Real Christmas

After Nishad was born, we made a decision not to lie to him. This includes telling a big-fat-jolly lie…Santa. Instead, we celebrate the life of Saint Nicholas as he was a real person who did good deeds. We believe the spirit of Christmas is even more magical by focusing on the real reason for the season, and not getting into societal pressures to “maintain a little fun” for your kids in the name of commercialism- at the expense of their trust.

Would it be such a bad thing to teach your child unconditional love (no looming, “He SEES YOU, so BE GOOD”) and those gifts are bought from your parents because they LOVE you just as you are? We, along with an undertone of many other parents don’t think the truth is a bad thing. 🙂

“The sting of the discovery that they have been lied to usually has some nasty and unexpected results. Christians should be especially concerned as they are susceptible to their children suddenly doubting the existence of God. Why should He be viewed any differently than Santa Claus; just another mythical character portrayed as the truth by their parents.” – David Huntwork

The story of Santa Claus is unknowingly used and abused by many well-intentioned parents who otherwise are upright and honest. I have come across so many articles on the topic, but one in particular that I felt compelled to share. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas…Not the Coke Christmas invented to sell beverages in the winter, but the Real Christmas…

…”Let me list the reasons why I don’t believe children should be told that the Santa Claus of popular mythology actually exists:
1) It’s a lie. Plain and simple. If that’s the only reason I get to state, it stands by itself. Everything else is secondary to this point. All the other reasons why I am “anti-Santa” are outgrowths of this point. You are feeding your children something which you know is completely false. To me, that’s bad.
2) That said, your child has such a high opinion of your truthfulness, that, unless allowed to just “naturally” outgrow the belief in Santa Claus, at some point there will be a serious let-down. Regardless of how long those effects last, there will be a point in time where a child realizes that his parents can’t always be trusted. It’s a bit heartbreaking.
3) It destroys a perfect opportunity to give your children the best kind of example – the unconditional love of a parent. If your child is completely convinced that Santa Claus, based on how good you’ve been, will dole out presents at his own discretion, there’s an alternative motivation for acting right. Instead, consider yourself saying this: “It doesn’t matter what Santa Claus says on his list. I love you for who you are, and I give you gifts I think you’ll like because I love you. I know you have bad days – trust me, so do I. But I don’t love you any less if you’ve ‘been bad.’ That’s why your (dad/mom) and I get you presents.”
4) It turns parents who tell their kids the truth straight off into the bad guys. This is one of the most hurtful things for me – I’ve experienced some of this personally, not as a parent, but as a Sunday School teacher. I’ve been helping with 4-year-olds at my church for a few years now. And it never fails – at Christmas time, one child will mention something about Santa Claus (cue the ominous music). Another child will then say “no. Santa Claus doesn’t exist.” Then comes the inevitable “teacher, Johnny said Santa Claus doesn’t exist,” accompanied sometimes by tears, sometimes by an expectation that the teacher must set Johnny straight. So the teacher has to play peacemaker, and say “Okay, guys, let’s not talk about Santa Claus right now,” and break up the cacophony that’s risen, sending more kids into tears, just from the noise and heated voices. Oh, then the parent comes and picks up the kid who still looks a bit morose because of Johnny’s inconsiderate remarks. Teacher mentions to parent that Johnny denigrated her object of childhood belief. Parent rolls eyes, obviously irritated at the parents who “can’t just let their children have fun,” and tries to do damage control. Does this not bug anyone else? The parents who took their child’s trust as a huge responsibility are villainized. I can’t say that I haven’t thought the same things as the parent earlier. Shame on me. There’s nothing wrong with a parent making it a point to always tell his/her children the truth. Shame on you if you think there is.
5) Belief in Santa Claus does nothing to “enhance” a child’s Christmas experience. As a child, I never believed in Santa Claus, and I have no regrets about that. But I still enjoyed just as much, the light-gazing, thinking about toy shops at the North Pole, even singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” A child can enjoy the experience without having to believe it’s real. In older times, children used to “play make believe.” That’s wonderful! They knew it was make believe, and it was just as fun … in fact, that was what made it fun. You get to “escape” from the real world, and just pretend. But if Santa Claus is just another part of the “real world,” then it’s not as special. I don’t mind if kids want to play Santa Claus … just as I don’t mind if they want to play Cowboys and Indians, or cops and robbers (as long as the robbers are the bad guys). To take away a child’s imagination is a horrible thing. But Santa Claus isn’t in their imagination. Even though they’re wrong, children KNOW Santa Claus is real … because their parents told them so.
6) I know I could have ended above, and had a good, solid argument (at least, I think so), but I have to bring this one up – from a Christian perspective. Talk all you want about “winter solstice” or whatever just being a secular holiday. Don’t care. Why do we call this holiday “Christmas?” Because (regardless of whether it was actually in the spring), it’s the time that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – the savior of the world. And this goes hand-in-hand with my observation about showing the unconditional love of a parent. Use the unconditional love of God (in coming down to us just so He could be killed for crimes He didn’t commit) as the ultimate example. Show your love to your child in that context – God loves you no matter what you do. I’m expressing a tiny part of that love to you in my giving you gifts regardless of how good or bad you’ve been. You don’t need Santa Claus to make your wishes come true. You have a father and/or mother who care enough about you to do everything we can to make your life the best that it can be. On top of that, you have a Father in Heaven who cares enough about you that He sent a part of Himself – to die for the bad things you did.”