From the earliest of age I have not been very impressed with Santa. I remember laying awake terrified that a strange man would be lurking around in our living room, and worse, that my parents would let him. Later, the idea of presents dried my tears when sitting on the mall Santa’s lap, but I still didn’t like it and I have pictures to prove it.
When I had children of my own I decided that there would be no more white lies about Santa. Here is my reasoning. I spent a good deal of time training my kids to know the difference between real and make believe, especially from the Bible. Let’s face it, there are plenty of crazy stories in the Bible that seem like fantasy. When we opened the Bible together, everything they heard…snakes talking, arks floating, men in fiery furnaces, Jonah being swallowed by a fish, God being born in a manger…no matter how fantastic…all of it was TRUTH. I was determined that my children would be able to trust me to tell them the truth, even about Christmas. I would stop the innocent Santa lies of my mother, and my grandmother before her. I would never tell them that there was another man who had the same omniscient qualities as God…someone who knew everything about them…when they sleep, and when they are awake. I just couldn’t do it.
Lest you think we were opposed to Santa altogether, let me be clear that Santa still came to our house. We still had all the fun of Christmas morning that the rest of the world did. The only difference was that the kids knew the real origin of all the gifts under the tree. Our children enjoyed talking about Santa as if he were real, much like my granddaughter imagines she is having conversations with her stuffed animals. We never had any problems with our children revealing this big secret to their classmates once they were school-aged.
I know this idea is not for everyone, but it worked for our family. My daughter is now a mother and she and her husband are putting more emphasis on the birth of Jesus than I ever did. If I could do it again, I would use this time of year for our family to grow spiritually together with an emphasis on giving.
Blessings for a wonderful Christmas, Alice
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