Is Santa okay or not okay? As a Christian I have pondered that question and read other Christian and Non-Christian views on the topic.
In general some believe that we are lying to our children if we perpetuate the myth of Santa Claus. That is the view of not only some Christians but Non-Christians as well. It is compared to the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and even fairy tale stories. They are somewhat nervous about teaching their children to tell the truth and then the children finding out that these other fictional characters were just that, and not real. There is also the concern that the children will ask for so much from Santa that they… the parents cannot get for them, or perhaps not get anything as they are going through hard times. So they decide the best way is to just tell them that there is no such person as Santa Claus.
Then there are some Christians who believe totally that they must dispel the idea of Santa Claus, because it is not part of the Christian belief of the real meaning of Christmas. I have read recently that the child could confuse the fact that it is said Santa is supposed to be able to see the children and what they’re doing all the time…..hence the warning he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice. This is thought to be confusing, because as a Christian we know in reality that only God can see us at all times, and so we don’t want to think the child will somehow think Santa is on the same plane as God.
I will say that it is my belief… just mine…. oh and my husbands’…. that both views while they are both valid points, are not how we raised our children.
We certainly as Christians let them know that Christmas Day is the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth, and that is the most important fact. We always had a crèche…. homemade by my husband. However, we told them that Santa Claus chose that day to give gifts to children, to celebrate that day as well. We did go along with the various thoughts about Santa … his workshop…his elves …. his flying around the world to deliver gifts…. the story The Night Before Christmas…. leaving cookies out for Santa and eating part of them so our children would see that he was there…. and carrots for the reindeer….(incidentally, Santa is now accused of being too fat.. and should watch what he eats).
My point is that if we ensure the real meaning of Christmas is understood, is a little fantasy harmful to our children? My mother didn’t think so. She couldn’t afford to buy too much for Christmas but managed something, and she did allow us the eager anticipation of that part of Christmas as well as the Christian part. Did I grow up to have a perverted sense of Santa’s powers or think of her as lying to me. No, I didn’t. As I aged I came normally to the realization that he was not real, as did our children. At about the age when they might have been starting to question but not quite willing to, I can remember them saying to us that a friend of theirs’ said there was no Santa, and so I would smile and say “well if they don’t think that he is, then for them he isn’t”. They would just kind of take that in and mosey away. But that was the beginning of the reality for them. It happened naturally, when they would come one day to us and say, “Mommy, Santa isn’t real is he?” At that point we would say, “no dear he’s not a real person, but he is part of our Christmas tradition.”
So… is Santa okay or not okay to be part of Christmas? That is something each parent must decide for themselves and for their children.
For us, he was ‘okay’……