Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To Santa Or Not To Santa?



A few Christmases ago, I wrote a post for a wonderful blog called Dadbloggers. Unfortunately, it looks like that site is no longer up and running. Anyway, I remember that it was a provocative post to say the least. It generated lots and lots of comments.

The gist of what I said is this: I don't want to be a liar. I'm not going to tell my kids there's a Santa Claus. We'll "pretend" Santa Claus, but they'll know from Day One that these gifts are from Mom and Dad.

How about you? How do YOU justify lying to your kids? ;)

8 comments:

Meghan said...

Our kids believe in Santa, he brings them one thing they asked for. Howard Burgoyne told me his kids believed in Santa, so I figure if it's good enough for the conference superintendent, it's good enough for me. But then, they get 3 presents from us, just like Jesus got 3 presents.

Matt Nightingale said...

Very nice. Don't worry. I won't spoil it for your kids while we're up there. Em & Zach know that most kids believe in Santa. In fact, I think Emily wants to believe. She's insisting we put cookies out "just to see" if Santa's real.

I'm tempted to take a bite. I'll admit, there IS something magical about Santa.

Anonymous said...

own kids and were always closely connected with Advent activities at church, so felt our kids knew the real reason for the season. They continued the Santa tradition with our grandkids. Our son David's family makes a birthday cake for Jesus and so emphasizes the real reason we celebrate. As David put it last night, he said that Santa reports to Jesus. :o)

Anonymous said...

I think the "justification", if that's what you call it, is simply that it instills some of the most awesome childhood memories you could ever want your kids to have and tell about later. They forgive you sometime around age 7, if you need that redemption.

Matt Nightingale said...

Got an email from Barb Esmond. She was the first "Anonymous" who got cut off... Here's what her comment was SUPPOSED to say:

"I wouldn't trade the early memories of my belief in Santa Claus for anything. I grew up in a family that didn't have much, but my folks made Christmas a magical time for us kids. I even struggled to believe when I knew it couldn't be possible, because it was so exciting. We continued the tradition with own kids and were always closely connected with Advent activities at church, so felt our kids knew the real reason for the season. They continued the Santa tradition with their own kids. Our oldest grand kids know and love the Lord so I don't think it has had a detrimental effect on that relationship. Our son David's family makes a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Day and so emphasizes the real reason we celebrate. As David put it last night, he said that Santa reports to Jesus. :o)"

Matt Nightingale said...

I love to provoke people, I'll admit it. So I deliberately asked "Why do YOU lie to your kids?"

Truth is, I believed in Santa, and it didn't hurt me, I don't think. It never seriously impacted my view of God. I don't think.

But think about this: There's this big guy with a white beard that you can't see. He is watching over you all the time, even when you're asleep. He knows if you've been "naughty or nice" and he will reward you accordingly. You'd better watch out... He's COMING BACK. Parents sometimes use him as a threat to get their kids to behave.

Who's that sound like? The God that some people grew up with. The Big Guy in the sky just waiting for you to screw up so he can stick it to you. Parents sometimes use Him as a threat to get their kids to conform and behave. He's coming back, and you'd better be on your best behavior.

I don't know. It's a little disturbing to me, because my whole journey of faith as an adult has led me far away from the God of my youth and toward a God of magnificent love and mercy.

And then there's the whole, "He's not real..." deal. Disappointing to a lot of kids. I mean, like, "loss of innocence" disappointing.

And even if it's just "We love you and wanted you to enjoy Christmas in a special way." It still turns out to be not true.

How do the kids then believe in this great God of ours? Will someone tell them He's not real someday?

And maybe I'm just taking it all way too seriously. But I know that my kids still LOVE Christmas and have a great Christmas season, even though they've always known that Santa is not real.

Matt Nightingale said...

And I'll admit I love to play around with this:

Mix up the letters in Santa's name... What do you get?

S - A - T - A - N.

Hmmm....

:)

Suzie said...

Our kids have also known from day one that Santa is not "real". But it is funny to me because they still leave out cookies and chocolate milk for Santa...of course they ask Daddy what kind of cookies Santa would like to eat that night! :) We miss you guys!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin