Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why We Don't Do The Santa Thing

With all the talk about Santa on the boards I belong to, I thought I would share about why we don't do Santa. PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I am not writing this to condemn anyone for doing the Santa thing. What you do in your own house is between you and God. And our reasons for doing what we are does not mean that your children don't do the same things or have a love for God that is unshakeable. This is just our reasoning behind why we told our children there is no such thing as Santa.

My beloved and I decided long before we had kids that we would not do the Santa thing. We did not want our children to believe in a being and then when told he wasn't real would have difficulty believing in the supreme being, Jesus Christ. Not that ALL children who believed in Santa struggle with this. But we did not want to give one ounce of doubt to our children. We want them to know that what we tell them is true. Jesus is true.

We also do not want tour children to learn that it is OK to lie. The Bible tells us not to lie, yet we excuse this lie because it is fun. There are millions of wonderful ways to have fun with the children without having to lie to them. I guess I just cannot bring myself to lie to my children. I don’t want to teach my children what is not true. I want them to believe in what is real.

Santa is a liar and does not keep His word. I was a bad little girl most of the time growing up. Yet Santa always brought me what I wanted. Doing that teaches children that if you are not good and don't live right you will STILL get gifts. So when they grow up and are told to live right and be good, but then they continue to live in sin, they are expecting God to bless them anyway. And it doesn't happen like that! So they can easily fall into believing that Christ is not real or if He is, they want nothing to do with Him because they have a false belief about who He is and how He is. God does NOT lie. And God DOES keep His word.

Ask any child (well, not mine, they would get it wrong) a question about Santa and they can answer it. Start singing a Christmas song about him and children chime right in, knowing all the words! We want our children's head filled with scripture and facts about Jesus and the Bible. I LOVE when I start singing a hymn of praise and our children chime right in! Even little JJ at only 2 1/2 LOVES to sing praises with us!

I have heard the argument that Santa just stems from St. Nicholas who was a good and righteous man who gave and we can learn about giving from him. While Santa does stem from St. Nicholas, you CAN learn about St. Nicolas and what he did WIITHOUT doing the Santa thing. My children know about St. Nicolas and what he has done. And we talk about that is where Santa came from. But they know that St. Nicolas is dead and Santa is not a real person.

We talk about other martyrs (like Jim Elliot) and defenders of the faith (like Corrie Ten Boom) and what they have done, and we can do things because we have been inspired by them. But only St. Nicolas has a fake being personified after him that has so much in common with Jesus that it is no reason people feel they don’t need Jesus.

It is amazing how much Santa and Jesus have in common.

They both are eternal (when was Santa born? Will he ever die?).
They are both all knowing (he sees you when you’re sleeping, when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good).
They both you want to do right (so be good for goodness sake – be good because Santa is watching you).
They both grant petitions and desires. (I got everything I asked Santa for! Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you.)
They both have power over the natural elements in the universe. (how can Santa walk through walls or slip down chimneys?)
They are not bound by time. (he can go to every house in the globe in one night.)
They both have supernatural bodies (how can Santa eat so many cookies in one night and not explode?!?!)
They are both worshiped (there are songs written about him, poems written about him, books written about him...)
They are both believed in and defended, worshiped and adored (how dare you say he is not real!)
They are both praised for their coming (they lined the road singing his praises and welcoming him)
They are both sinless (would he kill anyone? Does he curse and swear? Does he do anything wrong? He would never do anything he is not supposed to do).
They are both omnipresent (no matter where you are, there he is)
They both have a list of who is naughty and who is nice (is your name written in the Book of Life?)

And people wonder why no one believes in Jesus. Maybe that is because they already have a false God in Santa.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Oooo, that is well put. We don't "do" Santa either, for much the same reasons. It has also been a blessing in other ways that are unexpected--our kids ages 7, 9, and 10 (soon to be 11) know where gifts come from and we don't have to take out a loan to get what everyone else is getting because they know we don't have the money for all sorts of things. This was my husband's favorite reason for not doing Santa from the start--he didn't want the kids feeling like they were bad (the whole naughty or nice thing) because they didn't get gifts or only got a few and he wanted them to recognize where gifts come from--Daddy works for money to buy good gifts and God provides through many resources, including Daddy's job. The awesome thing is that the kids have learned so much more about God's provision because they know it isn't Santa. My oldest is going to be THRILLED when she realizes that God DID provide her (through Freecycle) with the one thing that we could not afford and which she wanted above anything else--someone on Freecycle gave me a working portable DVD player so she will be able to watch movies at grandparent's houses (she can't use a regular tv, only LCD due to her seizures.) Such an amazing blessing and gift and how silly it would be to tell her that Santa gave it to her instead of the one who really did--God.