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Ever Think Santa Could Reveal Our Thoughts on God?

Check out this great video called Anti-Santy Ranty.  It’s pretty eye opening, but not in the way you expect it.

 

Discovered the video via Sunshine Lenses

Please Don’t Teach Your Kids About Santa

St. Nicholas from an ancient mosaic in Turkey

With Thanksgiving out of the way we threw out the goards and pumpkins, packed up the fall decorations, cut down a tree, and started decorating the house in green, red, and gold.  The reason is obvious, Christmas is coming.  I was at walmart the other day and saw an 8-10 foot blow up raindeer, which I actually kinda like.  Yet most of what I saw was Santa Claus themed.  More and more we see an addition to the Santa Myth with the Elf on the Shelf stuff as well.

Last year I shared, Why I Won’t Be Teaching My Children About Santa Claus.  I see way to many Christian kids more focused on Santa and “his” gifts than on Jesus and His Gift.  I’ve got nothing against watching Christmas movies that involve Santa.  I liked, Tim Allen’s, The Santa Clause movies.  I loved, Will Ferrell’s Elf.  I enjoy the Grinch and Frosty Movies.  Yet as I watch some of these with my Daughter, Areli, I’ll let her know that they’re pretend.  Even now, at a year and a half, I’m teaching her that we’re decorating everything because we’re celebrating Jesus’ Birthday.  You won’t find a Santa in our house, because we’re celebrating Jesus and no other.

I will be teaching my daughter, however, about the real St. Nicholas.  We’ll be reading to her, Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend, and as she get’s older we’ll watch St. Nichola of Myra as well, so my daughter will know who the real Santa Claus really is.  I want her to know that St. Nick  was really a great defender of the Christian Faith and showed love to children because of the love he had seen in Jesus.

Parent’s if you share Santa with you kids, which is hard to avoid, make sure you don’t describe him as a God like person who is all-powerful and all-knowing.  Don’t credit him with the gifts you worked hard to provide.  Don’t decorate you houses in Santa’s image.  Rather, share with you children how Christmas is all about Jesus.  Put a nativity as the focal point to your Christmas decoration.  Teach your children who St. Nicholas really was, so that there is no confusion.  And then enjoy all the fun holiday stuff with you kids knowing what is true and what is make-beleive.

Resources

Information on the real Saint Nicholas.

Video The Real St. Nick from Lutheran Hour Ministries

St. Nicholas Films

Picture found here

See also: Why I Won’t Be Teaching My Children About Santa Claus

Why I Won’t Be Teaching My Children About Santa Claus

Last week in the Core Group meeting for our church plant, we had a great conversation about Santa Claus.  Obviously Santa is one of the most beloved and well-known characters in the West.  Yet, should Christians teach their children about Santa?  For my wife and I, we will not be teaching our daughter to believe in Santa for a few reasons:

  1. Christmas is about Jesus.  It’s His birthday, not Santa Claus’.  In fact, the word, “Santa Claus” actually comes from the Dutch word meaning St. Nicolas.  He was a 3rd century Bishop of the Christian church in Myra Turkey.  He was at the Council of Nicaea.  He spent his life defending the faith and sharing his wealth with people in need.  He was famous for following Jesus.  Everything he did, all the gifts that he gave, was in response to the greatest gift he’d been given, eternal life through Jesus Christ.  We should follow his example and make Jesus center of our Christmas season.
  2.  Santa not only distracts from the greatest gift we have, eternal life in Jesus Christ, but it also  distracts from the love of parents.  I know many people who give 3 gifts from “Santa” and one or two from mom and dad.  So the child grows up thinking that Santa loves them more than mom and dad.  He gives bigger, better, or more gifts.  Children don’t see how much they are blessed with the love of their parents, but rather their affection grows for someone else…who isnt’ even real.
  3. Teaching about Santa can damage the faith of our Children.  Think about it.  Many parents tell elaborate stories to their children about Santa.  They have their kids leave out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve.  Then in the morning, presents have appeared under the tree from “Santa.”  The cookies and milk are gone.  Some even go the extent of dressing up like Santa and visiting with the kids as the presents are delivered.  Parents take their kids to the mall and they can meet Santa, tell him what they want, and it ends up being there on Christmas.  What happens when the child finds out Santa isn’t real?  How can we expect them to believe what we teach them about Jesus, who’ve they have never seen or talked to, when the Santa the had seen in the mall was a ruse? 

Now I’m not saying get rid of anything that has to do with Santa.  Nor am I telling you that you should teach your kids to crush the hope and dreams of their friends by proclaiming that Santa isn’t real. 

Rather I am encouraging you to tell your children the truth.  Don’t lie to them about something that distracts from the true meaning of Christmas. 

I still enjoy Tim Allen’s “The Santa Claus” films and frosty and Rudolf films.  I’ll tell my daughter that they are fun made up stories, but I’ll teach her about the real St. Nick and how he always pointed to Jesus.  I’ll teach her that Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  It’s all about Jesus.  He is the greatest gift the world has ever received.  So to celebrate that gift, we focus on Him and we give gifts to others, because we were given life through Jesus Christ. 

Resources

If you are interested in learning more about the real St. Nicolas or about how the modern Santa Clause legends came about, visit the St. Nicolas Center’s website

Concordia Publishing House sells a great book, Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend.  It’s a great resources for teaching children about the real St. Nicholas. 

There’s a new film coming out called Nicholas of Myra: The Story of St. Nicholas which looks to be a good quality film being made on the real St. Nick. 

Have a Blessed Christmas!

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