I Have Issues with Santa Claus
I have issues with Santa. You know, the big jolly guy in red who comes around once a year. In a sleigh. Pulled by flying reindeer. Did I mention he comes down the chimney? My problem is this: we're supposed to be focusing on the birth of Christ. You know, the One who said He is the way the TRUTH and the life. Christ equals truth. So if that's the case, then why do we continue to deceive our children with the false notion of Santa Claus? I know what you're probably thinking. What a prude! What a party pooper! Her poor kid! Well, check out this poor kid!
The Accepted Lie of Santa
It's not that my husband and I purposely tell our daughter there is no Santa. But she never learned about Santa at home. She learned about him at school singing songs like "Up on the Housetop" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." She learns about him wherever she goes with people constantly asking her "What is Santa bringing you for Christmas this year?"
The reason we chose not to tell our child that Santa doesn't exist is because we don't want her to "ruin it" for other children and have their parents get upset with us. Like I said, she kind of knows about Santa but I don't think she really gets it. She also loves the story "The Night Before Christmas" but she knows it's fiction and there is no hope of anything in the book ever coming true. Plus she knows if cookies were left out on the table, her dad would be the first to grab them to drink with his morning coffee!
Over the years I have begun to think we demean children when we purposely deceive them, thinking they're not smart enough to figure it out. Unfortunately though, Santa is a lie deeply embedded in our culture. There are those who hate Santa so much they say there's a reason Santa and Satan both have the same letters in their name. I don't think of him as demonic but I do think we do need to stand for truth and not purposely deceive our children. It's never good to lie to them no matter how accepted the lie is and how accepted it will continue to be.
You might be wondering if we tell our daughter there is an Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. The answer to both of those questions is NO! Again, it's not that we're being prudes or trying to ruin all the fun we just feel honesty is the best policy and don't want to lie to our child.
Please note - there are still people who believe Santa is real and therefore they are not lying to their children. I guess you can check out the video below and decide for yourself!
Hanukkah is another holiday celebrated around the world during this time. Did you know there is a wonderful connection between the Festival of Lights and Jesus? Read about it here.
The Birth of Christ
Instead of teaching her about this fat guy who delivers presents to every child in the world on one night, we teach her about Jesus. One day we were talking about celebrating Jesus's birthday and I asked what she wanted to do for Christmas. She answered, "Make Happy Birthday Cupcakes!" So that's what we did. We made Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes and passed them out with a little note saying, "we hope you enjoy this Happy Birthday Jesus cupcake." In the past we gave them to all of her medical providers, her caretakers, therapists and teachers at school. Some seemed to have tears in their eyes when they read the little note.
Some of you might be thinking as you read this that December 25th isn't even the real date of the birth of Jesus. In fact, nobody really knows the true date but it is believe to have been in September. I get this. I also get that a lot of our Christmas traditions are based on pagan traditions and that December 25th was really the day pagans celebrated the holiday of Saturnalia during the winter solstice. It was Roman Christian leaders who tried to turn the pagan holiday into a Christian celebration as a way to try to convert the pagans to Christianity. They told them they could keep their holiday but that it would be deemed a Christian holiday instead.
Trust me, I have done some serious soul searching through the years in regards to the pagan roots of Christmas. I tried to talk to one of my pastors years ago about the pagan aspects of Christmas and how the church could continue to celebrate it. She simply told me that Christmas opens the door to tell others about Jesus. Sometimes Christmas is the only day some people come to church. It has been my prayer through the years that as people think about Jesus during Christmas, it would cause their hearts and minds to be open to Him.
Over the years, we have kept our Christmas celebrations very low key and do not buy into all of the commercialization. There may come a day where we don't celebrate it at all - we will simply be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit just as we have been when not telling our daughter about Santa Claus.
For now I'll simply say Merry Christmas and I hope you truly do have a peaceful, joyous holiday season. If you are suffering in any way or the holidays are a challenging time for you, I pray you find hope and strength through our Savior and remember that with God all things are possible!