December 2012

To Tell or Not to Tell of Santa

When the first Christmas came around after my husband and I had children, we had to decide what our stance was going to be about teaching our children about Santa.

Santa is everywhere in our culture and it can be cute and fun to join in and pretend. It's tempting to just go along with it all and not do anything about it. We could have just not told our children about Santa and allowed them to make their own conclusions about the subject. Though this may be the easiest solution, I believe that in order to raise our children into Godly adults, we need to be more intentional in our parenting.

We were not going to “tell” our children that “Santa is real”, as we believe that this is a lie. We want our children to grow up to be Godly adults. We don’t want to sin nor do we want our children to sin. As their parents, we need to set the right example for them in this area. We also believe that lying to our children can cause confusion and a lack of trust. We want our children to be able to trust us whole-heartedly. In raising children up to be Godly adults, it's important that they don't have to question everything we've taught them. If we teach them that Santa, the tooth fairy, and the Easter bunny are real, why wouldn't they question whether Jesus is real when they learn about the fairy-tale status of the others? This approach sets them up for doubting Christianity. This is a dangerous road to head down and not one we were going to choose.

We decided that our stance would be to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We talk to them and read to them regularly about the birth of Jesus. We also knew that our children would inevitably be exposed to Santa, so we chose to teach them about the real “Santa”, St Nicholas. In addition, we choose to teach them about the fictional story of Santa, making it very clear that even though others may believe in Santa, he is not real. That being said, they also should not go around telling other kids that Santa is not real unless asked. It is not the job of a child to tell others how to think. Some people believe differently and we need to be respectful and polite of their choices even if they are foolish.

How are you choosing to handle the 'Santa' issue with your children?