It’s my honor to feature a guest blog from a good friend of mine, Markus Lloyd. He’s not an avid blogger, but when he does, it’s must read stuff. Check him out at BoutTheBox.tumber.com for another Christmas blog, and other good reads!
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The first lie you have the opportunity to tell your kids is that Santa Claus exists. Okay, well, maybe not the first, but definitely one of the first and arguably the one you will defend the most.
I know there are many different parental thoughts on Santa, but if we could talk very frankly, we all know Santa isn’t real. Yes, there were human versions from which the current Santa Claus derived, that’s not what I’m talking about. I am asking us to admit there is no fat white man coming down your chimney with a bag full of gifts this year.
So, with that fact in mind, what do we do with this story?
Maybe some of you have your answer but for me and my wife, we really struggle with this.
No Lies. No Secrets.
We have a very strong policy in our house that we don’t keep secrets and we don’t tell lies. So, how can we stand in front of our kids and tell them Santa exists today? We desperately want to because we know how much fun it will be for them (and us) to dive into the magic of Santa at Christmas, but the truth is there is no such thing as Santa.
Some would say we need to let kids be kids. But I don’t know if believing in Santa and the Easter bunny are criteria for a kid to be a kid. Is telling the truth about Santa really stealing their childhood?
As a Christian you have to be willing to believe some fantastic stories: the parting of the Red Sea, a man living in the belly of a fish for three days, and of course a man rising from the dead. I believe these stories are true. And as my children are learning about them their imaginations go wild trying to figure it all out. Right now they believe because kids believe that mommy and daddy tell them the truth until proven otherwise.
Fantasy: Santa and Jesus
The story of Santa is one of the first opportunities for most kids to believe in something fantastic. This is beyond characters they watch on TV because they are told Santa is a real person that enters their world on Christmas Eve! Then they start to grow up and their logic makes them question how one man could make it to everyone’s house in one night. When they approach us on this we either continue the lie or tell them the truth. Either way they will end up at the truth of, there is no Santa Claus and also at the truth that you are capable and willing to lie to them.
In the meantime, if you are a christian, you are continuing to tell them this fantastic story of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. As their brain develops their logic causes them to question how one man could take on the sins of all mankind. My fear is that in this scenario they remember that the last time they dealt with something like this they found out it was all a lie, and assume as much for this too. “If my parents lied before perhaps they are lying again.”
I would like my kids to know I will always tell them the truth so that, on that fateful day when they doubt Jesus they will say, “well, my parents made a point not to lie to me about Santa and the Easter bunny so why would they lie now!”
I know not every kid will take this approach, nor will telling them the truth about Santa guarantee their trust in my teaching about Christ, but I can’t help but wonder if this small little compromise in truth will multiply into something bigger, like lies tend to do.
For us this is a very tough thing! I admit we are struggling to find the answer, not the truth, but the answer to how to bring truth without destroying what other parents are choosing to do.
Anyway, I know the “magic” of Christmas is one of the things we don’t want to take away from our kids, but don’t we do that anyway in the long run by having them believe in story that will eventually be proven a lie? All in all I don’t think I have a problem with Santa but more with the lies that bring the magic. I wonder if it is possible to create a “magic” around Christmas that won’t fade away as our kids logic takes over, without having to lie?
What do you think? Did you allow your kids to believe in Santa Clause? Why or why not?