Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Claus

Santa. St. Nickolas. Kris Kringle. Santa Claus. Father Christmas. Mr. C. The Big Red….OK, maybe I made the last one up. I love Christmas; it’s my favorite holiday and every year I think about how; one day, when I have a family the traditions I want to start.
I was raised not believing in Santa. Which, in a way, was annoying, all the other kids would talk about Santa and mom told me not to tell them he was fake and being a kid, I really wanted to tell them that their parents were the ones eating the cookies and putting the gifts out. Growing up; I kind of felt like I was missing out not believing in Santa. So; when I have kids will I let them?
My mom and dad said (to quote) “they didn’t want me believing in Santa because lying is wrong. And that they wanted us to trust them. They didn’t want to teach us that lying was OK. And that Santa isn‘t the reason for Christmas and they didn‘t want it to take away from Jesus.”
I admit; I go back and fourth. Will I let them believe? Should I let them believe? Is it lying or just going along with there imagination?
I decided to do some research on the matter and see what other parents were saying and how kids felt when they found out.
We’ll start with;

How did you feel when you found out Santa wasn’t real?’
“Well I think I always kinda knew...I always suspected, and I remember asking my mom tons of questions about Santa and I always noticed that Santa's handwriting looked an awful lot like my dad's. I think I was about 10 or 11 when my dad finally said to me, "You know Santa isn't real, right?" and I was just thinking, 'I knew it!”
“I always kind of knew, I just loved pretending and ignoring the fact completely”
“I was cool with it... our mom always made sure that the year we found out the truth we'd get to help her set up the Christmas gifts on Christmas eve... it made us feel really special and part of the all-knowing crowd... they also got us a special "now you know the truth and still kept your mouth shut" gift”
“I was never upset by it. I actually put two and two together a while before about the wrapping paper being the same that was used on gifts to dad from mom.”
“I remember being mad at my parents for lying to me.”
"I asked my mom about it. She told me that no, Santa wasn't real, but that the spirit of Santa is very real. I was a little bit disappointed that day, but how disappointed can you be when you still wake up to tons of gifts?! It actually made it more special to me when I got older, because I appreciated the time, effort, and money my mom put into picking out gifts for me. Sure, it was a little sad, but I have really wonderful, magical memories of Christmas that I wouldn't change for the world!.”
“My mom made it a point that it was pretend; she’d talk about Santa and we’d put our cookies but she’d always say, “isn’t it fun to pretend!”
“I was heartbroken, and mad.”
What’s you argument for allowing/not allowing your kids to believe in Santa?
“When kids grow out of it (the Santa story) they smile and feel funny, and they like their memories of Santa and the songs and all. I do not feel that the kids think they have been lied to, because of their expression when it dawns on them that Santa is a story only. You would not want small children to have to endure thoughts of Christ on the cross, for at a tender age, this would do more harm than good. All things in good time.”
“My friends have a theory that if you tell a kid for 6-8 years that there’s a magical, semi all knowing entity named Santa and then pull the rug on them later, it will be harder for them to believe in God. The idea is that if I can’t trust that what you told me about Santa is true, why should I believe you about God. I think they raise a good point.”
“In our house; we focus on Jesus. We believe in Santa but don’t push him. He brings everyone three gifts per child; something to wear; something to play with, something to read; that’s it; to represent the three kings gifts. The reason Santa gives gifts is to celebrate Jesus’ birthday…When they ask me if Santa is real; I’ll ask them what they think; if they say they think he’s fake; I’ll tell the them the truth; if they say that he’s real; I’ll tell them that if they believe I believe to. They get the bulk/more expensive gifts from mom and dad. After all; kids are pushed to grow up so quickly now; why not let them believe in magic for a little bit.
"I’ll tell them that it was just pretend and that they’re in special club now and that they can’t tell anyone else because you don’t want to hurt there feelings.”
“We do Santa, my son is three and we talk to him about Jesus and all that; but Santa is just a fun thing for kids. I see nothing wrong with leaving out cookies and milk or writing letters! After all it’s pretend.”
“We teach our children about Jesus' birthday. Even before I was a Christian I had decided that I would never lie to my children about Santa. I was the child that was utterly crushed when I found out that he wasn't real. I felt lied to, and worse, I was made fun of because I was so stupid to believe in something that wasn't real. I decided then and there that I would never lie to my children just so I could have fun.”
^^--I'm sorry your experience wasn't as special as mine was. Maybe I was just naive, but I believed until I was about 12! It was a joyous time of innocence, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
“I was raised in a home that we believed in Santa, BUT Jesus was Why We Celebrated Christmas. My husbands family did "Santa" also but Jesus was even more important than in my family. When our daughters were young, we took them to see Santa, but they knew we bought the toys under the tree. Santa brought the things in the stockings. I kept the stocking gifts to hair ties, and new socks and under wear. I have to be honest our reason for this was because we were NOT GIVING Santa credit that we worked hard to provide.”
“If you rearrange the letters in Santa you get Satan…just saying.”
“I'm personally against the whole Santa Claus thing, especially since the world likes to portray Santa as a person that is all-knowing and can travel the world in one night, almost as if he is Omni-present. We don't teach Santa Claus in our house, I will teach my son the real story of Saint Nicholas though, as it is a great Christian true story. But as for this old guy in a red suit with a big ole belly and sleigh of reindeer, not so much. My son will be raised to believe in Jesus' birthday.”
“If you tell them Santa’s real, and the tooth fairies real and the Easter bunny’s real. And one by one tell them they’re fake then why should they believe in God?”
Everyone gives good points.
I do know that my kids will not believe in the Easter bunny; though I may have get together and they can still hunt for eggs. My kids won’t believe in the tooth fairy; but they will get fifty cents per tooth they loose.

I really don’t know about Santa; I go back and fourth. I like the idea of either giving them only three gifts from Santa-something to wear, something to play with and something to share. Or the idea of Santa only fills the stockings (and the gifts in the stockings being underwear, socks, a coloring book; some candy etc.) And all the big gifts coming from mom and dad. If my kids believed in Santa I wouldn’t push it.
Santa is a pretend thing; Jesus is a real thing.
I don’t think letting my kids pretend that Santa’s real will make them think Jesus is fake; so much around us prove Jesus is real.
I wouldn’t push Santa with a naughty and nice list; I’d use the 10 commandment for that; Respect your parents; do unto others, etc.

What do you guys think? Did you believe? Do you know someone who believed? What’s your experience with Santa?
I guess I’ll just have to wait till I have kids (ha-ha, and a Husband with his opinions) to decide.

Tune in tomorrow for the final instalment of The Reason for the Season blog!!
Gabrielle W.
"The Lord directs the steps of a christian. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." Psalms 37:23-24

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