To Santa or Not to Santa

To Santa or Not to Santa

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year!  I love to give gifts, and it’s so fun for me to pick out gifts I think each person would love.  I also love all the fun stories related to the holidays, and my favorites are about Jesus!

So many parents feel divided about what to say about Santa to their kids, so I wanted to share what we’ve chosen to do.

Truth or a Fun Story?

With so many fun stories in our culture, it can be hard for kids to sort out which stories are true and which ones are make-believe.   I’ve had a practice for years now, when I’m reading a story or the Bible to the kids, to talk about if what we’re reading is true.  Did it actually happen or is it a fun story?   The kids are smart, and they sort it out pretty quickly.   I want to make this understanding clear because we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and we want our kids to grow up with that same understanding and faith.

That premise is also how we have decided to explain Santa (and the Easter bunny and the Tooth Fairy).   We say that Santa is a super fun story, based on a real person, but he is just a story.   A man wearing a red suit isn’t going to come down our chimney on Christmas night and leave them presents.  He’s not flying through the sky being pulled by reindeer, even though that would be REALLY cool.

The Invisible

When we tell kids about Santa like he is a real person today, we are telling them about someone they can’t really see.  Same goes for the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.   Trouble is, kids can’t see God either.   When they’re older and learn that Santa isn’t real, they can wonder if God was a made-up story too.  Do you see how it can rock their faith?

If you’ve taught your kids that Santa is real, and you feel good about it, then go for it!  Seriously.  We all parent differently and have different convictions.  There is NOTHING wrong with that!!

If you’ve been wrestling with how to handle this, and you’d like some ideas about how to break the news to your kids, I love both of these ideas:

Idea #1 – tell your kids the truth, but also assure them that nothing is going to change.  They will still get the same amount of presents, but they’ll know who the giver is.   They can still leave out cookies and milk, and take pictures with Santa.  It’s all ok.  (Thanks, Kelley!)

Idea #2 – The heart behind Santa is generous giving, and this post shares a GREAT idea about how to transfer the Santa role to your kids!

What do you think?  Was this helpful to you?  How have you handled Santa in your family?