Christmas Confessions: Should we Lie to our Kids about Santa Claus?

Do you question things? Ask yourself why you believe a certain way or not? I think it’s good that we do that.

When I read a church sign that said, “Get Your Picture Made with Santa Claus”, I immediately pictured what could have been the church’s sign a week before: “Thou shalt not lie”. Santa is a firmly-planted icon in the American life, including most Christians. Does it matter?

I started a process of thinking about how our children might be affected by having a 10-year long joke played on them. “It’s all in harmless fun!” We dismiss it. But how does it affect their perceived verity of the rest of the hard-to-believe stories of the Gospel that we tell them, on which their eternity hangs? Can they discern that “part of what I’ve told you all these years is not true, but part of it is”?

Maybe it doesn’t matter. But isn’t the question important enough to ponder?

Then I read, Christmas Confessions: Should We Lie to Our Kids About Santa Claus, and it so concisely summarized my thoughts I just had to link to it.

I realize there are many who do not celebrate Christmas at all (I have very close friends in this camp that I respect for their decision). That’s not where I am. But I wonder if we give enough thought to our tightly-held traditions?

Read the article…you’ll be glad. And then let me know your thoughts.

“A parody of a possible consequence is epitomized by that poor, traumatized kid who laments melodically, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” I doubt therapy was needed for the child to overcome his confusion. But there does exist a subtle long-term danger, namely that of placing impossible fiction on the same shelf as impossible fact, and forcing our children to discern arbitrarily which is which, based on our flip-flopping propositions.”

Thank you, Clint, for a concise word to ponder.

40 Responses to “Christmas Confessions: Should we Lie to our Kids about Santa Claus?”

  1. Lucy says:

    I must confess this is a non-issue for me, my parents never tried to convince me that Santa Claus was real, on the contrary. And I would never have felt right trying to convince my kids that the modern interpretation of Santa Claus was in anyway real. They know the real story of St. Nicholas, and they know that the man died and is (most likely) in heaven now :-)

    Still they make lists, and sit on his lap at Bass Pro Shop, it’s much like meeting Cinderella at Disney World. Who knew a 17th century fairy tale lived in Florida?

    We take the fun, learn from the truth and leave the rest.

  2. Lori says:

    When my children were young, over 20 years ago, our pastor encouraged us to celebrate Christmas but throw out Santa. Have it revolve around Jesus instead. Our very favorite video of them was when we went home and told them there was no Santa. Priceless!!!

  3. Belinda says:

    I figured out Santa was not real on my own as a child. I was not mad at my parents because my mom was very clear that the presents came from them…even when they signed one from Santa. I didn’t mind because it was just fun to me. Now that I have children of my own, my husband and I told them the truth from the beginning. I tell them the Santas we see around town are men dressing up to be Santa. I also told them the story of St. Nicholas, who I make clear is no longer living. I say that people like to be giving like he did. My husband and I always put the main focus on Jesus. We enjoy all of the decorations and songs, though. We decided to do this because we think that it is important to be truthful to our children.

  4. Rachel says:

    I grew up believing in Santa as a young child. I can’t even remember when I stopped believing. Sometime before age 10. I don’t remember even entertaining the idea that my parents lied to me. I guess when I came to the conclusion that Santa wasn’t real, I thought it was all in good fun, not some huge hoax that I fell for.
    That said, I haven’t threatened my children with no s
    Santa if they are not good. I guess we don’t really talk about him. They have seen Santas in the mall and in the holiday parade. In fact one church had a float with Santa down on his knees in front of the manger with a sign that read something like “Santa knows the real meaning of Christmas”. Anyway, we have talked about the the real St. Nicholas and explained the idea of Christmas gifts is a way we celebrate and remember the best gift ever given humanity.
    I’m not sure what to think of the article. He brings up a lot of good points. But then I look at my own experience and think that I didn’t necessarily suffer harm in believing the idea of Santa. And if my children ask straight out I will not lie to them. I guess I put Santa in the category of meeting Mickey Mouse in Disney World. The children may or may not think it is a person in a costume, but if they don’t bring it up why would I go out of my way to make sure they know Mickey is just a guy in a costume? I don’t think their theology will be affected by meeting someone is a costume when they don’t realize it is just a costume until later? Eventually their young minds can figure it out on their own.
    As for difficult to believe parts of the Bible? We have established from the beginning that everything in the Bible is true, no matter how difficult to understand. We have not done that with any other story, fantasy, fable, etc. Thinking that our children may believe in evolution because we “lied” to them about Santa is a stretch I think.

    • Babychaser says:

      My sister and I grew up believing in Santa. I remember having a reoccurring nightmare every year that something had happened and Santa wasn’t coming. I’d wake up crying. Every year. The dream (as with most dreams) didn’t make sense when you’d think about it. Something about a needle balancing on it’s tip on a conveyer belt (yes, I remember it clearly 25 years later), and if if fell, Santa wouldn’t come. I’m telling you, it was traumatic.

      One year some of my “friends” in public school were talking about Santa. I stood up for him (of course he was real), but asked my parents that night at bedtime. I wasn’t bothered that they’d lied, but my sister (a year younger) heard us and came down. When she found out, she was devastated… not that Santa wasn’t real, but that my parents had lied to her. It took a long time for her to get over that.

      And I’ll tell you, I never had that nightmare again. I wonder, if my parents had built the excitement of Christmas around something else… something realistic and wonderful like the miracle of the Christ leaving heaven to come to earth for me… if I would have been spared the terrible fears?

      Just a thought.

  5. Genieve says:

    I am grateful that my parents chose to not include Santa Claus in our Christmas celebrations. And I am choosing to do the same. They told us that most other kids did believe in him, and so to not tell others that he didn’t exist. So we kept quiet :) Growing up, the focus on Christmas was definitely presents though. Lots of presents! I have struggled with what to do with Christmas for the past few years: Celebrate it or not? How to celebrate it? etc… We haven’t put up a tree since getting married. We only have 1 child up to now (and one on the way!) and he will be turning 3 at the end of december. I feel like we need to start having family traditions around holidays. So this year, for the 1st time, we are focusing on advent and doing a Jesse tree to bring the focus on Jesus.

  6. Word Warrior says:

    I think, as some of you have mentioned, that Santa, as a fairy tale figure, is harmless enough, except the fact that I don’t think Christmas should center around him or the gifts he brings. But most parents don’t celebrate a “make believe” Santa. I don’t know any parents who celebrate Santa but tell their children he’s just pretend. We may sing “Santa Claus is coming to Town” to the radio, but Santa is fictitious to us. To me, that’s the crux; not that “Santa is evil”, but that “Santa isn’t real” and as a parent who teaches my children that “a lying tongue in an abomination to the Lord” I have to be consistent.

    • delilah says:

      Exactly how I feel, Kelly!!!

    • jp says:

      When my son was young, we did talk about ‘Santa.’ I explained that it was like Barney (the big purple dinosaur) – he wasn’t real, but people liked to pretend he was and that ‘Santa’ was a pretend game that grown ups in particular liked to play. I spoke truth to him because I didn’t feel it was right to lie. In this way, we could ‘pretend’ and have fun with all that, but we knew the truth. We read Scripture and Scripture based children’s stories, talked about birthdays and who gets the presents. We gave presents to school,Sunday School, etc and we discussed what gifts we would give to Jesus – things that would be pleasing to Him. I didn’t know about ‘Advent’ at that time so we didn’t do anything along that line although I would have if I’d known. Being truthful allowed us to have many conversations about a wide range of topics, all of which allowed me teaching opportunities to share my values with him.

  7. laura says:

    We decided to NOT tell about Santa as a real person, now…We did explain the historical Saint Nicholas to them, and how some people celebrate and tell their kids other things, and to be prepared for when well-meaning people at the grocery store act all cute and say,” Now are you all ready for Santa to come??” and my kids would probably look her in the eye and say, “We don’t believe in Santa and mommy and daddy get us our gifts at Good Will!”… It’s true, though, I could never bring myself to honestly encourage them to REALLY believe in the Santa lie…Just not up front, honest and above board…

  8. Kristen says:

    You know, I’ve struggled with this. We’ve never told the kids that Santa is real, simply because of the deceitfulness aspect of it. And I’ve struggled with the whole Tooth Fairy thing as well. It’s hard because I don’t want to lie to my kids, but then again, there’s the whole “magic of childhood” thing and all that and I don’t want my kids to be staunch realists at such a young age. There’s got to be room for imagination and fairy dust and all that.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Kristen,

      I think there is always room for imagination. The difference, maybe, is how it is presented…

      Pretend is one thing; fiction passed off as truth for half a childhood is another. Can’t we make up stories, pretend and use our imaginations all the time, without breaching the trust of our children or teaching them that it’s OK to lie as long as everyone is having fun?

      For the record, I think we (parents) grow up thinking our children will miss out on something important if we don’t do all the same fairy tale games that we had. But you know Christmas is still just as thrilling to our kids as it was to me? And they don’t miss anything without the Tooth Fairy (you can’t miss something you don’t know about :-P …just some additional points to ponder.

      • Babychaser says:

        This is something I constantly battle out in my own mind. I think back on all the fun memories (Halloween, Santa, etc.) I had growing up and the nostalgia makes me sad that my children will “miss out”. But then I am reminded that they do not hold the same nostalgia. I have been given the pen to write the stories they will look back on with fond memories. And, I hope, those memories will be centered on Christ instead of candy and presents.

        We haven’t lost any teeth in our home yet (though we’re close), but I hope to instill something great in my son when he is built up as a “growing boy” or “one step closer to manhood” or the like as he presents his first tooth. What a neat memory that would be!

      • Shelby says:

        Along the lines of this comment, as far as the “excitement” of Christmas. We don’t do Santa, but I do keep my kids presents hidden until Christmas eve and then after they go to bed I put them out. I remember the excitement of going to bed and waking up to presents. My kids seem to enjoy that as well, but they know the gifts are from us and not Santa. Kind of keeps that element of surprise without the deceit. They would tell you they do not feel they are missing out and in fact are glad they were never lied to.

  9. laura says:

    I wonder if in America, we are the only parents in the world who want to make childhood out to be a time of complete absence of responsibility and understanding?? I know what Kristen means about wanting childhood to have a certain quality of innocence and trust about things and not breeding in them a super-realism, if I can’t see it it must not be real, kind of thing, but do parents do this in Africa or south america? There are LOTS of children who have to learn even harder truths of life much earlier than american children, but that doesn’t mean they are less happy…

  10. Jennifer says:

    Billy and Ruth Graham put footprints in the fireplace soot or a wispy piece of cotton on the door to make it look like a beard; I would have gotten endless delight from that as a child, and I’m sure their kids did. I don’t think I’d bring up Santa as something real, but if they brought it up and said they’d like to leave out cookies or whatever, I might go along with it.

  11. Charity says:

    This is such a touchy issue to most people, but the bottom line is Santa isn’t real. Period. We don’t tell our children anything is real that isn’t, so why would we at Christmas? As Kelly already said, pretend is one thing…my littles pretend/play a good portion of the day….pretend caring for their dolls, pretend building like daddy, pretend cooking, etc. Children take adults at their word and place a huge amount of faith in what they are told. I have always wondered how you can do the whole Santa thing (he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when your awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good….) and then they figure out that none of that is real. Would they question what I’ve told/taught them about Jesus? Also, I don’t want my children to be good so they can get presents at the end of the year, I want them to have the desire to do right to please and be like Christ. Just my rambled 2 cents worth ;)

    • Babychaser says:

      What you said make me think even more… We don’t do Santa at all, but I’ve been wondering about the idea of doing it for pretend. As you pointed out… our children pretend all the time. Mine do too. But from an early age (they are still all young) we’ve guided them to pretend real things. We are training our girls toward being wives and mothers when they grow up, so we don’t encourage them to pretend to be teachers and executives and fire fighters and so on. We provide toys to aid in their pretending to be mommies (brooms, kitchen things,etc.) The toys we provide our boys are not action figures and video games but blocks and ropes for tying knots and swords… things that encourage manliness.)

      That considered, why would I introduce something fake for them to pretend now when everything else we pretend is real. Doug from Vision Forum made a point in “What is a Girl to Do?” that child play should be practice for their future. I guess this would qualify… I’d rather see my kids “practicing” by giving pretend sermons about Christmas or running a soup kitchen than writing out wishlists for Santa.

  12. natasha says:

    I remember my catholic school told me in kindergarden that santa was just pretend, and I was so depressed. After that christmas did not seem special to me bc everything had been about Santa. I was also upset because my parents had lied to me, I still believed in Jesus and the bible, but I wonder if it helped make it easier for me to disrespect my parents views. So we decided to tell our children about St. Nicholas and we celebrate his feast day on Dec 6th. We have included lots of traditions for Advent and Christmas time, we celebrate Christmas for the full 12 days. We still sing and listen to songs about Santa etc, so I don’t feel like we are depriving them and being total Grinches. I also want my kids to know that Christmas presents are NOT earned by their good behavior. Their dad works hard, and we want to give them presents because we love them, not because they deserve them or earned them. I don’t want my kids associating every deed I do for them as something they earned. Love is unconditional and they need to see that.

  13. Heather says:

    Santa was a created to sell coke,just like the Pledge Of Alliegence was written to sell flags, going to see Santa doesn’t make you less Christian anymore than not saying the pledge makes you less of a patriot. It’s capitalism, it’s a quaint little tradition. The spirit of St.Nick is really about the magic of childhood and I wouldn’t rob my kids of that. I will never tell them Santa isn’t real, my parents never admitted it to me. No big deal.

  14. Dana S. says:

    We’ve never lied to our girls about Santa. However, they came to us as foster children (whom we later adopted), and we were not allowed to go against any of the “lies” their birth parents has begun to perpetuate. They came to us believing in Santa, the tooth fairy, etc.

    So after the adoptions were final we started the process of telling them about the real St. Nicholas, and had to slowly work towards the whole tooth fairy thing.

    Thing is, like other commenters, I didn’t want them coming to me and saying that since I’d lied to them about things like Santa, how were they to know that I hadn’t lied about Jesus? And the myth of Santa attributes things that can only be knows by God and/or Jesus: He knows if you’ve been sleeping. He knows if you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good…..etc.

    We decided to err on the side of caution.

  15. Keri says:

    We did the Santa thing with our three older children. They are not scarred for life because we pretended in Santa! They are now in their twenties.

    Here is what stopped me..lol.When our 4th child was about two..she loved and I mean LOVED all the Christian Christmas Songs. One day..I sang her the song about Santa..You better not shout..you better not cry..can’t remember all the words but many will know what I’m talking about.

    She loved it and that’s all she wanted to sing.I am completely serious when I say she would have a fit..an absolute fit if I tried to sing Anything else.She wanted only the Santa song.

    That was it for me..how I was convicted..It took awhile but she began to sing the other ones again..No more Santa for us..

    The funny thing was that our church had just passed out these fliers on why we shouldn’t do Santa.I was kind of ticked because that was the only make believe thing I did with my kids..

    Sometimes it takes the silliest little things to convict me..

  16. Kristy says:

    I was raised Catholic and had Santa come every year. I loved it and am not the least bit upset with my parents. I cherish those memories. With that being said, a few yrs. ago a well meaning child told our daughter that Santa wasn’t real. It was that very night that we realized just what a lie it was and we told her the truth right then. After that we prayed about it. We didn’t want to lose the ‘magic,’ of Santa at Christmas but we didn’t feel right about lying. So we prayed.

    My husband and I decided that our children would know that ‘Santa,’ was fake. They would also be taught the story of St. Nicholas. They know that people decided to carry on his tradition of giving every year. We decided to continue to do Santa in our home. Our girls know it’s us and they don’t care. They joke about Daddy pretending to be St. Nicholas and me Mrs. Claus. It’s fun and there’s no harm done. The whole day is a celebration of Jesus’ birthday. Santa is only a small portion, just a few surprises waiting for them that morning. We love it! Christmas Eve is still just as magical a night in our family as ever and our kids know the truth. :) I believe it’s all in how you go about things.

    There is never ever a good reason to lie… so we don’t. That doesn’t mean we too can’t carry on the original St. Nicholas’ tradition of giving. :)

  17. Katy says:

    I grew up with Santa as part of the holidays. I remember asking my Mom (more telling her) if she was really Santa. I don’t remember feeling lied to at all. I was a little sad there would be no more Santa presents, but that was about it.

    Having said that, we don’t do Santa. I don’t really see the point of it. My children receive things from us. We enjoy giving them gifts all year long, including at Christmas. But, for us, Christmas is about remembering the time of Christ’s birth. I know He wasn’t born on December 25th, but it’s a chosen day of reminder. We study His birth and early life in school. We talk about it when we are going about our day, and on Christmas day we spend time in the Bible, singing songs, listening to music, and celebrating Him. My children have never even questioned why they don’t do Santa. They just don’t care. Children only care because we, as adults, make such a big deal about the story. If we make as big of a deal out of the true meaning, they will come to love that.

  18. Charlotte Moore says:

    Very good!!! I never believed in a Santa and my kids were never taught that. I agree JESUS was not born in December as so many think. HE is the LAMB and lambs are born in the Spring. A lie is a lie to me.

  19. Kendra says:

    Perhaps you could research the history behind it and teach that instead…kind of puts Santa in perspective. Try http://www.toolong.com and http://www.fossilizedcustoms.com

    Since there is ample evidence that the Messiah was born in the fall (most likely during the biblical feast days of Sukkot or Tabernacles) we choose to celebrate that instead. I prefer telling my children the whole truth, not just part of it.

    Just in case, that was not meant in a mean way, hard to convey tone of voice, etc online! :-)

    • Word Warrior says:

      Kendra,

      Yes, something to think about that much of Christmas seems to be historically inaccurate. I do not, however, believe it’s “lying” to my children to celebrate His birth in the winter, even though He may have been born in the fall. I think the *time* of celebration is really irrelevant to the act of it. We celebrate His birth every day, in reality, if we are Christians, so having a designated “party” for it, even if it’s not on the right day, hasn’t been an issue for us.

    • Babychaser says:

      I was struggling with this concept of Jesus being born in the fall and should we even be celebrating Christmas at all… etc etc a few years ago and my husband had some great wisdom.

      The world knows we are Christians. Many of them know that Christians celebrate Jesus at Christmas. For us, I guess it’s about testimony. If we should stop celebrating Christmas, would people understand? Would they stick around long enough to learn that we celebrate Jesus’ birth at a different time of the year? Or would they figure that if we “stopped believing”, maybe there isn’t anything to Christianity at all. What we choose to do instead is to talk to the children about when Jesus was really born so that they, like me, aren’t 30 when they figure it out. :)

      • Kendra says:

        BabyChaser – Not to debate with you AT ALL…just a little food for thought. Why would you be worried about what others thought? Shouldn’t we be concerned first with what the Father thinks of our behavior?

        Actually, I have found that since people know we are believers, but then that we do not celebrate christmas, it makes them all the more curious and gives us an opportunity to share the Word with them. We are to worship Him in spirit and in TRUTH. Besides, we are commanded to celebrate his DEATH (which I think seems odd to most of us) but never are we commanded to celebrate his birth. (How many times are birthday mentioned in the Bible anyway?)

        Is it a salvation issue? Well, on one hand no, I believe in grace…BUT (LOL – you knew that was coming right?) :-) Once we know the truth are we not responsible for it? How can we continue to participate in something that is so obviously contrary to the scriptures that we say we believe?

        Many blessings to you!

  20. Erica says:

    In my family we also struggled with this issue. I felt that we needed to focus on celebrating Jesus’ birth, as that IS the REAL reason for Christmas. My children’s father felt that kids “deserve” to be kids and believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc. His argument was that we were raised that way and it made everything more “magical”. I felt very strongly that we needed to focus on Jesus and this caused great strife between us for quite a while. I finally solved the problem to everyone’s satisfaction quite simply. We do not make Christmas a commercialized holiday. It has been explained to the kids like this: Christmas is a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Since Jesus is no longer here on Earth in human form we can’t honor Him with gifts. But since Jesus lives inside each one of us “Santa” brings each child a gift to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Any other gift they receive is from Mom & Dad. Our older children know the truth, the younger ones have had it explained this way. We do try and make the day special – we have a tree, we open presents (normally 2-3 per child), we have a family breakfast with extended family, then we have a dinner together that includes a birthday cake and we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. I collect Nativity scenes and make them the main focus of my holiday decorating, but our main Nativity is one I had as a child that we put the pieces in place as they correlate with the story in the Bible. It’s worked for over 10 years so far and everyone is happy.

  21. Amy says:

    Why even start santa? If kids never believe in santa, then they will never miss out. They will never feel the disappointment, parents will never have to work up the courage, or find a good time to tell them the truth. It’s just not a big deal. They can be thankful for the gifts that we get them, or the money that we leave them under their pillow, instead of the tooth fairy. Sometimes I think it’s more exciting for the parents to do the santa thing then it is for the kids. That’s how I remember it – and it was my grandma, not my parents who stressed the santa thing.

    I don’t believe that it is a salvation issue. But what I asked myself when it comes to santa and other holidays is this: If Jesus were sitting in my living room, would I talk about santa to my kids? Would I excuse myself and take them trick-or-treating – it’s just free candy, after all. Would I talk of the easter bunny? NO! I wouldn’t. I just wouldn’t! The Savior of the world deserves our full adoration and focus (all year round, in fact). He shouldn’t have to share a holiday with anything or anyone. It’s more about what bring glory and honor to our Lord then anything else.

    And like another commenter I wanted to point out that I am not saying this with a judgemental spirit or a negative tone. :) The questions are what popped into my head as I was trying to figure out what to tell my kids.

  22. Babychaser says:

    As I’ve worked my way through all the other comments, I’ve left lots of what I was going to say as replies. Still, I thought I’d share here (I hope you don’t feel I’ve hijacked your post!)

    My husband and I have chosen to avoid Santa altogether. In fact, last year, with my oldest turning 5, was the first year we addressed it at all. He was attending Sunday School (though we don’t send him anymore) and didn’t want someone else saying something to him. He was also old enough to notice displays at the store, etc. We simply explained that people have made up a story about a man who brings presents to children on Christmas and that many children think it is real. Then we talked about what is real and why we don’t participate in the pretending. We quizzed him about what Christmas is about and asked if he thought we should celebrate something that isn’t real. He said no. End of story.

    This year we addressed how he should respond when nice, well meaning cashiers at the grocery store ask if they are ready for Santa. (Ok… so we talked about this after it had happened once.) We’ll see if they remember their replies when it happens again, but we’ve encouraged them to say, with great respect, “No ma’am, we celebrate Jesus at Christmas.” With my prompting at the store last week, he told her just that (minus the “ma’am”) and she was so pleased. Gave him a big smile and a “good for you.”

    I don’t think Santa needs to be a big deal at all. It is Jesus who is and should forever be!

    Thanks for posting on this great topic. I’m working on just this sort of post on my blog for this next week sometime. :)

  23. Renata says:

    My parents never lied to us about Santa because Mum said when she was a child she was devestated to find out her parents had lied to her. Also my parents became Christians as adults so they really wanted to focus on the true meaning of Christmas! Since we never had it, it’s been a non-issue for our children. Sure we tell them about the true St. Nicholas & then we also tell them about the ‘fun Santa story ( which is all it is)’ so they are aware what is going on. What surprises me is how many Christians who actually do the whole Santa thing.
    Something that annoys me is that other people expect our children not to tell the truth to their friends. I’ve had one mother bail me up & say ” your children have special knowledge & with that comes the responsibility of keeping it a secret” & I thought(now you’re going to see that my thoughts are not always as gentle as I’d like them to be :) ~ no way am I going to get them to keep it a secret to cover up your lie ( thankfully I don’t think it’s come up in conversation with the children anyway as it really is a non issue for my family).
    It is everywhere though ~ every Christmas we are stopped numerous times & asked ” What did Santy bring you?” and we just gently reply that we don’t believe in Santa, but we do celebrate Christmas.
    One last thing ~ when my daughter was in preschool ( before we began to home school) she said in front of her class that there was no Santa. Another boy challenged her & they really put the poor teacher on the spot. The teacher ended up saying that there was a Santa & Ellie came home devestated that Mrs. W had lied to her. Of course the teacher was in a bind, but it still made my daughter very sad because to her the lie was obvious.
    Anyway great topic ~ one I am very passionate about ( should write a post :)
    Have a lovely day
    Blessings
    Renata:)

  24. Shelby says:

    I grew up in a Christian home and while my parents would tell you our holiday did not center around Santa, looking back, I certainly felt like it did. My mom did try to convince me Santa was real, even when I started to ask questions and I remember feeling very sad to learn the truth. I can not say it made me question Jesus, but I remember feeling lied to. We started out with Santa when our oldest were very young, but as we grew spiritually we quickly realized it wasn’t a good idea, in our opinion. I am so thankful our five children have not been raised this way. In fact, we got rid of all of our Christmas decorations with commercialized icons. We kept our home made Santa stockings only because a dear family friend of my grandmother’s made them for each of our kids. We talk about how special they are because she made them and even though Santa isn’t real, we keep them to remember her. We also really scaled back on gifts, and no one even noticed. We try our best to celebrate Advent and spend the month of December reaching out to others in our community. It has taken so much pressure off of the season and put the focus where it should be. In my opinion, when the focus is completely on Christ there is just no room for Santa as anything but a silly icon in our culture. Of course, we tell our children who St. Nicolas really was and where the “idea” of Santa came from, but that’s it.

  25. Jen says:

    Why then do you lie to your children and tell them that Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth? Shouldn’t you be explaining that you are, in fact, celebrating an ancient pagan holiday (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia) and that Christ was probably born sometime in the Fall (http://www.versebyverse.org/doctrine/birthofchrist.html)?

    • Word Warrior says:

      I answered that already:

      “I do not, however, believe it’s “lying” to my children to celebrate His birth in the winter, even though He may have been born in the fall. I think the *time* of celebration is really irrelevant to the act of it. We celebrate His birth every day, in reality, if we are Christians, so having a designated “party” for it, even if it’s not on the right day, hasn’t been an issue for us.”

  26. Jen says:

    I remember very clearly when I found out Santa wasn’t real. I was nine and a new family had moved in next door. I was sitting out the front of our house and this girl was a year or two older than me. We were talking about what we wanted for Christmas and she said, ‘you know Santa isn’t real, don’t you?’ and of course I didn’t want to seem like an idiot so I said, ‘yeah!’ but inside I was just gutted. I felt like a fool. Everyone else knew he wasn’t real and I thought he was.
    When I was pregnant with my first child, I met a family who didn’t ‘do’ Santa and I was amazed that it was an option!! We have neer done Santa. The boys know that others do and when people ask, what is Father Christmas going to get you this year? they just say they don’t know.
    We have never done the Tooth Fairy either although somehow they found out about it. The older boys told the younger ones that Mum is the Tooth Fairy :D
    They also know the true story of the Easter Bunny, although we still get chocolate eggs and I hide them every year (even for my eighteen year old :D )

  27. Kaylee says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading this thread of comments. Thank you ladies for sharing.

    When we were in preschool my sister and I often got in trouble for telling the other children that there is NO Santa and there IS a devil. :) Thought we were evangelizing haha.

  28. Magriet says:

    My grandparents stopped the “Santa-thing” when my aunt (then six) asked who should she believe in: Jesus or Santa? Scared them out of their wits. :-)

  29. Kendal says:

    I’m surprised Christians are even debating the issue of Santa. It’s a no brainer to me. Why would any Christian family even consider having Santa involved in their celebration of Jesus’ birthday?? I really don’t get it! And truthfully, it’s usually the parents that are more attached to the figure than the children.
    This year my husband has decided not to give gifts to our children but instead serve another family with Christmas presents. I must say that I have struggled with letting go of idea that Christmas equals gifts under the tree. It’s really been hard letting go. But my husband really does not like the idea of giving gifts to our children when it’s the birth of Jesus that we are celebrating. He feels very convicted that our celebrations should not mirror the worlds. You mentioned that you have good friends that do not celebrate Christmas. Do they have blogs that you could share?
    Thanks, Kelly! And congrats on that new sweet baby! What a beautiful family you have!

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