Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What About Santa?

I'm bored, so decided to blog about Santa. What is a Christian to do about him? There are two extremes: let your kids believe that there is a Santa, or be so against him that you point out to everyone that if you re-arrange the letters of Santa, you can spell "Satan." Now that really convinces me that Santa is Satan. Wonder what anagram my full name would make?

If you're reading this, you may disagree with me. In fact, you most likely will. I believe it is wrong to let your kids believe in Santa, that he brings their presents and "sees them when they are good or bad." I don't think it is that much of a stretch to say that when they find out that Santa really isn't real, they might question some other things you told them are real - like God and Jesus.......

And besides, isn't it technically lying to let your kids believe Santa is real and brings their presents? And something else - if you buy your kids presents, do you really want the credit to go to a fat guy in a red suit? I wouldn't! I'd want the kids to know I bought the gifts with my hard-earned money!

Some years back, the Statler Brothers recorded a cool song on one of their Christmas albums - the song is titled Whose Birthday Is Christmas? Here is the chorus:

Oh daddy just whose birthday is Christmas
The Bible says that Jesus was born
Oh daddy please explain, I had to ask because
You hear so much about Santa Claus

Great message. I love the song.

It is true. Santa has taken Jesus' place. I cringe when I see a Santa figurine at the manger, and see people's decorations all Santa-themed, and no Jesus.

Now I am not extremely anti-Santa Claus. If I had kids, I might let them sit on his lap, while making it clear he wasn't bringing their presents - that I was. I have never decorated with Santa or sent Santa Christmas cards. I do however, like some Santa songs, which I might avoid if I had kids - who knows. I dearly love "Hey Santa" by Wendy and Carly Wilson - if you've never heard it, you should!

We can teach our kids about the real St. Nicholas, and what he was all about.

I am not one who goes around pointing out that Santa is an anagram for Satan, and I am not saying we should - but I think we do need to use wisdom in dealing with Santa. Some of us may feel the need to ban him completely - no songs, no decorations of him - others may do some of both - but I do firmly believe we shouldn't allow kids to believe he is real. But hey, what do I know - I'm just me.

In closing, a bit of trivia, and a funny story.

First the trivia: You may or may not know that for years, Santa was in black and white. Until 1931. In that year, Coca Cola hired an artist to draw Santa for a Coca Cola commercial. He decided to put him in the colors of Coca Cola - red and white. So, Santa owes his colors to Coca Cola.

The funny story: This is humorous, but also proves my point - a Sunday School teacher was talking about the devil to her students one Sunday morning. One little boy spoke up and said "I don't believe the devil is real. I think he is like Santa Claus - he is Daddy."

Take my poll on Santa - and chime in with your thoughts if you want.


Kimmy said...

I don't know. I believed in Santa when I was a kid and it was just fun. I don't remember it being at all traumatic when I found out he wasn't real.

I think as long as he is not the focal point of your Christmas celebration, then it's okay to have fun with it.

Kim M. said...

Did you see this?


It explains exactly how I feel.

We dropped the focus off Santa about 2 years ago.

I don't freak out over him, and my boys have been told the real story behind the man Santa is based on.

But he doesn't bring gifts on Christmas eve. Daddy does (and yes I have joked and called Daddy "Santa".

Something that article said really hit home. It brings back some memories of some rough years financially.

"I think most children know their family’s usual giving patterns for birthday and special events. They tend to have an instinct about their family’s typical spending levels and abilities. Knowing that their Christmas gifts come from the people they love, rather than from a bottomless sack, can help diminish the “I-want-this, give-me-that” syndrome."

Interestingly, I recently watched a secular documentary from Netflix by the History Channel. It was about Christmas. It's pretty sad when a non-Christian points out that one of the biggest icons at Christmas sits in a department store all day. He pointed out how it is the symbol of America's attraction to materialism.

We don't freak out and call him Satan -like you mentioned- but I do think Satan can use him to distract people from putting Jesus first. Like one person said, I am not claiming more piety over this decision (like I said we used to do it too).... it's just our choice and we are very satisfied with it.

Kim M. said...

I wanted to say another thing. I voted "some Santa" because I wanted to clarify that I do think it is very important not to completely avoid the subject... because you can't.

Unless you lock your kids in the house and never go out. Pictures everywhere, songs, etc.... I think we can approach it tastefully and tactfully. I think we are robbing our children if we leave them uneducated about it because then they have no way of defending their faith.

One way is to introduce the old story and even point out the progression and how it affects society today (obviously if one's kids are really young, they wouldn't understand everything). But I wanted to point out how important I think that is.

I think parenting has to be very intentional; otherwise the world will do it for us.