With only a few days before Christmas, I’m not going to convince you to change your traditions for this year. But now is a great time to think about this important issue while you’re in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle. Do you have babies that are mesmerized by the sparkling lights? What will you tell them about Santa in a few years? Do you have children who see the fat guy in the red suit on every street corner? Can you help them discern between real and fantasy? Do you have teenagers looking for hypocrisy in your speech? How you talk about Santa matters.
To help you think about how to deal with Santa, I wrote an article called Let’s Talk about Santa Claus about telling the truth about the fictional character.
When I write my first Christian fiction novel, “Elephant in the Room,” I was surprised when a professional Santa Claus showed up as one of my characters. I remember thinking about weight issues and into my mind popped the man acclaimed for his tummy that shook like a bowl full of jelly when he laughed. You can read more about him in the article, Meet Nick Saint.
One More Bonus Perspective: I enjoyed Michelle Lesley’s recent blog post about Christmas Tradition Do-Overs and Do-Overs-and-Overs. Here’s what she wrote about talking about Santa Claus with her children.
8. I’m glad we handled Santa Claus the way we did.
We decided before we had children that we would not lie to them about the existence or omniscience (he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, etc.) of Santa Claus. The Bible says that lying is a sin, period. There’s no exception for jolly old elves who pass out toys (or for tooth fairies or Easter bunnies, for that matter). But there’s nothing wrong with the fun of Santa as long as he arrives on the scene without lies or claims to attributes only God possesses. So we sang Santa songs and told Santa stories, but on Christmas Eve, our children knew it was Mom and Dad filling the stockings. When they were very small, my husband or I would don a Santa hat and say something like: “You know how you like to play pretend? Well, mommies and daddies like to play pretend, too, especially at Christmas! Now it’s time for you to go to bed so we can pretend to be Santa Claus.” So far, no one is in therapy from us handling the Santa Claus story this way, plus there were no conspiracies with the older children to keep the secret from the younger ones, and no moments of devastation as each child grew up and found out the truth.
How do you talk to your children about Santa? Do you need to confess to your children that you have been lying to them? How can you help them worship Christ at Christmas?