Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The whole Santa Clause situation has been on my mind a lot lately. This quote from one of my favorite blogs, Stacy From Louisville made me laugh:

Perhaps one of the most hotly debated issues around Christmas is whether or not, as Christians, we're supposed to tell our children about Santa. You know as well as I do that this determines your worth as a parent.It's kind of like the whole Amy Grant situation. As the years pass, I can't remember if we're still supposed to be mad at her or not. To El Shaddai or not El Shaddai; that is the question. Same with Santa.

This was my original thought, that I thought was so profound: "If we tell Addison now that both Santa and Jesus are real and Santa turns out to be fake, how can she know that Jesus is real?"

When I took my profound thought to Devin he said "Well how is that any different from The Backyardigans and Barney?"

Uh....good point.

Then I realized that my profound thought from above wasn't so profound because just about every other Christian parent probably has the same thought. Dang! Here's another funny quote from the same post:

Once, in a women's group, I mentioned taking my kids to visit Saint Nick. As soon as I said it, one mom said, "We choose not to lie to our children. If we lie to them about Santa they'll think we're lying about Jesus. Then where would we be?" She made a good point. As my kids and I keyed her Mercedes later that day I couldn't help but wonder if my children would be scarred for life because of Santa Claus? Was I doing irreversible damage? I lost a good 20 minutes of sleep that night wondering...

So Santa stays in the Riley house! Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN! Just like my extremely tacky...err..whimsical collection of stuffed Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer characters that must be displayed prominently in the house every Christmas. I don't think we'll make this gigantic deal out of Santa because I really do want the focus for Addison to be on Jesus (thankfully she has about 4 or 5 different nativities from both grandmothers so this shouldn't be a problem!) but to avoid Santa like the plague seems a little overly dramatic and silly to me.


H.E.A. said...

I agree with you. There is a fine line between being extreme and being realistic. Good for you!!

Also...what did Amy Grant do? I don't remember hearing about her doing something bad...but I'm always out of the loop :)

Amanda said...

Okay, okay, the realist in me just has to tell you....study the origins of Santa!! I know. You are rolling your eyes right now. We studied it though (along with Christmas) and Santa had to go. Well, actually he never came in!

Leigh Ayn said...

Santa visits us, too. It is just one of those fun things about being a kid... that and playing along like you do believe once you figure out that the fat man is just a story.

I'm not to worried about Cal confusing the santa myth with Jesus. God is a part of our lives all year, and is involved in our whole day... Santa gets put in a box on Jan. 1!

Marie said...

"I'm not to worried about Cal confusing the santa myth with Jesus. God is a part of our lives all year, and is involved in our whole day... Santa gets put in a box on Jan. 1!"

So true!

Andrea said...

Wahoo for Santa! It was one of my absolute favorite memories of Christmases as a kid. I know my parents had TONS of fun pretending along the way with us. I can't wait to have kids and have them get excited about Santa too. I love Jesus. I know he's real and Santa's not. :)

Leah said...

I love you Marie!

Erica said...

I know you guys do a great job teaching Addison the real reason for Christmas even when it isn't Christmas time, sometimes I think our little community gets worked up about dumb things like Santa. We aren't really pressing this issue at our house with Calvin. If we see a Santa of course we won't go into the whole that's Santa, but he isn't real, because little minds can't handle that. I think if your focus is on the Cross then God will be pleased. It's one of those things that has become more cultural than anything. Now there are some cultural things that we should definitely stay away from because the Word clearly spells out God's stance, but God never asked us to give up our culture when we choose to follow him. That's the beauty of being His child.

niKnox said...

Hey... this is a great question! By the time we actually have kids - who knows what we will think. I see Santa as purely cultural (not part of spiritual or religion) and it dooesn't bother me if I see it this way. I liked Devin's comments about Barney and anything imaginary. From the few interactions I have with young children, I am always impressed by their understanding of pretend and imaginary. For example, one of my neices is barely a year old and one day we made soup out of grass. Flowers were the spices. Then we pretended to have dinner. Pretending was never mentioned - but somehow this child (who couldn't even talk yet) understood not to really eat the grass.

There is only one thing that bothers me about Santa - and it's the understanding that his favor is based on performance. I've spent a lot of my adult life trying to move away from this and Santa is just one way our culture presses this into us. That is just one thing I hope to avoid passing along!