Monday, December 17, 2012

Why We Don't Do Santa

Much like my thoughts on Halloween, we have very specific reasons why we don't do Santa. And just like with Halloween I am not trying to bash the way you and your family do things. However, this is what we believe and how we handle it.

There was a time- many years ago that we did the Santa thing. But a couple years ago we decided to be truthful with the children. We came clean about Santa, Halloween, and yes, even the Tooth Fairy. Since then my children have lost several more teeth and we still put them under their pillow and yes, they still wake up with money or other goodies under there. But there is no mistake as to WHO did that.

Anyway.... I'm getting off track here- back to Christmas.

Christmas isn't about Santa Claus, reindeer, or little elves.

Image courtesy of digitalart / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Christmas isn't about maxing out a credit card, putting yourself into debt, or even about finding the perfect present.

Christmas is suppose to be about celebrating the birth of a King.

However, Christmas IS a pagan holiday. Just like Halloween. Many images that we use to picture Christmas have pagan roots.

The difference between Halloween and Christmas, though, is the WHO. Halloween is all about evil, whereas Christmas should be "Christ-centered". Even though He was NOT born on December 25th, it IS the day that we have chosen to set aside to celebrate His Birth.

I could get into a lengthy discussion about how things like, yes, the Christmas tree are pagan related, but I'm not going to. One reason is that my husband and I have not reached a clear-cut understanding about that topic. We have a tree this year, although it might be our last. The kids helped decorate the tree with ornaments, garland, and lights and it is very beautiful. However, when I look at it- I don't think of Christ- I think of how beautiful and sparkly the tree is. Is that wrong? Not entirely, but if Christmas is suppose to be about celebrating Christ's birth it may be something worth digging into. Which is exactly what my hubby and I have been- and will keep doing- until we've reached an answer.

Do I think by setting cookies out for "Santa Claus" or tracking his movements from the South Pole you'll scar your children for life? Absolutely not! And I don't buy into the whole "if you let your children believe in Santa, they'll have trouble accepting Christ as their Savior because they won't know what to believe" either.

But.... and this is a big BUT... Christmas isn't about Santa.

Honestly, I want my children to know WHO bought them presents and why (because we love them). I don't want them to think that any gift is based upon their merits (how good or bad they were).

I want my children to put to use their wonderful imagination, but not in the form of a man who "sees them when they're sleeping and knows when they're awake."

I want them to realize that only God- ONLY GOD- can know all of that and that THE GIFT (salvation) is NOT based upon their merits.

Santa's whole being contradicts what I want to write on my children's hearts.

I want them to see Christmas for what we've chosen to set it aside as-
a time to celebrate the birth of a King.

Without Christmas- Jesus being born- there would be no Easter- Jesus dying on the cross for US.

I want our actions to purposefully point my children towards God. It's not about the gifts....
Image courtesy of dan / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

  It's about THE gift.




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8 comments:

Rachel said...

When my husband and I have kids I am not looking forward to the discussions about Santa Claus. I feel that we can do the Santa thing as a pretend game (like the tooth fairy at your house seems to be) but I don't want it to be a focus or a lie we tell our kids. He feels like I'm trying to ruin Christmas for our (hypothetical) children.

Jane said...

We have a very simple Christmas as well. Love the post!

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

We've not done Santa since our oldest was about 3 yrs old. When he was old enough to understand we told him. And none of our others have "missed out" on Christmas because of it. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have a similar post going up later this week. Would love for you to stop by!
www.inallyoudo.net
Blessings,
Annette

P Family said...

Thank you for this! I told my kids the TRUTH about Santa as soon as they saw the man in the red suit. I never wanted them to think I would lie to them. My daughter didn't believe ME! 3 years later- this year- she is mad at ME anyway, now that she sees I WAS telling her the truth. That's the funny part. But we have also been having the tree and stocking conversation. We decided expecting gifts from each other was awkward on someone ELSE's birthday as well, so we are trying to do Random Acts of Christmas and a Jesus birthday party. The stockings threw me for a loop when I did the research and discovered how that came to be with St.Nicholas leaving gold coins in the girls' socks to cover their dowries. THAT sounds rather kind and giving! Still, I don't want to appear that I support the notion that a fat man playing God is going to come down my chimney. My kids know it's play and have fun with it now, but we really want to show Jesus during this time, even though it is clearly not when he was REALLY born. There is so much WRONG with our traditions, and personally I am having trouble trying to create new, RIGHT traditions that make sense and don't make me feel like I am blasphemous. I agree, it's VERY personal for each family.

Clarinda Olenslager said...

We don't do the Santa thing either. But we still put up a tree as we are not worshipping it so I want to enjoy decorating the house for Christmas but we still remember the reason for the season.

Coming from the A Mama's Story link up.

Blessings from Above said...

When I was 7 I found out there was no Snatna -- I then questioned everything! Had they lied about everything --Santa, Easter Bunny, etc... I even questioned whether I was even adopted or was that a lie too :) So with my son (age 5) I have dealt with honesty... We don't celebrate Halloween, Easter is Jesus resurrection and Christmas is Jesus Birthday... We have TWO Santa items in the house. A book on the story of St Nicholas and a Santa with his cap off kneeling at Jesus crib. I know he hears it at school on Snata -- even though it's Christian school -- kids talk. I just reaffirm that it is just a story. He tells everyone "Christmas is Jesus birthday" On Christmas we buy one simple gift.. But my church and family also celebrate by each giving jesus a gift for his birthday. This year my son's gift is "listening and following directions" and mine is "work on my patience" :) Have a Blessed CHRISTmas!!

scissorbill said...

You put it so well! We don't 'do Santa' either for similar reasons but I've never been good at explaining why (other than I want my kids to know that I tell them the truth.). It refreshing to hear we are not the only parents doing this.

Any tips for helping them not ruin the suprise for their friends? My six year old cant wait to tell his classmates that he did NOT get coal in his stocking.

Erika said...

Scissorbill- Honesty is the best thing I have found. I tell my kids that this is what we believe, but not everyone believes the same as we do and it isn't our place to tell them that. I remind my younger ones not to say anything if we are going to be put in a situation where it may be brought up. :-)

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