The Santa Claus Debate
Whether to let your child believe in Santa Claus or not has been a big discussion among the Christian community for quite a while and thus started the Santa Debate.
I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Bible teaching church and a Christian high school. I ran into a lot of people that didn’t want their children believing in Santa Claus. The household I grew up in, and the household I raised my children in, were not among the Santa unbelievers.
As a Christian, I believe that the main emphasis of the Christmas season should be honoring and celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that the important lesson from the season is the lesson of giving. During this time of the year, we should be finding ways to give of ourselves, expecting nothing in return. Much like God did when He gave us His precious Son, Jesus.
Jesus was the center of our Christmas season but we also believed in Santa Claus. Children believe in a lot of things when they are young that they will eventually out grow. They believe in monsters under their beds, that they will never ever want to leave home, and little girls believe they will grow up and marry their daddies. I do not believe it is harmful to let children believe in these things when they are young, but how you handle it when they start asking questions can be the tricky part.
I appreciate the way my mother handled the questions. She wouldn’t lie to us, but rather ask us questions to find out what we believed (and probably more importantly, what we wanted to believe).
When we would go to her and ask, “Is Santa real?” She would ask us, “What do you think?” Then we would have a discussion about it. Once your child gets old enough to look you in the face and ask if you are Santa, then its time to tell the truth. Of course, if you think they are still too young to tell them the truth about Santa you can try a few questions first like, “What do you think?” If they say they don’t believe you could be Santa, they will probably give you reasons like, “You couldn’t be Santa because you don’t have a sleigh.” If they give you an answer like that, then they probably aren’t ready to give up the idea of Santa but if they say something more like, “I think you are Santa because I saw some of the same toys that Santa brought in the back of your closet.” Then the jig is up and you should tell them the truth.
I was somewhere around seven or eight years old when I had to face the realization that my parents were Santa Claus. My mom thinks that I had all ready figured it out but I was enjoying the fantasy. It was my younger sister that brought the fantasy to an end. She was between three and four years old. She went to our mom, looked her in the eyes and said, “Tell me the truth! Are you and daddy Santa Claus?” Well, with a straightforward question like that mom had no choice but to tell her. Mom says that based on the reaction I had towards my little sister, I must have all ready suspected that they were acting as Santa Claus. I took my sister back to our bedroom and with tears running down my face I said, “Now you blew it!”
Other than being upset at my sister for blowing Christmas and Santa for me, I reacted pretty much the same as the boy talked about in the blog post, “Do You Still Believe in Santa?” I was quite impressed and thankful for all that my parents had done for us and given us, without any recognition. For all those years, the love and gratitude for most of the presents had gone to Santa Claus. Now I was realizing that it was mom and dad that had spent all that money and had stayed up most of the night putting together toys and setting them around the Christmas tree.
My parents were wonderful in the fact that even though we now knew the truth as to who Santa really was, he still came to visit as long as we wanted to “believe”. We did the same thing for our children. “Santa” wasn’t quite as extravagant in the years after the truth was revealed, but he still brought a few things and filled stockings.
Right now “Santa” only brings a few things for my husband and my stocking since the children are now grown and gone. Yes, I still believe in Santa Claus and I still enjoy being Santa Claus. I’m sure that I always will.