I admit it. I’m not a santa-endorser. He started as a nice thing and I like his history, but (I think) he’s morphed into an unhelpful distraction that has the potential to pervert the meaning of Christmas. So, here’s 5 reasons not to “do” santa:
1) Presents from santa do not promote thankfulness (at least thankfulness to the correct person). How do presents from santa fit into the understanding that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” James 1:17, or the commandment to “Honor your father and mother,.” who are, after all, the gift-givers.
2) Telling our kids to “believe in” santa may sound, in their ears, similarly to telling them to “believe in” God or His Son. The similarity of language makes for some confusing distinctions.
3) Santa promotes getting, not giving, for children. Children only ever receive from Santa, rather than from a family member, from whom they receive and give back to in return.
4) Kids seem to glom onto santa and presents at Christmas time, which makes it really hard to make the deep, perhaps more difficult to see, truths of the season come alive. Santa gives them sweet treats that don’t satisfy, but dull their senses to the beauty of Christ.
5) As my pastor says, santa is bad news for a sinner in need of a gracious savior.
As usual, here’s a disclaimer. There are plenty of godly families who “do” santa and I respect them; they have grateful, sweet kids. And there are those, who in self-righteousness (I’m praying I don’t fall into this category), believe that santa is just satan spelled wrong. To those, I say, I’m all filled up on crazy here, you’ll have to go elsewhere 🙂
LOL! (That means laughing out loud.) I just read your post to your mom. Nice touch at the end, there, daughter-o’-mine! Maybe that means I should stop commenting.
I agree completely. We were never big santa fans when you were growing up. It does detract from the incarnation. I still don’t really understand the gift-giving. We give each other gifts because God gave us the greatest gift of all–His Son. I understand God’s gift to us, but I don’t get the connection, then, to giving gifts to others. I would think that Christmas should inspire us to give gifts to God, of our praise, our lives, our committment, our thanks. Not gifts to others.
I think it’s a tradition without a Biblical basis.
So, does it follow that you think we should stop doing it? Because you sure do give a lot a gifts for one who thinks the way you do. 🙂
I suppose generousity in the form of giving gifts is generally a good idea, but not necessarily one tied to Christmas. We gave (in our immediate family) three gifts to each person, like Jesus received three gifts at His birth. Ours, however, were not gold, frankincense or myrrh… Maybe it would make more sense to give our kids three gifts at their birthday than at Christmas?
I have been thinking the same thing, but with a different twist. Marc and Dianna have had no trouble with the distinction of believing in Christ and his sacrifice for us as a reality and the fiction of Santa. They understand the history of the Santa tradition. They still like presents. MJ on the other hand finds this issue more confusing. To him believing is believing. He can verbalize that he has Jesus in his heart. However, this fall (winter for us) he asked me if Santa is real. The question reminded me of need to be direct with MJ. He doesn’t understand symbolism or figures of speech. He loves to get gifts, but seems to get more of a thrill out of giving them. He loves to see others happy.
Thanks for your blog. It stimulated thinking.
We didn’t give gifts this year to our family. Steve has been wanting to do this (not to give gifts at Christmas) for a long time. His dream finally came through this year when the kids and I agreed with him and he was elated with our decision. He wanted more than gifts, relationships with his family – time to spend with each other. Actually, it was kind of nice not having to worry about what to get, if that person would like it, etc. Unsure what next year will bring… Steph and I are thinking gifts, but not so many and so pricy.
PS: I’m loving your Blog site. Dana told me about your site and said you do a great job with it. I just created one yesterday with Dana’s help. It’s fun. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Val
We were “con” Santa when our children were younger with the reasoning behind your points. Our kids were always afraid of Santa — even Ryan 🙂