It’s possible to tell the truth about Santa, focus on Jesus, and keep the magic this Christmas. Simple tips for combining all three.
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It’s amazing how some people get so hostile about Santa Claus around Christmas.
The focus of Christmas should be Jesus, after all, but some of the cringe-worthy things people say astound me.
Like the mama who posts this: “If you rearrange the letters in ‘Santa,’ you get Satan.”
Nothing shines a light on Jesus like calling the jolly ol’ fat dude, “Satan.” Amirite?
My word. Talk about a Debbie Downer!
And it takes everything in me not to comment, “Deb, please grab some chill next time you’re at the store! I see you want to put the focus on Jesus this Christmas but verbally abusing Santa isn’t accomplishing that.”
On the other hand, it also makes me cringe when I hear moms use presents as a threat to keep their kids in line. “You better do what I said. Santa’s watching and you’re not going to get any presents.” But that’s another post all together.
The struggle exists between two choices: demonize Santa in an effort to keep Christ in CHRISTmas, which ruins the “magic” of Christmas for your kids. Or you can embrace Santa as the dude who brings the presents – and you better watch out or you’re getting coal.
But, a third option exists: You can actually keep Christ in Christmas and have Santa, too.
The Common Misconception About Santa
The best way to combat the issues with Santa is to bring him into Christmas. After all, Santa is a legend based on a real man who lived long ago.
At some point, Santa became a jerk and a creep. Just look at the lyrics of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
“You better watch out, you better not cry”
“He sees you when you’re sleeping'”
“He knows if you’ve been bad or good”
If that doesn’t make you second-guess Santa, I don’t know what will.
For my oldest son, it certainly did. One Christmas Eve when Bubba was just a little guy (maybe 5 or 6), he asked me to shut his bedroom door and lock it as I left for the night. I was confused. He didn’t want Santa to come in his room at night. Poor little guy.
Mr. B and I decided to take a different approach with the Littles. We didn’t want some of these things about Santa to be equated with God, which is exactly what happens with some children and it’s so far from what St. Nicholas was about.
Recommended: The 3 Simple Things You’re Getting Wrong about God
how to tell the truth about santa
The life of St. Nicholas is a little blurry because many stories of his life were written long after his death. Some stories have more of a legendary status than actual facts. They’ve even led to our current Christmas traditions.
Stockings by the fire, oranges in stockings, and gifts given under cover of night came from a tale of three gold bags mysteriously appearing to help with dowries to keep a poor man’s daughters from being sold into servitude (or prostitution).
Legend says he appeared out of nowhere on a ship to calm seas when sailors were scared and resurrected three theological students who were murdered and dismembered.
One common theme emerges among all of it though.
He loved Jesus and gave generously. When you tell the truth about Santa, go back to that one thing.
When you tell your kiddos the truth about Santa, tell them that!
how to keep christ in christmas
Santa Claus is an example of how we can shine the light of Jesus to others. The gifts he brings are a reminder of the gift God gave to us – the greatest gift.
If we instill a hatred of Santa into our kids, what emotions do you think they’re going to have whenever they see an image of Santa? And that’s going to be a lot around this time of year. Why have our kids see all the images of Santa and train them to fill their hearts with disgust about it?
Let’s train our kids to see Santa as a reminder of how we should live our lives – as a reminder of Jesus. Let their hearts fill with joy every time they see Santa.
Let’s tell the real story of Santa. Maybe leave out the parts about prostitution and dismemberment, but you can emphasize how he gave generously to those who were in greatest need and made sure he gave in a way that brought Jesus glory – and not himself.
Recommended Post: 7 Gifts You Need to Buy This Christmas
How to Keep the Magic This Christmas
Let’s keep the magic while knowing the truth. It isn’t about our kids thinking Santa is a real man, who lives with his wife and millions of elves, with reindeer for best friends. It’s is the kindness and generosity we share with everyone we meet. It’s the excitement on our children’s faces when they help someone else or run across the room to say ‘Thank You!’ when they open their ‘Something you want’ gift.
The magic of Christmas is about the same kindness and generosity Jesus calls us to have every day of the year.
Go out of your way to say ‘thank you’ to the mall Santa for shining a light. If your kids want to sit on Santa’s lap, tell them to ask for gifts for others. Encourage your kids to do some of the same things the real Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) would approve of.
Help your kids turn the Santa of the world into Santa after God’s own heart. After all, that’s who he’s always been.
When they see the mall Santa, they can get just as excited to see him as they do seeing characters at Disney. Heck, even I get excited when I see them!
But, for the love, let’s tell Debbie she can love Jesus and Santa. Maybe this Christmas she’ll start enjoying a heart-warming mug of hot chocolate in front of the Christmas instead of her bitter cup of chill.
pin it to your favorite christmas board!