It’s possible to tell the truth about Santa, focus on Jesus, and keep the magic this Christmas. Simple tips for combining all three.
As a Christian mom, we sometimes get bombarded with Santa haters. You’ve probably seen this one enough to last a lifetime. I know I have. Facebook groups (even with Christian moms) can get pretty hairy sometimes.
“Let’s keep the CHRIST in CHRISTmas.”
Or my personal favorite: “If you rearrange the letters in ‘Santa,’ you get Satan.”
Nothing shines a light on Jesus like calling the jolly ol’ fat dude, “Satan.” My word. Talk about a Debbie Downer! Who is she trying to convict anyway? If someone doesn’t believe in God, what makes her think they believe in Satan?
Deb, please grab some chill next time you’re at the store! I see that you want to put the focus on Jesus this Christmas but verbally abusing Santa isn’t accomplishing that.
As far as the rest of us, we have three goals at Christmas.
- Tell the truth about Santa
- Put the focus on Jesus
- Keep the magic of Christmas
The Common Misconception About Santa
Your kids are going to try their hardest not to believe in Santa but he’s everywhere. Unless you live on a compound without other human interaction, your kids are going to know about Santa. The best way to combat the issues with Santa is to bring him into Christmas. After all, Santa is based off a real, flesh-and-blood man.
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 sleepin'”
“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 explained that he didn’t want Santa to come in his room at night. Poor little guy.
Mr. B and I decided with the Littles that we were going to take a different approach. We didn’t want some of these things about Santa to be equated with God. That is so far from what St. Nicholas was about.
Recommended: The 3 Simple Things You’re Getting Wrong about God
The Truth About St. Nicholas
The life of St. Nicholas is a little blurry because many stories of his life were written long after his death. Not all stories line up in a nice, neat package. 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 the night came from this tale of three gold bags mysteriously appearing to help with dowries for a poor man’s three daughters to keep them from being sold into servitude (or prostitution).
Legend says that 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.
Put the Focus on Jesus
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 are 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.
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.
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 has always been.
And for the love, let’s tell Debbie about this.
A heart-warming mug of hot chocolate in front of the Christmas tree singing about Jesus is far better than her bitter cup of chill.