Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Stance

So, I'm a bit nervous with this post. I know there are a lot of hard core Santa lovers and I'm afraid I'll have a candy cane drive by tomorrow morning. So hear me out, and beware to all Santa believing children (and parents) that this post may be hazardous to your Christmas spirit. (Run for the hills--this post contains a SPOILER!).

My wife told me my Santa stance can sound self-righteous, and I really want to avoid that. But I have a problem with the Santa thing, and for that reason, we wont give presents from Santa, or set out cookies, etc. I admit, as a 7 year old kid I couldn't sleep Christmas Eve hoping to catch a glimpse of Rudolph and I'm not too messed up, but I just can't do it to my kids.

My buddy Matt posted his 2 cents on his blog and I'm feel the same way. It just feels like lying to me. I know it's about the magic of Christmas, but I wonder if all our Santa effort really does take away from the real meaning: God's love for the world through Jesus' birth. I was saddened while watching a documentary that talked about how commercialized Christmas has become that it practically squeezes out focus on Jesus.

I remember reading about a woman who's own personal faith in Jesus Christ was shattered when she discovered the truth about Santa. She remembers stumbling upon evidence that her parents were actually wrapping presents and writing out tags. (How many times has that happened right? Come on parents, get a clue.) This made her wonder about God and her belief in the "story" of Jesus. Had her parents just finagled some lie about the Messiah, too, just so she would be "good?" It caused her to walk away from Santa and her belief in Jesus. She wondered if Sunday School teachings were the equivalent of cookies and milk left out every Christmas eve. She had huge trust issues with her parents. Eventually later in her life she reconciled that Santa was a fairy tale and Jesus was the truth, but it didn't' come without heartache and difficult confrontations with her self and her parents. How could something so innocent as Santa damage a person like that. I believe it was about truth/trust which is a foundation to all relationships. Her story caused me to form a very strong conviction. Like Matt said, I want to tell the truth to my kids so that they trust me. I want to handle Santa the same as I would the story of Cinderella or any other fairy tale. This doesn't mean I''ll ostracize any parent who doesn't:) So, ok, to lighten this up a bit-have you seen Macy's ads? Trump, Jessica Simpson, Tommy Hilfigger..are you serious?

Too self-righteous? I hope not. Now, the bridge we'll have to cross some time in the future (your suggestions are welcome)is how to protect our kids from spoiling others hopes and dreams for ole' Saint Nick to drop by their pad every 12/24. Till, then, Merry Christmas. May we savor and enjoy time with family and the thoughts of how much God loves us that he sent his only son.


jbd said...

We agree 100% with you!
We don't want our kids to think that strange people (santa, tooth fairy, Easter Bunny...) come in to our house while we are sleeping.
We will teach them that Christmas is about Jesus' birth and giving as he gave to us. We will teach them about traditions that come with holidays.

David Nyquist said...

Let's redeem the image of St. Nick. I don't think he'd be pleased with what has become of his legacy. After all, St. Nicholas was a worker of miracles and healing! Let's hear it for the REAL Santa Clause.