By Melissa Langis
I’ve been thinking a lot today about what we as Christians tell our kids about Santa. My husband and I have three girls ages 6, 4, and 1. When our oldest daughter Emma came to the age where she started to understand Christmas we decided to tell her the truth about Santa. We told her about St. Nickolas and how he was a real person and how that evolved into how many people celebrate Christmas now. We celebrate Christmas like many others, we still do a Christmas tree, presents and decorate for the holidays. We just don’t do Santa presents and all that comes with it. So why did we choose this route. We felt that we wanted our kids to know that he was fictional because we didn’t want to lie to them. We felt that if we did they could in turn start to see God as this fictional character when eventually they would learn the Easter bunny and Santa are in fact fictional. We really just felt that it wasn’t a necessary part of Christmas. Its never really been a big issue with our girls so far and they haven’t really made a fuss about it.
Today I had a proud mommy moment when I heard about how Emma handled the Santa letter writing at school. My husband drove the kids to school today and when he was there Emma’s teacher pulled him aside to talk with him. She said I just need to clear something up with you. Emma has some speech difficulties so at times it can be difficult to understand exactly what she is saying. Her teacher said that when they were doing there letter to Santa Emma pulled her aside and said she doesn’t believe in Santa. The teacher wasn’t sure if she understood that is what she said but just told Emma to write a letter to her parents instead. The teacher was pleased with how Emma handled the situation and just wanted to clarify with us if that was true. Dan explained to her that it was true but it would have been fine if she still wanted her to write the letter to Santa. It would not have been offensive to us. The teacher also wondered if it would be okay for Emma to be involved when Santa came to visit the school. He explained that that was not a problem for her to be involved with the Santa activities, and that Emma just knows that he is not real.
All this got me thinking and feeling very proud of Emma. What an awesome opportunity that gave Emma to stand up for what she knew was truth. I was proud of her for not declaring it and ruining it for the other students(as she has been taught) but to respectfully talk to the teacher about it. She knows Santa isn’t real and in her little six year old mind didn’t think she should write a letter to him. Even though we have never discouraged it.
As Christians I do think we are missing an opportunity to teach our children how to stand for truth when we teach them that Santa is real just so they can have a few Christmas’s of nostalgia. Only in a few years to have to tell them that he is in fact not real.
I feel like Emma has just learned possibly her first lesson in standing for truth even if it makes her uncomfortable or what she believes is against popular opinion. So when people try to tell her in the years to come that its okay to do things that she knows are wrong, that God is only a fairy tale, and that we really evolved and were not created by this God, she is just one step closer to having the strength, courage and boldness to be confident in and speak the truth of what she believes. Some may see telling our kids Santa is real as insignificant in the long run. Maybe saying Santa is real won’t really change a child’s belief in God but maybe it will. This situation just taught me that maybe it will give them the opportunity to stand for truth and what you know is right even if it goes against popular opinion. And that lesson to me is much more important than Santa Claus!Advertisement