In Defense of Santa.

The whole “Santa” thing is always….interesting….to me.

I see lots of Facebook posts during the month of December criticizing Santa, preaching against him as the one who takes away from the real meaning of Christmas. I know some families who just aren’t comfortable lying to their kids about the whole business. I know some families who don’t want to deal with the “let-down” that comes when the kids find out he isn’t real.

I’ve joked on the blog about how I am the “heathen-pastor’s wife” who teaches her kids about the Christmas Antichrist, Santa Clause. So you’ve probably guessed by now that I’m not opposed to Santa on religious principles.

I also think it’s perfectly fine when families don’t want to “go there” with their kids and do the whole Santa thing.

I don’t think that because someone DOESN’T DO Santa means that their kids are more focused on Jesus at Christmas. I’ve known families who are ALL ABOUT THE PRESENTS and the stuff of Christmas, but boast that they “don’t do Santa”. I’ve known families who do Santa and go overboard with the whole thing in a way that does, indeed, take away from the meaning of Christmas.

I like Santa, and I love pretend and magical things. I want my kids to believe in fairies and make believe during their childhoods. For me, Santa is part of that magic — that my daughter can wake up in the morning and the cookies are gone and the stockings are full and SHE BELIEVES IT the same way she believes the glistening snow in the fields is made up of snow fairies. I love it all.

That said, I work hard to achieve a balance with the kids. Visit our house in December and you won’t find Santa decorations adorning our trees and fireplaces. Instead, you’ll find an angel atop the tree, nativities flanking the fireplace, and an Advent wreath as our table’s centerpiece that we gather around for evening devotions.

Yes, we visit Santa at the mall so that Yaya (and now Baby Boy) can perpetually give him the cold shoulder.

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And we have fun tracking where Santa is traveling on Christmas Eve day, the same way we enjoy Christmas traditions that don’t necessarily have their focus on the Christ Child, such as  attending the Nutcracker or driving through lit-up neighborhoods during December.

But our kids know that December is special, first and foremost, because of Jesus.

Let’s not make this a black and white issue. Let’s allow room for families to celebrate the way that they see fit, honoring their culture, traditions, and religious beliefs.

From our Jesus-and-Santa-believing home to yours: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-14)

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