Monday, November 2, 2009

Should You Teach Your Children to Believe In Santa?

I am a mother of ten children, ages 33 to 2 years old. I've run the gamut over the years on issues like Claus, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, and all those make believe things that people do with their children.
As a child, Christmas was always like a fairy tale to me. I can remember a magical glow about it. I could hardly wait for Santa to fullfill my every desire. I also remember during a frenzy of ripping open gifts during a time when my conscience was awakening to Jesus, suddenly feeling a conviction that something wasn't quite right here. I stopped in the midst of my materialistic glut, got my mind off myself for a few seconds and whispered "Happy birthday, Jesus!" and then went back to tearing into my presents.
I grew up and had children of my own. My husband, who had come from a conservative family, thought I was crazy for the way I went about holidays. He didn't like it, but I overruled him, and showered my children with gifts from Santa. In fact, there were years where the money for Christmas was hard to come by. However, since we had taught our children that there was a Santa Claus, they just assumed our financial status didn't matter, since Santa would be bringing the expensive items. In order to keep this myth alive, we would have to go into debt to get them their hearts desires.
As the years went by, my children didn't quite develop the moral sense I thought I was teaching them. Trouble erupted in the teen years, and I began to seriously take stock of what I had been teaching them. I soon came to see that my fruit was not what the Bible promised. So I turned to God in earnest, crying out to him to save my family, which was growing larger all the time. I asked him to save ME! I promised to open my Bible, and if He would teach me, I would do anything He said.
As my Bible study grew, one of the things that became clear was that God does not like lies. In fact, He tells us that liars will not see His kingdom (Rev. 22:15). As the Christmas season approached, I knew I could not tell my children that Santa would be making a visit to our house. To tell them there was a Santa, or an Easter Bunny, or a tooth fairy, was to tell my children a lie. Pure and simple.
Wow. Now what? Was I going to crush them? Would this cause them not to believe me anymore? Was it going to spoil the holiday season?
No matter. If I loved the Lord, if I was going to save my own soul, I could not lie to my children. So I gathered them all together, and told them the truth. I apologized to them for lying to them. And I told them there was no Santa, no Easter bunny, and no toothfairy. Then I waited for their reaction.
Their reaction, if I had really thought about it, shouldn’t have surprised me too much.
They looked at me with their big, beautiful eyes, and said, "Will we still get presents?" I looked back at these children that I loved so much, these children whose souls I was so concerned about, and I laughed. "Yes." I assured them. "You will still get presents."
All was right with the world. Christmas came and went without the fat jolly man in the red suit, who, if you think about it, the world gives all the attributes of Jesus. We dumped the artificial, the fake, and the inferior and gave the real thing the place He requires.
I don't lie to my children anymore. They can trust what their mother says is real. They have not suffered a bit from the lack of Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, or the tooth fairy. Christmas, and Easter have a different slant now, and it's not only just as good, but its better. The focus is back where it belongs, without the distraction of the untruth. How can Christmas and Resurrection Day be God honoring if it's based on lies?
Be strong and of good courage, mom and dad. Give your children, or continue to give your children, a gift that will stay with them all their lives: the truth!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you...
    Unfortunately, there are many church celebrating Christmas by presenting a Santa Clause in Sunday School.


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