Posted on December 24, 2015
The most recent round of parent judgments I have been seeing is based on if you let your kids believe in Santa. I think the theory is if your kids know you lied about Santa, then they will also think you lied about God/ Jesus. Well, I understand that theory…and I respect it. But I don’t think that my family is less Christian than your family for believing Santa or that your kids are better than my kids for believing in Santa.
Saint Nicholas was a monk born around 280 A.D. He was admired for his kindness and generosity, giving away all of his wealth and travelling to help the sick. Over the years, he became known as the protector of children. So, Saint Nicholas is not really a myth at all. He was a real man…a great man. Known for kindness, and generosity, and protecting children. Hmmm…sounds kind of like Santa Claus to me.
I believed in Santa when I was little, and I have never questioned the existence of God or that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I do know plenty of people who have questioned the existence of God, but I would argue that there unbelief stems from their belief in Santa Claus. I would argue that their disbelief in the existence of God maybe comes from all of the judgmental, angry Christians. I have kids who are of the age to no longer believe in Santa Claus and neither of them have ever questioned me about the existence of God or made a comparison of Santa to Jesus.
In this world that is so full of violence, and hatred, and judgment, and a lot of ugly, is it really so bad to let my kids believe in a protector of children? To me Santa Claus is a symbol. A symbol of kindness, and generosity, and joy, and peace on Earth, goodwill toward men. Yes, I realize Jesus is a representation of these things as well. Jesus embodies ALL of these qualities that I want my kids to believe in and long for. But for a few weeks out of the year, they have another reminder that there is good in the world. And that it doesn’t matter where you live or what you have or what color you are, that you are worthy of gifts. That you should be treated with kindness and generosity, and in turn, treat others the same way. If, for a few short years, my kids have another example of HOPE in this sometimes dark, angry world, by God, I am going to let them have it.
I am not trying to change anyone’s belief in Santa Claus or what you want to teach your kids. I’m just saying, as for me and my house, we will hold onto hope and joy as long as we can.
Have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas!