But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6 (NASB)
“Yes, Virginia there is a Santa?” Or, “No, Sweetheart. Santa is just a myth other children believe?” What should Christian parents teach their children about Santa? I believe this is an important question every Christian parent needs to decide for themselves. When my children were little, I debated this question a lot. I’d always enjoyed Santa as a child, and I hated the idea of depriving them of that joy.
But I had neighbors who believed that it was wrong for Christians to teach their children about Santa. They even believed Santa was an anagram for Satan. These were the same neighbors who’d led Wade to Christ, and me back to a renewal of my childhood faith, so I had to at least consider what they had to say. While I still don’t believe the Santa/Satan thing, they did make one valid argument that I couldn’t refute. If I did tell my children there was a Santa and they grew up to realize I lied to them about that, would they also deem Jesus another lie I perpetrated on them?
So I never taught my children to believe in Santa. But at first I was sad about the decision. I was afraid I was depriving them of something valuable. Until the day when she was about four I took Kristina to the mall, and there sat Santa. She took one look at him, and clapped her hands with great joy. “Oh Mommy, what a beautiful clown!” It was if a great weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I agreed and asked her if she wanted to go sit on his lap. She had seen me dress up as a clown on many occasions. She didn’t have to believe he was real to enjoy him at all. As long as I didn’t blur the lines between fact and fantasy, there was no reason she couldn’t read The Night Before Christmas, watch Frosty the Snowman, or do anything else every child in America does at Christmas.
So I taught my children that Christmas is the birthday of our Savior. It’s a time of great celebration and joy. A toy maker, man named Nicholas, who the Catholic Church later called a saint, so embodied that Spirit of joy and giving by making all the boys and girls of his village toys at Christmas time that a legend grew up around him. The legend of Santa Claus. If we all embody that Spirit of joy and giving, we’re being Christ’s disciples. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and it’s God’s Spirit within each one of us. It’s called love and it’s all the Santa anyone will need.
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: What did/will you teach your children about Santa and why?