Christmas: A Time for Make Believe?

What will your family do with Santa Claus, reindeer, elves, and a sleigh? Will you make them part of your Christmas tradition or not?

Some families choose to make this one of those examples of ways that we, as Christians, are different from the world and we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas instead of the secular version.

Other families weave the fun of these traditions into their family life, but emphasize to children the true meaning of Christmas.

If you choose to make Santa a part of your Christmas tradition, be sure to teach children the difference between make-believe and reality. You might say, "Santa isn't real but we like to play the Santa game at Christmas."

Some children who come to the shocking discovery that Santa isn't real, question whether their parents are telling them the truth in other areas of life. Some even think, "Is Jesus real? Or is he another thing my parents made up for me?"

Christmas traditions can be a lot of fun. Just be careful what you're teaching and how children are putting it all together in their heads. And be sure to remind your children often about the true meaning of Christmas.

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Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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13 comments:

  1. I have a 9 year old, a 5 year old, and an 11 month old. The older two have been used to Santa being a part of our Christmas. If we have already been keepng a Santa tradition in our household is it a good idea to remove that? What recommendations can you make if we want to remove Santa, especially before our littlest one is used to him being apart of Christmas too? My heart sank when I read the part of your post about the possibility that they wouldn't believe us about Jesus's existence if Santa turns out to be just a tradition instead of a magical person.

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  2. Seriously, is this something to get so wrapped around the axle about? The notion presented here seems a little legalistic to me. Our 3 boys had no trouble distinguishing make-believe from reality when the Santa bubble burst. We didn't do much to perpetuate the myth, but neither did we squelch that childhood fun for them either. It never affected their belief in Jesus. We bake a birthday cake for Jesus and we put out a plate of cookies for Santa. No harm, no foul...childhood is taken away too early for kids anyhow.

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  3. When my nephew learned that Santa wasn't real, his mother explained the story behind the tradition of Santa Claus; that is, of Saint Nicholas and who he was and how liked to give secret gifts, so her son could understand that there actually was a real person at one time who use to give gifts. She then explained to him that now that he knew the story, it was his time to give gifts to others. I liked this approach and plan on using it with my son.

    As a child I remember being devastated when I found out that Santa didn't exist, but it never made me question my faith. It's like reading a fiction or non-fiction book...I knew the difference.

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  4. This is the only post I've read from Biblical Parenting that I've disagreed with.

    We did Santa in my home growing up. We also celebrated Christmas, read the story in Luke before bedtime on Christmas Eve, went to church, and celebrated the birth of Christ. For me it was such a magical time - that Santa picked the birth of Jesus, of all days out of the year, to deliver gifts to our home. It made Christmas very magical, wonderful, and delightful. When it was time to stop believing in Santa, we did. It did not affect our faith in the least bit.

    For our boys, we intermingle a small bit of Santa, alongside a lot of Jesus. We talk about Jesus year-round in our home, not Santa. I love this opportunity to mingle wonder (Santa) with the true meaning of Christmas (Christ's birth). As children, this is one of the few times during the year we can practice this skill of "awe", and make-believe is a part of that. I hope my sons childhood love of wonder and awe will be with them throughout their adulthood b/c I believe it is with this attitude that we can best approach God.

    Leslie

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. This is absolutely absurd. It makes me so mad that someone would actually think a child would question their faith because Santa isn't real. COME ON!!!!! My personal opinion is that you teach your children (as they get older, of course...my toddlers are too young to grasp the idea) that Santa is in essence the true spirit of giving. He comes from the the giver of all good gifts, who is Jesus Christ himself.
    Santa is apart of the magic of Christmas. Don't you remember as a child being in awe of Christmas, listening for hooves on the roof, a mysterious visitor down the chimney on Christmas Eve, maybe even the sound of jingle bells (which I promise you one Christmas I heard and I will stick to that story even as an adult!!)?
    As parents, yes, we have the responsibility to teach our children about the Lord and how to approach Him, to love Him, and to serve Him. But my goodness, let kids enjoy being children and enjoy the magic of Christmas while they can...because they will have many, many more years of life knowing the truth!
    This post has outraged me so much that I have unsubscribed to your mailing list. What a shame.

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  7. I appreciate the differences in everyone's opinions, however I have heard of a friend's child growing up questioning his parents teaching about Jesus because of his dissapointment in learning that Santa isn't real after having believed.
    I love the approach that Santa is a game at Christmas and teaching who the true St. Nicolas was and what he did and how he loved Jesus. My kids fully enjoy the magic of Christmas while understanding that Santa was a real person and we get to carry on his tradition of surprising eachother with gifts because we love Jesus.

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  8. I am probably going to be in the minority here... but we don't do Santa with our kids.

    Firstly, finding out about Santa when I was a kid caused me lots of questions re my parents (though fortunately in my case not about God).

    And secondly, we like the idea that they wonder and awe over the miracle of the virgin birth, God with us, and the constant blessings that God brings us all year, rather than something invented (Coca Cola did a good job, hey?). They do masses of make-believe themselves when they play, so I guess if we had chosen to do Santa, they would have coped with the revelation of truth. We do stockings on Christmas morning - everyone has one to open all together, so they certainly don't lack presents.

    But particularly in the current culture in the UK, Santa is so much about get, get, get, that it would be very difficult for us to present him as a give, give, give figure.

    Re: the 'magic' of Christmas... I'm still trying to decide just what is it all about - I've 2 kids who love their Christmas, and it's a Christmas without quite a few of the trappings. So, just what would the trappings add?

    Thanks for the post.

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  9. We don't "do Santa" either. We feel it is important for our children to trust what we tell them. Does it really make sense to purposely lie to your kids??

    I personally feel that Santa was created to remove the spotlight from Jesus' birth. No cashiers ever ask my kids if they're excited about Jesus' birth. No. They ask, "Are you excited about Santa coming?"

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  10. Yesterday at church I witnessed two 4 year olds debating whether Santa was real. One had parents who told him Santa was not real, and the other was greatly disturbed by this. As the preschool minister, I felt I had to walk a line between the differing approaches these two children's parents took, so I told them each to talk to their parents to be sure. After reading this tip today, I am reminded that I could have used this debate to teach honor and respect, even as I sidestepped the Santa issue. I could have helped these children see that sometimes two friends will believe differing views strongly, but each can still show respect for the other. The Bible tells us in 2Ti 2:23,25 to "Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble" and "Be humble when you correct people who oppose you." We wound up distracting both children and getting them involved in other things, but I wish I'd seized the opportunity to teach important heart qualities.
    PS - I like the "Santa game" idea that would preserve the fun without lying. Teaching about the real St. Nicholas would help kids have a framework to understand how legends have some truths but get 'stretched'.

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  11. Thank you for all the comments. It's clear that traditions people have are important to them. I appreciate hearing how people are integrating their faith in today's society. I look forward to seeing more interaction over the coming weeks regarding our parenting tips. Thank you for taking time to respond.

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  12. I grew up with Santa and God and when I found out the truth, never once questioned God's existence. We also emphasize Jesus' birth and my daughter's favorite book to read is the Bible. Last year my (then) 7 year old was told by her best friend that her parents told her they were Santa, Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. It didn't stick, but this year, hearing it some more, when she lost her front tooth, she pinned me down with THE question. So I told her the truth, explaining about St. Nicholas, and that it is a tradition that represents the biggest gift ever - God's gift of his son. Her reaction was to burst into tears, ask if I had any other secrets and how we can know that God is real if Santa isn't. This shocked me, and we talked about how God gave us the Bible and how the old testament predicts what happened when Jesus came. She still questions about God though. So, just be ready with an answer.

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  13. I completely disagree that finding out the truth about Santa will cause children to think their parents are lying about Jesus or other matters of faith. Millions of children in Christian homes have believed in Santa without damage to their faith. There is a starking difference between the fantasy of Santa and the reality of Christ and our kids are fully capable of seeing that difference.

    Not to mention, the story of the real Saint Nicholas is an awesome lesson in Christian charity that can easily be tied into the legend of Santa Claus, which ultimately points to the real meaning of Christmas.

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