Several years ago, I wrote an article for my personal blog called Why I Don’t Believe in Santa Claus. That article still holds the record for generating more social media shares and views in a single day than any other article on my blog. Clearly, it struck a chord with many people!
Christian parents, I want to challenge you to re-think your perspective on incorporating Santa Claus into your family’s Christmas celebration. While Santa is often viewed as merely a fun holiday tradition, I believe there are significant reasons to avoid this aspect of Christmas. I don’t aim to be judgmental, but I believe that we should say no to Santa Claus!
What could be so harmful about Santa Claus? Doesn’t the Santa story allow kids to use their imagination and have a fun experience? Perhaps. But there is one major problem with the Santa story. It’s a lie.
Let’s face reality: telling your children the Santa Claus story is lying to them. And it is not a simple, one-time fib (as bad as that would be). It is an elaborate, multi-faceted fairytale that involves you continuing to tell more lies to keep the tradition alive. As your kids get older and ask more questions, you continue to come up with good answers (more lies) to drag it out as long as you can.
When challenged, kids will fight to the death to defend their belief in Santa Claus. Why is that? Because children don’t believe that their parents would ever lie to them. They have an innate innocence and trust: “If mom and dad said it’s true, it must be true.”
But at some point, they will find out that it is a lie. A lie that they have believed for many years and put their child-like faith in. A lie that was perpetuated by the people they trust the most. A lie that sounds strangely similar to some of the things you have told them about God; the One who is invisible, all-knowing, and all-present.
If the elaborate story you have told them about Santa is not true, why is the awesome story you have told them about Jesus true? Maybe this sounds extreme to you. Or maybe it seems petty to believe that the Santa story could break a child’s trust. But I believe it does just that.
I personally can’t see how celebrating Santa Claus can be anything but a diversion from the true meaning of Christmas. While we know that December 25th is not the real birthday of Christ, it is a great custom to pause yearly and contemplate the incarnation of Jesus; how God became a man to make the way for our salvation.
Some people ask, “How can you deprive your children like that?” As someone who grew up without the Santa Claus tradition, I can say without hesitation that I never felt deprived or like I missed out on something. In fact, I liked knowing that my parents were honest with us about it. There is security in knowing that your parents are trustworthy, and value in keeping Jesus at the center of Christmas.
So, this Christmas season, let’s keep the focus on Jesus. Enjoy time with family and friends, sharing gifts and meals together. But, ultimately, let’s remember what this season is about.
Parents, I challenge you: just say no to Santa Claus!