A year ago I wrote about our predicament in trying to figure out whether or not Jason & I will allow our kids to believe in Santa. We have come to the conclusion that we would rather our children not believe Santa is real.
My original reasons for this decision have remained the same. Sadly, Santa equates gifts, which often takes the focus off of Christ. We will DEFINITELY teach our kids about St. Nicholas, the real person, & explain that the Santa today is a representation of him; the spirit of Christmas, a symbol of hope (as Charles said), & a wonderful example of what it looks like to love as Christ loves us. I think my kids will still get excited about Santa & I plan to still do some fun things, such as taking them to sit on Santa's lap (didn't get around to that this year, unfortunately) & sing Santa songs throughout the season.
Last year I emailed our pastor at the time, Mike, for his opinion & asked how he handled it with his own family. Here is his response:
"We talk about Santa as a real person (St. Nicholas), but make it very clear that mommy and daddy give presents (and they give presents) to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We do the 12 days of Christmas (leading up to Christmas day) where we read the Christmas story (or act it out) and then open one present. We also don't do the 'naughty or nice' thing with our kids - we give presents b/c Jesus gave us the best present ever..."
I already had my mind made up regarding the Santa issue prior to his response, but his words did help solidify my stance.
This has been a (albeit silly) difficult decision for me. One that I have not taken lightly. And, honestly, I've felt really attacked recently by loved ones for my decision. As if we parents aren't critical enough of our own parenting, others put in their 2 cents, causing us to further doubt ourselves as parents. I've been accused of being a Santa-hater, a grinch & a joy thief. I was even "awarded" by my brother via his blog for being a cynic (interestingly, if you read his comment on my post from last year about the issue, he was very kind & sympathetic -- not so much this year). My bro says he was joking, & I believe him, but it is very hard to pick up on sarcasm in text sometimes. I have never once told anyone that they were wrong for their decision to allow their kids to believe in Santa, nor have I tried to win them over to my side. I merely answered the "whys" people tossed my way. In fact, I don't think those who choose for their kids to believe in Santa are wrong at all. They're doing what they can to make their kids' Christmases as amazing & memorable as possible & that is wonderful. I don't think anyone is wrong for how they handle Santa (unless he ends up overshadowing Jesus); it's a "to each his own" kinda thing, in my opinion. So it really hurts me when I'm not given the same understanding & respect. My kids are just that: MY kids. I AM their steward who will have to answer to God someday when he judges my earthly work. This decision & the reasons behind it are simply mine & I never intended for anyone to feel that I was pushing my opinions on them. I love you all & pray you have a Merry Christmas. :)