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Celebrating with Santa Claus?

With the Christmas season now fully upon us, Noel Piper offers us a look at why her family has not included Santa Claus in their Christmas traditions.

In part, she writes:

[W]e want our children to understand God as fully as they’re able at whatever age they are. So we try to avoid anything that would delay or distort that understanding. It seems to us that celebrating with a mixture of Santa and manger will postpone a child’s clear understanding of what the real truth of God is. It’s very difficult for a young child to pick through a marble cake of part-truth and part-imagination to find the crumbs of reality.

Jesus saved me shortly after the birth of my first son. It was then that Christmas took on a new significance and, rather than continue with all the traditions I was raised with, somethings changed. This included the choice not to teach my kids that Santa was real.

Why foster a false belief in Santa while, at the same time, trying to foster a belief in our God? Simply put, it seemed like a bad idea with no conceivable upside.

It would only seem logical that it would create problems … once Santa is found out to be a fraud, what about Jesus?

Now, this last point wasn’t really raised in Noel’s article, but it does factor into my thoughts on the subject. I can’t help but think my handling of Santa and other cultural myths lends to my credibility on spiritual matters.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying fantasy, but as Noel put it:

[F]airy tales are fun and we enjoy them, but we don’t ask our children to believe them.

The truth of Christmas is so much more wonderful than any myth the world has conceived … let us celebrate that alone.