I am a Christian, which means I should probably hate Santa because he seems to have taken over Christmas by creating a super consumerism problem. Right?
Wrong. I don’t hate him. In fact he doesn’t threaten me at all. And I believe consumerism only persists at Christmas (and every other day of the year) when your heart lets it.
So, I have a few Santa’s around the house, as he serves to be a bit of a holiday mascot. The kids talk about Santa because they have seen him enough on TV to know who he is and what he “supposedly” does. With that said we also have at least 4 different nativity scenes around the house and my kids talk about Mary and baby Jesus. We tell the story over and over again with the characters in hand and the kids lap it up. Plus they love all the farm animals.
Okay, so I know what your thinking. I can already hear the joint accusation that I have syncretized the season for my own comfort. Fair enough. But that’s not it.
Here’s the thing, Chris and I have thought this through. In our home the current cultural understanding of Santa is fiction. But he is also a nice historical Christian figure that I can point to in order to teach my children about generosity. The original St. Nicholas is someone who will help me teach my kids about church history and where we came from.
And the current cultural Santa is the most prefect counter example of who Jesus isn’t. I can’t wait to teach my kids about how Santa differs from Jesus. Like how the tale says Santa watch’s us all year round, waiting for us to fail and screw up so he can stamp our name with a big Naughty sign. Which in turn makes us unworthy of gifts. But Jesus is different. Jesus watch’s us all year round seeing us make good choices and fail in sin. And then at the end of the day He offers us grace and the greatest gift of eternal life with Him. The difference is staggering. Santa is a fantastic teaching tool.
So in my home, Santa is not frowned upon; where we require our children to disdain his name. But we do not leave out cookies and milk and deceive our kids into believing he will come down our non-chimney on Christmas Eve.
And that is why Santa doesn’t threaten the Christianity of my home. Christ gets the glory around here. If you were to ask my children right now What is Christmas all about? They would answer without flinching Jesus being born. They know the truth about Christmas because we emphasize it.
The best part is that I don’t have to worry about a broken-hearted child coming home from school after learning that Santa isn’t real.
Hopefully it will vindicate us as parents to our kids that we don’t teach them lies. We are about Truth. And truth is Emmanuel – God with us.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.