Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa Claus in the Christian home?

One major controversy each year that I hear and experience during the Christmas season centers on one person which is seen more during this time of year than anyone else in history: Santa Claus.

From the moment the Macy's day parade ends to Christmas Eve Night we are inundated by the jolly old fellow dressed in red and plastered on every commercial, Christmas movie, and at the center of every mall. The question arises for every Christian or at least should, "How much Santa should we have in our house this season?" For the non-Christian, I think it is a no-brainer, make Santa the center of the season because there is nothing stopping you nor requiring you to check your intentions.

So what is a Christian to do? Take your kids to Santa in the mall, leave out cookies, put a present under the tree from him, and make it look like the sleigh has gone through your yard? Or should we totally get rid of the tradition, tell your kids from a young age their is no Santa, and just center on Jesus the whole season?

Our family (sinners that we are) do not at all recognize Santa in anything that we do. I do not bring that up to make ourselves sound better than anyone else, I simply highlight it to show that life can go on without Santa. However, I do not promote anyone denying Santa in their homes and then going down the streets trying to tell others that the NEED to do the same in their homes. But is this the only option for a Christian family?

I would argue that each Christian home needs to check themselves in the following way: 1) If you do celebrate Santa, how often are we bringing him up compared to Jesus? Are we giving Jesus the Christmas Eve worship service that we go too and then Santa gets all of December and every other moment? Jesus has to be the magic, mystery, and celebration of Christmas. If he isn't, then we have other issues in our faith journey. 2) If you choose not to celebrate Santa, how are you making sure it doesn't sound like you are better than everyone else and being another Pharisee?

The main focus is this: Jesus reigns above any man in a red suite. If one is a confessing Christian, this has to be the center of all that teach in the home. May the Lord guide each of us to make Christ the center this season and repent for all of our motivations away from Him.
Lord have mercy.


Potts Family said...

We also have not celebrated Santa in our home, though as they have gotten older we have not completely ignored him. The kids like movies like the Santa Clause and some of those, but we treat them as fiction. Each year we do take a moment to reflect on St. Nicholas and his life. My goal is to raise them with a Christian worldview that equips them to put their decisions and understanding of how the world works in light of the Gospel and Scripture. In this case it seems focusing on the real man vs. the myth guides in that direction better!

Dick said...

We have for years run a kind of split household on the issue of Santa.
My wife grew up with him, I did not, and we all love tradition.
As it sits now with the kids grown and moved out, there are stockings hung for the grandkids, and that is about it.
Our boys grew up knowing that Santa was a myth, and were just fine with that.
I am concerned that we as Christians have pretty much lost the battle for Christmas to Santa.
However, we will not lose the war. Jesus is real, Santa is not.
Is lying to our kids about Santa a sin? Much hinges on that alone.
Merry Christmas
Dick Hanson