How do you handle the “Santa dilemma” at your house?
Christian parents seem to be divided into two camps on this issue—those that are okay with their kids believing in Santa and those that think he is a tool of the devil (yikes!) Here’s a middle ground you might use when talking to your kids about Santa.
When your child has questions about the dude in the red suit at the mall, you might start by saying something like this: “Honey, families all over the world have legends and stories about a person like Santa Claus, and children love to believe in him. Santa represents a lot of the things that are good, like kindness, generosity, and fun.”
You can also tell your kids about the real Saint Nicolas, who Santa Claus is based on. He was born in Turkey, about two hundred years after Jesus. Nicolas was follower of Christ, and as a teenager he heard about a poor family that couldn’t afford to buy food. He sneaked up to their house one night and tossed a handful of gold coins through the window. They were overjoyed when they found the coins the next morning, but they never found out who did it.
Nicholas was so thrilled about helping a family in need that this became a regular habit for him. His family was wealthy, so he dedicated his entire life to sharing what he had with others. He later became a bishop in the village of Myra, and because of his humility was later given the title of sainthood. Today we know him as “St. Nick,” and some cultures believe he still comes around once a year, giving gifts to those in need.
Of course, we also should also be talking to our kids about how God sent his only Son to take on the form of a human being over 2000 years ago. Baby Jesus grew up to give his life for every one of us, and we remember his sacrifice at Easter. Starting at an early age, we can explain to our kids that while believing in Santa is fun, believing in Jesus has eternal value. A relationship with Him gives our lives true meaning and purpose, and it guarantees that after we die, we will live with Him forever!
Merry Christmas from all of us at Life in Process!