Updated: Mar 9
Did you know that “Saint Nicholas” was a real person who lived in the 4th century in what is now modern day Turkey? His parents died when he was young, leaving him a lot of money. As an adult, he was known for secretly giving quite generous gifts to those in need. But it wasn’t until about the 17th century that European countries began 'resurrecting' him by saying that “Father Christmas” was the one who delivered gifts on Christmas Eve.
THIS is the (a bit short but) factual story of “Kris Kringle.” Today,“Santa Claus” has morphed into a being who:
* Can be everywhere at the same time.
* Sees you when you’re sleeping and awake.
* Desires for you to be kind to others.
* Can approach with wants and grants requests.
* Is joyful and kind and loving and giving.
*Is like a “Father” who gives good gifts.
*Is universal for all tribes, tongues, and nations.
* Has a miraculousness surrounding him.
* Has helpers who serve him.
* We anticipate his coming with joy.
Do you notice any similarities?
Whether you are new on this journey of following Jesus or are already devoted to living out the gospel - and teaching your children to do the same - I encourage you to think through these next four points:
1. Helping Your Children Trust What You Say
When we tell our young children about our all-knowing God who made the earth by speaking it into existence; the One who created THEM in His image; Who sent His Son to live a perfect life, to die for our sins, and to rise again…they believe us. If we then tell them that Santa is as real as that, how can we possibly expect them to trust what we say is true? I wonder where the line is between: “THIS is real but THIS is not” if we equally celebrate both Santa and Jesus? Here is a short video about how to help your children stop lying - here's a hint, it starts with YOU 😉
2. NOT Promoting Works Righteousness
It takes a time, prayer, and thoughtful conversations to help (us and) our children understand that God loves us because of Christ’s good works, not ours. Would teaching them that they have to be “good” to get presents unnecessarily challenge that truth? Some adults are even tempted to use Santa as a disciplining strategy: “You better be good/listen/follow directions or Santa won’t come.” While this may “work” in the short run, consider the end goal in disciplining our children in this way: Fear? Love? Truth? Respect?
3. Teaching the Dollar's Value
If Santa can magically bring presents for everyone, there is no need to teach the importance of spending wisely (time, talents, or treasures). What if a family is on a tight budget and their kids can’t get many gifts from “Santa?” Will they think they’ve been “bad”? Think about all the time and energy needed to hide evidence and figure out how to field all their questions…is it worth it? Would your energy be used more effectively by focusing on Christ’s birth rather than the distraction of Santa Claus? It’s something YOU need to decide.
4. Having Difficult Conversations
Do you just “go along” with believing in Santa because you don’t want to “ruin” Christmas or because that’s what you’ve always done or because “everyone else” does it that way? Or are you consciously deciding THIS is how our family is going to celebrate Christmas and this is WHY? Having difficult conversations is…well, hard! But first, YOU need to pray and ask God to lead you in how He wants you to go. And then respond to that prompting.
Praying this draws you closer to Jesus as you search His Word for peace and understanding.
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate to connect with them!
Some books that have helped us along the way: