Use My Voice

Speaking up about the issues I can't get out of my head or heart.

Guest Post – Why My Kids Don’t Believe In Santa

on December 11, 2013

I am very excited to have our first ever guest post for this weeks, Why? Wednesday. My good friend Angela has taken some time to  explain how her family handles the “Santa situation”. I appreciate her honesty and most importantly her friendship!

My Kids Don’t Believe in Santa
All of my Christmas memories as a child are full of Santa and magic. I loved everything about Santa. The gifts, the letter writing, and the cookies he loves to eat. I was convinced I would find him kissing my mom under our Christmas tree. Utterly convinced of it!
If I had married an American man, my family would likely celebrate with Santa. However, I married a man from Colombia, South America. Some Colombian children grow up with a version of Santa, but it is nothing like it is here in America. Regardless, my husband was never taught to believe in anything at Christmas, except Jesus. He moved to the United States in his 20s. He has pretty much embraced everything about American culture, with a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Santa.
It would be untruthful to say that culture is the only reason we don’t celebrate with Santa. When I became a Christian at the age of 16, I was surprised to hear that our God is a God who loves regardless of behavior. His love is complete and everlasting. My first Christmas as a Christian, every time I heard an adult tell a child that Santa only brings gifts to good little boys and girls, I squirmed. Of course, as adults, we know that “Santa” will bring gifts regardless. J But it seemed somehow wrong to celebrate with a fictional character so unlike Jesus- whose birthday we are celebrating. Santa has God-like qualities (ie: He sees you when you are sleeping…), yet he is really nothing like God. These descriptions about Santa are so opposite to the truth about Jesus.
If I had been raised with Jesus and Santa, I might feel differently. I know many amazing Christian parents who teach their kids about Jesus 365 days a year. They also incorporate Santa, the elf, etc., into their traditions. Trust me— I don’t look down on them or judge them in any way at all. We all need to parent our kids according to our own convictions… on Christmas and every day. We all must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I am not naïve enough to think that belief in Santa will make or break a kid’s faith in Jesus.
For me, I can’t do both Jesus and Santa well. One year, we decided to try Santa. It was our first year in public school, and my son came home talking about Santa. All the mystery of Santa was new to him. He had never heard about Santa at home, church, or school. We saw him in movies and at the mall, but it wasn’t personal. He was in 1st grade at the time. So my husband and I decided to “let him believe”. But I soon realized his belief in Santa needed constant reinforcement. He constantly wanted his doubts explained away. He asked continual questions. He wanted to believe so bad. Everything became about gifts and Santa. He had what the Bible calls “child-like faith”. I couldn’t teach him to put that faith in Santa, when Christmas is really about Jesus.
In our home, we are not afraid of Santa. Although my kids know the truth, we allow them to pretend. They write notes to Santa. We put out cookies. Grandma likes pictures of the kids with Santa, so we try to fit that in. This year they want to buy an elf, so we’ll do that too. We love watching movies like Polar Express, Elf, and Rudolph. We have other Christmas traditions too. My kids are not robbed of a fun and magical Christmas because they don’t believe in Santa. They make up their own truths about Santa. They will share in the fun of moving our elf. We all love Christmas, and we make memories every year.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

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One response to “Guest Post – Why My Kids Don’t Believe In Santa

  1. noeyesmcgee says:

    ultimately Christmas is about family and as long as we do that then which side of this we fall on isn’t that important. I completely agree with you Angela.

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