Why We Don’t Do Santa

17 12 2007

I know this is a topic that can get very heated and can raise some emotions, but I wanted to share why we have chosen not to do Santa with our children. This is an issue that Dave and I visited many times before making out decision. Now that Isaac is almost 4 years, Grace is 2.5 yrs and baby Owen 5 months, we are very happy with our choice.

One of the reasons we wanted to not do Santa was to be able to point our children to Christ. Now I know that can be done while still doing the pretend of Santa, but for our family we wanted it to be more. We wanted Christmas to be about how our sin caused our Savior to have to come to earth as a baby and then die on the cross so that we could spend eternity with God. We wanted Christ to be the excitement of Christmas not the “torture” of Christmas. What I mean by that is we wanted our kids to wake up on Christmas morning with such excitement that it was Jesus’s birthday! We didn’t want them to have so much excitement that Santa was coming that church and daddy reading the accounts of Christ’s birth be torture for them. We wanted Him to be the excitement all around. We wanted our kids to know more about the Christmas story than the story about Santa. This doesn’t seem to be the case in too many churches now a days. It seems that so many Christian children still don’t know basic things about the birth of Christ.

Another reason is that we wanted to instill in them the love for Jesus and not the love for the things they will receive. This has been SOOO hard on us! We have had such a hard time keeping greed from setting in on Isaac’s little heart. It is getting better everyday as we explain that Christmas is not about him, but about how God sent Jesus to die for our sins and it is His day, not ours. Isaac is doing much better about telling us that “Jesus is so nice to share his birthday with us, I even get gifts on His birthday”. He is starting to see that it is about Jesus.

Another thing that bothered us is that you can replace “Jesus” with “Santa” in many songs and they become “doctrinally sound” enough for young children. For example, You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why, Jesus Christ is coming to town. He know if you are sleeping, He knows if your awake, He knows if you’d been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake……etc. These songs make Santa sound like Jesus, we don’t like that.

The last reason we decided we didn’t want to do Santa was because we didn’t want to be in continual lies with our children. I heard a mom talking to her child at the YMCA the other day and it bothered me. The child was asking how Santa was going to get in their house because they didn’t have a fireplace. The mother kept making up little lies to cover another lie over and over. Her curious little girl had that mama digging herself deeper and deeper. We don’t want to lie to our children; we want them to understand that when we tell them something they can trust that we are telling them the truth.

Now, my kids know the story of Santa. We have just never talked about it as anything more than a story, just like stories about Winnie the Pooh or The Little Mermaid. They just think of Santa as a story about some kids getting presents.

I hope everyone has a very God honoring Merry Christmas, from our home to yours!
Merry Christmas!



7 responses

18 12 2007

That was very well said! We did do Santa with our kids but there were times that I had wished we had never started it. Not because the kids had any problems understanding the true meaning of Christmas – because we always stressed that much more than we did Santa – but because as they got a little bigger it just didn’t feel right. I was thankful when they figured it out. 🙂

18 12 2007

My kids call Santa a snowman. They don’t know who he is LOL.

That being said, we really haven’t decided what to do about Santa. We don’t believe it is an essential issue to salvation, as you already put well, so we don’t dwell on it too much. We have never talked about him.

When someone asks the kids what Santa is bringing them for Christmas, they look at those people like they are idiots so those moments are always interesting.

One thing I do want to add is that I really want to teach my kids not to spoil Santa for other kids. For unbelieving families, Santa really is a huge deal. Heck, Santa is a huge deal for many believing families. Because of that, the notion of Santa brings so much excitement to many families that I would hate to be so anti-Santa that my kids began spoiling it for other kiddos, KWIM?

One more thing, kinda like you said, is that my kids are selfish enough this time of year without a jolly imaginary man whose goals is to bring them tons of toys if they are “good.” That’s one less thing I need to be dealing with LOL.

Great post, Becky. Your reasons for choosing to not do Santa are very respectable and well-examined. You guys are really good parents!

20 12 2007

I just happened upon this conversation and website but I’d like to comment as an “older woman.” My children are grown, and when I hear young mothers today share about the thoughtful decisions they are making in parenting, I get nostalgic and wish I was still there. There will always be things in hindsight that you wish you had done differently.
Regarding Santa and Christ at Christmas: In some ways I wish we had done more of Santa than we did. Now before you turn away here me out. Really I guess what I’m saying is that I wish it hadn’t been such a huge deal for me. In a way “NOT DOING SANTA” became the important thing. My “right” decision became the issue. I really believe that I was somewhat obsessed with trying to INSURE that my children were going to not be selfish, or not “worship” Santa. Looking back I was putting way too much power in my own decisions. The idea that we mothers can “instill” something in our childrens’ hearts is really not true. Only the Lord can change hearts or instill something there. Unless He does his work, every, and I mean EVERY good thing we try to put there will be sullied by sin–either by self-righteousness or by rebellion.
My advice to young mothers who so desire to see Christ formed in the hearts of their children is to LOVE Christ truly. Don’t worry about “modeling” love for Christ—truly LOVE HIM.
Don’t worry about harmless cultural traditions—they will outgrow them and they will pass. But if your joy, particularly at this time of year is in Christ and in loving others they will see it. They may not internally connect the dots till much later, but your love for the Lord will be what is remembered.

20 12 2007

What a great post, Mary! I was truly blessed by it. Thanks for the reminder=)

And I totally agree with you that I see so many moms turning “not doing Santa” into a more important thing than truly showing our kids what Christmas is really about.

20 12 2007

Thank you Mary. I agree with you that we need to be truly loving Christ and only He can change their little hearts.

My husband and I still think we have a responsiblity to be teaching them and directing them to the Lord at every oportunity we recieve. If we “did” Santa we felt like we were turning their focus from the Lord.

Thank you for your comment and please visit often!

20 12 2007

I diito what Mandy and Becky have said – thanks for your post Mary. We have chosen not to do Santa as well, and I am content and happy with that decision. Our oldest knows (sort of) who Santa is and I want him to be familiar with the story. Sometimes I miss the “magical” element of it. It is a hard line to figure out sometimes! But for us, we are trying to keep some of the wonder and *magic*, but by not doing Santa we are able to maintain our accountability for our budget, our focus, and our intentions. It perhaps is more for us than for our kids sometimes! Thanks Mary – for this reminder.

23 12 2008
Santa? « Servant for Him

[…] is a link to my post last year about Santa for those who would like to know why we don’t do […]

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