Christmas Confusion

The truth about Christmas…

****Disclaimer, this is a decision Aaron and I made for our family,

We do not judge you for not making the same decision for your family,

AND I humbly ask you to not judge us.****

When Noah was a baby, Aaron and I decided we were not going to tell our children

That Santa was real.

Little did I know how much grief and trouble would come from that decision.

People close to us and even strangers take issue with us

“Not allowing our kids to experience the ‘joy’ of Santa”.

That is my paraphrase of the comments we have gotten over our decision.

We have told the boys the story of St. Nick and they have been told Santa

Is something a lot of families teach their kids about and that they are NOT to break the news to

Other kids that Santa is not real.

Okay, are you ready to beat me up now??

I am sure some people think we are the WORST parents in the world.

That is okay, but please hear me out.

Our reasoning is simple on the Santa front.

All year long we teach our children about God.

We tell them:

There is 1 God.

He is all powerful, all knowing, giver of life, the reason we are here.

Then, for one month a year, we make an exception and tell them

Santa, a man:

Knows when you are sleeping or if you’re awake.

Knows if you’ve been bad or good.

So be  good or you won’t get anything.

We give Santa the characteristics of GOD.

This year it has been the most difficult.

Collin is 5.

He is trying to figure things out on his own.

He has had a hard time.

There have been tears,

Lots of sad moments,

Lots of confusion.

Why?

Partly because he was conflicted because Aaron and I were telling him that

Santa is not real and other people he trusts have been telling him Santa is real.

He didn’t know who to trust.

Who was telling the truth??

Also, everywhere you look, you see Santa.

Even in our home.

Yep.

See, I am a lover of Christmas movies.

“Elf”  and “The Polar Express” make an appearance several times throughout the years.

Until now, it has not been an issue.

We have always told the boys that the story of Santa is fun.

The problem is, I expected the boys to distinguish between

The fun of the movies and the truth of our words.

The result is, a very conflicted 5 year old.

We have told him we do not participate in something and then dangled it in front of is nose,

Keeping it just out of reach.

DUH! Parenting fail!

This morning, I read this…

http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/11/29/the-christmas-conundrum

And she really made me think about how I was helping in Collin’s confusion.

Seriously people!

I have taken them EVERY year to sit on Santa’s lap.

We take the picture, frame it, and display it for the entire time the tree is up.

Then, tell the boys that “it is not real”.

Can a child really differentiate between a line that is being blurred by the ones who create it?

As far as I can tell, some can, some can’t.

I think I have felt the need to meet the expectations of those around me while holding to the

Convictions God has placed on my heart.

This is a slippery slope.

One I am walking with feet covered in oil.

I can’t walk the line anymore, it is not helping anyone.

I need to serve God and be obedient and responsive to what he has called me to do and be.

Today, I will go around and take the pics of Santa down.

I am going to stop listening to the voice in the back of my mind that tells me

Not allowing them the ‘joy’ of the magic of Santa is hurting them and hindering them

From experiencing all of the excitement and wonder of the season.

The TRUE reason for Christmas IS enough.

IT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Why did I feel I needed to add to the true story of

A Savior, born a baby, sent to save the WORLD from sin and an eternity in hell

WAS NOT EXCITING AND WONDERFUL ENOUGH??

Why is Jesus enough?

Why have I been so blind to the confusion I was causing?

I am sad and upset by the hurt my wants have hurt my children.

For the role I played in giving Collin a reason to doubt me.

Again, I promise I am not going to judge you for  teaching your kids about Santa.

And I am not trying to convince you to do as we do.

However, I felt the need to share our reasoning here and

Work through some of the thought that are floating around in my mind.

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Alyx Dell said,

    Since Brian died and I started attending church and studying scripture again I have had a conflict of heart. Did I need to suddenly tell my kids that something they believed in was a lie? What Ben and I decided is, we do not tell them that Santa is real. i don’t even buy Christmas decorations with Santa on them. I don’t like them because I feel it is a lie. But, my older kids believed for a time. They don’t really come to me and ask me if he is real. They just sort of stop thinking he is. Kendrick never had anyone telling him he is real. Kendrick has never had his picture taken with Santa. I don’t know what the right thing to do is but I feel that whatever decision a parent makes for their child is the right one. The way I approached it was to just not talk about Santa with the kids at all. It seems to have worked ok with my kids. We also take the focus out of receiving and the kids all pick out age appropriate gifts to give to charity. We also several years ago made the decision to not bombard our kids with toys and gifts that they don’t need. They receive 3 gifts each and we focus on the fact that 3 wisemen visited baby Jesus and he recieved 3 gifts. So we pick out 3 special things that our kids will like. I used to be one of the parents who thought the kids needed 15 gifts apiece under the tree for it to be special.

  2. 2

    Lisa said,

    Becky, we never did the Santa thing either, I didn’t want the boys to know we had lied to them. We didn’t want them to wonder if we had also lied about who God was and the gift of salvation Christ offers. We did have fun with the Santa thing though when we felt they could understand he was just for fun and not real. We were also well supported by our family and let them know, No Santa, No Easter Bunny and No Tooth Fairy either. The issue of honesty is what led us to make our decision. We still have fun with the Santa thing but it is kept in it’s proper place and even now our grandkids are learning the difference in reality and fantasy. The importance of truth and our kids being able to know that if their parents say something it it truthful and trustworthy far outweighs the “fun”. Santa just doesn’t pass the test and John and I wanted to the kids to know we are people of our word.

  3. 3

    Beck said,

    Don’t beat yourself up Becky. Parenting is one string of grace moments after another. Your kids will survive all of your mistakes and benefit from your high parenting moments as well. Even in small children the power of the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth and cut through every lie the world offers is powerful! Holding out the truth of Scripture and trusting God to illuminate gives us room to relax and experience freedom as parents. And it builds confidence in our kids. I’ve found that giving Santa too much attention whether positive or negative elevates him to a position he doesn’t deserve. I give very little attention to Peter Pan, Bob the Builder or Mary Poppins, we don’t change our behavior because of them nor do we go out of our way to avoid them. Imagination and make believe are part of childhood and I strive to keep them in balance. Learning what truth is and knowing to trust and love the Source of truth is a life long pursuit, a challenging and thrilling journey we’re all on!

  4. 4

    Christy Lardner said,

    Not feeling so in the minority after reading your post and the other. Eileen has really shocked some adults by saying, “Santa Claus is dead,” when they ask her about it. That is not all we tell her. I grew up wishing Santa was true, but thought of him like the fairy tales. It was very helpful that I did not believe in him when I did not get some of the things I wanted for Christmas like the Baby Alive doll. I was not deprived of toys however. I think we will be reexamining the excess next year. It wasn’t intended, but I am seeing the expectations and demanding build with Eileen all ready. Do not like the focus on the wrong gits/Gift!

  5. 5

    Tom D said,

    I thought it was “Sandy Clothes.” 😉


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