and we tell the kids there isn't one but somehow they still get caught up in the excitement of it and like to sit on his lap at the mall...or wait, they just stand next to him (and I like it better that way because you knows what kind of perv may be under that suit).

Anonymous said...

Do you put up a tree? Lights? Stockings? Do you give gifts? If you do, then what's the harm in adding Santa? Kids are only young once, why deprive them of such a magical time? It sounds like you have laid fabulous groundwork (and then some) for the true meaning of Christmas that they can grow on for years to come! So for now, let them be kids!

Mrs. Sam said...

We do 1 present from Santa (and its not the good one because man...I want the credit for that!) and Santa does the stocking too. We explain the true Santa story to our kids and when they are truely old enough to understand the deal, they join "Team Santa" and that means simply not spoiling it for children or friends who do all out Santa. Our joy is complete in the Father, not wrecking other peoples Christmas's or their traditions.
We actually live with Captain Christmas (our youngest) who is still into Santa..but we draw the line here...no Santa in the mall, he knows they are just guys dressed up, no writing letters of want to Santa, no phone calls that don't exist. And for mom and dad, no lies about Santa. We tell our kids the historical truth about him, we enjoy the tradition of Santa gifts and stockings and when our kids ask if he slides down a chimney we tell the truth, we don't have one. When they ask how he gets in we say...do you really want to know? They usually don't and it ends there. When they want the full story, they ask for it and we give it to them. But we skipped out on the bunny deal too. We do chocolate though, because after all, God made our tounge to taste sweet things and in my opinion he dosn't make mistakes!

Carolyn said...

We told the boys last year (they were 5 years old) that there isn't a Santa, because DS2 got really upset about the thought of someone walking on our roof and coming in our house and they were fine with that. Well, this year they believe again. They think that mom and dad give them the gifts, but there is a real Santa who lives at the North Pole and makes toys. So, even if you tell them, they might just want to believe anyway!

Renae said...

Santa does not bring gifts to our children, but I have never completely thought out why. Partly it is because I want them to be able to express appreciation to those who gave them presents. I want them to know that we love them and give them good things. And, like you, I want the focus to be on Jesus.

It is a personal decision of conscience, so I am rather neutral on the subject, i.e. I do not judge anyone who celebrates differently than I do. I know of some who do not celebrate Christmas at all because of its pagan origins.

If your children were already expecting gifts to be delivered by the jolly old elf, I would consider waiting until after the holiday to enlighten them if that is what you decide.

TheTutor said...

Well, you probably know how we've handled this, but you don't know the interesting twist on the matter. We haven't included Santa in our Christmas for the reasons you and "dead theologians" pointed out. However, this year Primo (who is 11) decided that there is a Santa and everyone else has followed suit. If you ask them about it directly, they will say that they know he isn't real and that it is just fun to pretend. Alright, I can deal with that, but I am hoping that no one is disappointed when there are no Santa gifts under the tree. We do do stockings because of family tradition, but we are still balancing including the traditions of two families so we may try opening the stocking gifts on Christmas Eve. It would help reinforce where the gifts do not come from, anyway.

Merry Christmas to you all. We miss you and hope to see you in the New Year.

Blessings!

KeeperatHome said...

I just wanted to pop over and wish you and your family and everyone else a Merry Christmas! In Christ, Talya

Heather_in_WI said...

We do Santa, but did tell our older kids this year the truth.

I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas!

~Heather

TheTutor said...

Merry Christmas! Miss you guys!