The Santa Controversy: To Believe, or Not to Believe?
Last week, a friendly influencer on my Instagram platform posted a two-part poll on her Story, fronted by a question:
Are you going to teach your kids about Santa Claus, or not?
The poll came with two generic answers – “yes, of course”, or a blatant “no.” As a non-parent whose only knowledge of the parenting world has come from being parented (I’m 23 now – it’s been awhile), this question followed with my “pssshhh” and an obvious “YES” answer. The results of the poll popped up, and to my utter disbelief, it read 60% Yes, 40% No.
40% of you parents, non-parents, or middle-grounders don’t believe that we should be teaching our kids about Santa? And the girl who posted the poll said she was “back and forth” about it. I jumped to contact this girl and make sense of her reasoning. Maybe I was missing something fundamental.
Sure enough, she replied very sweetly with an answer that – as I should have expected – truly got me thinking.
She told me how much she wanted Christmas to be about Christ. About His birth and life, a celebration of giving, not out of the spirit of commercialism, but out of being like our Savior. My heart stung a little bit. She isn’t wrong, is she? Even in this short month, I’ve felt the turgor of shiny new things, the drain of finances, the burst of anxiety that comes with spending and penny pinching. I haven’t been keen on putting the Savior first, something I know my spirit wants me to do. I could be doing many things to bring that spirit of Christ into our home and life, daily and nightly. Yet, is putting an age-old tradition to rest the way to fix this?
I still feel like there’s magic to Santa Claus – I don’t think that he’s inherently bad. After all, the tradition comes from a 4th century Christian Saint who gave gifts to the less fortunate and filled stockings with things they needed. There is definite goodness to jolly old Saint Nick.
Personally, we won’t be removing Santa Claus from our home. But this girl’s simple message has absolutely sprung a new perspective for me, so:
we will be changing who Santa Claus is for us, and what he brings.
Santa Claus will bring three gifts to each of our children on Christmas – two for our babies to keep, and one for them to give away.
I am committed that the important, valuable gifts should come from your parents, so that credit is given where it is due, and our children can gain an understanding of how we manage our finances and care for them.
However, in an effort to put Christ into every aspect of our home, I hope that Santa Claus can bring us gifts that we are willing to share. Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas, truly aimed to be giving and generous, and I want to empower that spirit in our children. They take on the role of Santa Claus. Santa Claus trusts them to give willingly and seek the need. We won’t lose any of the magic or joy of Santa Claus (because a sleepless Christmas Eve is not complete without a scream-whisper “I hear hooves on the roof!”). He will still bring gifts to our children. But in this way, they can learn about charity, about sacrifice, and about Saint Nick, rather than just Santa Claus.
I realize this is a long shot, and I can almost hear the moms reading this who are snickering, with a slight “good luck with that” in the back of their brains, but I believe it could work! And, if you’re looking to put Christ before Santa, I encourage you to unite the two in whichever way is best for your family, rather than to eliminate one or the other.
As always, I’m curious to hear more perspectives on this: have you thought about taking Santa Claus out of your Christmas? If so, tell me why or why not, and tell me how you plan to make the holiday your own.