Discussing
The Case for Santa?

Jerod Clark

Tony Scialdone
December 23, 2009

I can't agree. While I have no problem with people letting their kids believe in Santa, I'm personally uncomfortable with some of it. Here, you try to make a case for letting kids believe...so I've applied it to myself.<br><br>1. Agreed.<br>2. True...but nobody needs Santa for this. There's plenty of real-life mystery to go around. <br>3. I prefer brownies and Dr. Pepper...and this isn't a compelling argument.<br>4. So do a lot of things, like giving toys to needy kids and making shoeboxes for needy kids and giving money to orphans and thinking of other ways to serve. We've taught our son this way, and he doesn't seem to need Santa to teach him generosity.<br>5. Sure. Knowing about Santa and being taught that the old elf brings the toys are two different things.<br>6. So does God, Mom, Dad, and everybody else of any consequence in a young child's life.<br><br>In the end, I couldn't care less whether a kid believes in Santa. I'm not a curmudgeon. However: if we're going to set out to teach our children well, I wonder whether believing Santa adds anything UNIQUE to a child's life. I doubt it. My wife disagrees, and we compromised...I'm okay with that.

Josh Reighley
December 23, 2009

It is a false Gospel - If you are good you get gifts - if you are naughty you get nothing. Not a picture of God's love - It is an image of religiousity, not an image of Grace. <br><br>My kids believe, but I do not promote it.

KarenDV
December 24, 2009

I totally agree with jreighley about it being a false gospel. It gives the impression that "naughty" and "nice" describe merely actions, not heart conditions, and it gives the impression that we only need be "nice" when we also get something out of it. I don't think my children have ever believed in Santa because we have preached these things. I prefer that they understand gifts come out of love, and their thanksgiving is a proper response. (Have you ever heard a child say "thank you" to Santa (visible or not) instead of "more" the next year?) We try to model this give-and-take of grace, thanks and obedience in the family setting all year.<br><br>Of course, we still enjoy the Rankin-Bass television shows about Santa!

PMDubuc
December 24, 2009

I entirely agree with Tony. There's a better case for parents to live out the qualities that this argument makes for Santa and I would rather focus my children on real-life mystery.<br><br>When this issue came up for my kids, we told them that if they wanted to "make believe" in Santa, that was fine. There's nothing wrong with fantasy and imagination. But we didn't encourage them to believe that Santa was "real". I know lots counterexamples to Baer's of discovery that Santa was a fake who were very disillusioned and angry. At some point, kids will wonder if what their parents have been teaching them about God is just another, more elaborate, illusion. Why give them the example of our participation of the Santa Claus "hoax" to add weight to that supposition?

coolmom9
December 24, 2009

It has nothing to do with God's love. Haven't you ever read the Old Testament? If you do this, then this happens, but if you do that, then that happens. Kinda like--if you're good you get gifts, if you're naughty you get nothing. <br><br>My kids never believed in Santa. We did, however, teach them the legend of St. Nicholas. They were quite impressed with that. And they learned that your actions can lead millions of others to be encouraged to do good works, and be remembered as someone who made a difference, forever.

Tim
December 24, 2009

1. Agreed, but add this to the mix. Why are you the parent lying? Why do you want to minimize your integrity to benefit a myth?<br>2. There are plenty of mysteries, in the fictional there are the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, in the nonfiction there are dozens more examples.<br>3. less than irrelevant <br>4. Jesus taught generosity, and I can do that on a daily basis far better than some mythical fellow in a red suit<br>5. So? Tell them the truth anyway, its a surprising number that don't know about Jesus ... let's teach about him<br>6. Jesus want us to be holy, not worldly; godly not evil; clean not filthy.<br>I told my children the difference from the beginning we have not suffered any loss over it.

Hafmpty
December 25, 2009

If Santa were simply part of the Christmas holiday, like Rudolph or Frosty, it might be a bit different. The problem though is that Santa is THE competing narrative for meaning at Christmas. Look at all the holiday events in your town. What draws crowds? "Get your picture with Santa!" "Come see Santa do this or that!" He's EVERYWHERE. Santa is even more ubiquitous at Christmas than the Easter Bunny at Easter. But that's the intention. Satan has divert our attention and focus it elsewhere. Both Santa and the Easter bunny seem harmless, but both take the focus away from what Christmas is truly about. I agree with jreighley but for different reasons. Santa is a false gospel. Santa and the Easter bunny can both go to hell with the rest of "seemingly harmless" components of pagan culture.<br><br>My goal for this year with my family has been to focus on what Christmas IS about rather than what it's NOT about. Yeah, it's not about presents or Santa or whatever. But rather than talking in terms of what it's not, I'm trying to teach my daughter what it IS. Among other things, it IS God's expression that he cares and sees our plight and has seen our misery and bondage and once for all did something about it.

Jon B
December 26, 2009

Lying- to anyone- breaks the Ten Commandments.

HaroldL
January 4, 2010

So when all that is said and done do you still give your children gifts on Christmas? If so I would urge you to reconsider posting stuff about Santa and the Easter bunny as components of pagan culture because then your taking part in those " pagan " traditions. At my home we take part in the " lie " of Santa. I believe that if you raise your children right then when the time comes and they do find out about Santa and you explain your reasons then they should understand. Those of us who do take part in the " lie " know that it is no easy task, and the reason we do it is because we love our children. We go to church and learn about Jesus and Gods love for us all the time. If you actually think about it if you say that the whole reason for the season is Christ and then go ahead and give your children presents anyway then you are just as guilty as the people who do let there kids believe in Santa. If you want to make the holiday purely about Christ and nothing else you shouldn't put up a tree or decorate your house. You should be having a cake and singing happy birthday to Christ. You can't do things just partially.

Tony Scialdone
January 4, 2010

That's pretty silly, HaroldL. Giving gifts isn't a pagan practice...it's common to all cultures, including primitive Christianity. On the one hand, you have people giving gifts to each other as reminders of God's gift to us...on the other hand, you have people telling their kids that an omniscient and eternal being with immense power will bring them toys if they behave. <br><br>If you can't see the difference, or why anyone might choose to avoid Santa, you may not be thinking clearly.

HaroldL
January 4, 2010

My point is would you celebrate your birthday by giving me a present? I would think not. And using the fact that some might stray more towards Santa and less towards Christ's birthday and then turning around and still giving your kids gifts on Christmas is a but hypocritical. I understand the argument of the whole if you lied to me about Santa maybe you lied to me about God, but I think that if you took the time to explain the fact that you didn't let them believe in Santa just so you could lie to them that the reason you did it was because you loved them then they would understand. And another thing a five year old has no grasp on concepts like omnipotence, or eternal being or immense power. They understand that if they are good Santa will come while they are asleep and leave them stuff. But the reality is their parents love them enough to give up that much of themselves and keep their kids from knowing it was them. We do it and do not accept the praise for it. We give freely of ourselves to our children without expecting anything in return. I am grateful my parents let me believe in Santa and it never took away from my walk with God finding out Santa wasn't real. It gave me a better appreciation of the love from my parents. My kids know who God and Christ are and they know Christmas is Christs birthday, but they also know that Santa will bring them presents.

Tony Scialdone
January 4, 2010

HaroldL:<br><br>If Jesus were here in person, I'd certainly want to give Him a birthday present. Since He's not, I'm stuck with only giving Him all of me. Many of my friends celebrate His birthday (and, by extension, His life and death and resurrection) by giving each other gifts as reminders of His love. I see nothing wrong with that, but you suggested that doing so is taking part in paganism. That is, of course, not a sound argument. <br><br>I think it's perfectly okay to let your kids believe in Santa...but I do question the idea as less than ideal. One of the most pressing problems facing those who preach the gospel is legalism: the idea that one must work to please God before being found acceptable to Him. It's the opposite of grace, where God shows His love regardless. For me, Santa's twice-checked list (which earns either reward or punishment) falls on the legalism side of life. <br><br>Let me be more plain. What parent would ACTUALLY teach their children that their Christmas gifts were given in response to right behavior? Nobody I know...instead, we tell our kids that we give them gifts because we LOVE them. Do you see the contrast? Christmas celebrates Jesus' birthday, and the FREE gift that God gave in LOVE to all. Santa, on the other hand, gives gifts to good boys and girls and coal to bad ones.<br><br>I'm okay with Santa, generally...but it's that contrast that makes me ask whether there isn't a MUCH better way to handle Christmas.

HaroldL
January 5, 2010

I agree totally that their is a very fine line when dealing with the two. I wasn't trying to say that the act of giving gifts on Christmas is pagan that is not something I agreed with I was merely stating that if the person wanted to say that I was indulging in a pagan act by giving my kids Christmas gifts and let them believe that it is from someone other than myself it automatically becomes pagan because I let them believe its Santa. I thought that was a little off. I was merely holding the person to the same ideals he was holding me to. That's why we try to let our children know that celebrating Christmas and Santa are two totally different things..Even though Santa doesn't like little boys and girls to be bad that God and Jesus will still love them and it doesn't change the reason we celebrate Christmas. I understand the reasons behind the anti-santa argument, I just didn't think it right to label people as participating in paganism just for letting their kids believe in a tradition that has it's roots in the Christian faith.

Hay
September 26, 2010

My four daughters and I cellibrated christmas for its true meaning. they were never told to believe or not believe in santa. I told them that there was 2 types of christmases one was commercialized and one was spiritual. We did however exchanged gifts among ourselfs and with grandparents as a act of giving. They never seemed dissatisfied or cheated when they where young and have continued the same practice with their own children.

Sistersharonblcl
September 28, 2010

GLORY TO GOD IT IS MOMMIE CLAUSE AND DADY CLAUSE CHRISTMAS IS EVERY DAY WHEN WE WAKE UP AND IS ABOVE THE EARTH NOT ONLY THAT THE WAY YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN IS THE WAY THEY SHALL GO...WE AS A PEOPLE SUPPOSE TO GIVE AND HELP EACH OTHER EVERY DAY NOT SOMETIMES BUT ALL THE TIME CAUSE WE SERVE A GOD THAT IS THERE ALL THE TIME NOT... NOT SOME TIMES SO WHAT WILL CHRISTMAS BE WITH OUT THE REAL TRUTH IT IS THE DAY THAT CHRIST WAS BORN IN A MANGER.. AND DIED SO THAT WE MAY LIVE AND BE TOLD THE TRUTH AND BE FREE IN LEARING THE TRUTH... IF WE WAIT ONCE OF YEAR TOO GIVE SOMEONE A GIFT... A GIFT IS EVERY DAY WHEN WE CAN WAKE UP AND SEE OUR LOVE ONES.. IT IS REALLY SAD IF WE HAVE TO WAIT EVERY YEAR TO SAY I LOVE YOU AND GIVE A GIFT LIFE IS A GIFT FROM GOD AND WE NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT EVERY DAY AND TELL OUR CHILDREN THE TRUTH AND THAT WHAT WILL MAKE THEY CHRISTMAS BRIGHTER CAUSE THEY WILL SEE CHRISTIMAS EVERY DAY AND NOT JUST ONCE A YEAR PEACE BE UNTO YOU ALL UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN GOD BLESS)))))))))))))))) ALL!!!!!!!!!

Re7army
September 28, 2010

no need to shout folks, lower case is just fine. Using proper sentence case and such forth when discussing Santa, and God is okay too. But writing from over 30 years experience ... ALL CAPS IS JUST A BIT HARD TO READ ... so can we tone it down a bit, I really am interested in what you have to say, even on this old subject that's getting resurrected after nearly a year. But there's no need to shout

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