We’ve been asked a few times this season what are we going to teach Mercedes about Santa Claus. As we are just a few days away from millions of kids trying to catch a glimpse of the big guy, setting out milk and cookies, and hoping that they’ve been good enough to get presents I thought it might be good to include some links to help parents (especially new ones) think through this issue.
Let me first say, I respect whatever decision a parent makes on the issue of Santa. I could argue pros and cons to any perspective. It’s a tough decision. Jennifer and I both grew up believing in Santa. We know the joy and fun that this idea brings to the holiday season. I also know parents that have regretted telling their kids about Santa. One child looked at his parents and said, “if Santa isn’t real then what about Jesus?”! The kid felt that if his parents told him for years about Santa and then found out it was make believe, Jesus must be the same.
For us, Mercedes is too young this Christmas to understand what is going on with Santa or anything else. She loves the lights and wrapping paper, but that is about it. As she gets older, I think we will explain the history of Santa to her. There is a lot of redeemable things about the real St. Nicholas. Today people celebrate his life by dressing up and doing a lot of fun things. I don’t think that we will led her to believe that Santa still exist today, but we have another year to make that decision.
Here are some good thoughts to the Santa Clause issue by Pastor Mark Driscoll published last year in the Washington Post. I used this article to think through the Santa issue.
Who was St. Nicholas? – Some redeemable history about the saint that Santa is based.
Some more great information on St. Nicholas here.
Love this quote from the above link – “So when you think of Santa Claus, here’s something to think about: Think of a godly Christian bishop who was persecuted and imprisoned for faithfully proclaiming the faith under the most dangerous of circumstances. Think of someone who had a sensitive caring pastoral heart and took care of the flock of which God had made him shepherd. Think of someone who provided support and defense for children, the weak and poor, the helpless and victims of injustice. Think of someone with an unparalleled passion for doctrinal purity. And to top it off, think of someone whose whole purpose in life was to point people to Jesus.
Now that’s my kind of Santa Claus!”