-Abbie Walker, Editor
I’ve decided not to do Santa with my kids (whenever I have them, that is).
People may tell me I’m unAmerican or that I’m going to ruin my kids’ lives or that I’m going to be the worst parent in the world, but before anyone throws me under a bus, let me explain why.
I have nothing personally against the fat man in the big, red suit. Honestly, I think he’s a pretty cool guy. He’s jolly, eats cookies, and spreads Christmas cheer by giving gifts to children, and I think that’s awesome. But there’s another part of Christmas—the most important part—that makes me believe Santa isn’t quite as great as people think.
Ultimately, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a time for family and friends to get together and rejoice in the arrival of the Savior of the world. I love Christmas traditions, and I think spending time during the season preparing for the coming of Christ is a wonderful thing. We should get excited about the greatest gift the Lord has given us! Bring on the Christmas music and deck the halls because the Messiah is coming!
But often the one we are really waiting for, the one we are actually excited about, is Santa. And while the tradition of Saint Nicholas started out as a Christian act, it has become something that has contributed significantly to the commercialization of the holiday season.
When I hear my young nephews talk about the holidays, it revolves around their Christmas wish lists. In fact, isn’t that what we all ask kids during the month of December? Not ‘Are you excited about the coming of Christ?’ but ‘What do you want for Christmas this year?’ I can’t blame my nephews for their focus on the material things when our culture has made it all about the temporary presents.
While my childhood was not scarred from receiving presents on Christmas from Santa, I wish my family had put more focus on the religious aspect of the holidays. Instead, I feel that all the emphasis on ‘being a good girl’ and making a list of things that I wanted only contributed to my earthly, selfish nature. I wish my parents had sat me down before the holidays and said, “This time isn’t about you; it’s about Jesus.” However, today’s society tells us that Christmas revolves around ourselves.
Not only does Santa contribute to this selfishness, but he almost cheapens the true meaning of Christmas. We have Santa, who gives children physical gifts based on whether or not they are good. In comparison, we have Jesus, who offers eternal life and unconditional love for everyone. How confusing is that for a child?
In addition, Santa has almost been given God-like characteristics. “He sees you when you’re sleeping; He knows when you’re awake; He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” But don’t we tell children that God is the only one who knows everything and watches over them? How are children supposed to understand the love of Christ when Santa is being made out to be better than God because he gives them whatever they ask for?
While I don’t think celebrating Santa with children keeps them from accepting the Gospel, I do think it makes it a lot harder. Santa is essentially robbing children (and adults) of focusing on the Lord during Christmas. Not to mention, the whole charade of Santa is essentially parents lying to their kids.
I recently heard about a child being sent home from a church daycare because he told another kid that Santa wasn’t real. I don’t know about you, but I find this to be really sad. Here we have a kid whose parents decided to be honest with him, and he is being punished by not buying into the lie of Santa. We have this fear of ruining a kid’s childhood by them not believing in Santa, but I don’t think we care enough about them believing in Christ.
I have nothing against ole St. Nick by himself, but if he is trying to push Jesus out of the Christmas picture, then yeah, I do have a problem with him. That’s why, when I have kids, I’m planning on kicking Santa out of the equation entirely. I’m going to explain to my children, “This time isn’t about us; it’s about celebrating the most important gift—Jesus.”
And when it comes to gifts, I like the idea of giving them ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.’ Gifts are used to express our love for others, but they should never be the main priority. Instead, Christmas should be spent giving to those in need and serving others. “We love because He first loved us,” should be our focus during the holiday season.
Some may think I’m being extreme by not celebrating Santa with my future kids, but if there was something possibly keeping your child from truly understanding the Gospel, wouldn’t you block your chimney too?