Every year, moms share with me their wrestlings regarding Santa. I had them, too, when our children were little.
The Santa story is an option. It’s not a parental command performance. Telling our children about Jesus is a responsibility.
Santa is like Mickey Mouse or Cinderella. He’s a character in books and movies and seems to be real when someone dons the character costume. He’s an option for enjoyment as we enjoy escaping into our imagination. He only becomes more if we make him more.
We get to set tone and direction for our home, and the bent of our heart inspires this. Pray. Discern God’s leading for you and your family and carry it out.
The most important story to us as parents is the one we will talk about the most with our children and the one that we will be most strategic about for our children.
Terrell and I did tell the Santa story as a small part of our children’s home experience of Christmas. They had their picture taken on Santa’s lap, just like they had their picture taken with Disney characters in Disney World. When they came home talking about Santa-related events from school, I listened with interest because this was a part of their experience that day. We made Christmas lists, baked cookies, sang carols, and watched some of the same Christmas classics on television that Terrell and I watched when we were kids. We read stories about Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman—and we read storybooks about Jesus being born.
Our central, overarching emphasis was the story of Jesus’ birth and God’s love for us. We made an Advent wreath, lit its candle most nights, and shared Bible verses at supper to build up to marking the birth of Jesus. Some days I used my parents’ old plastic manger scene to act out the story with the children, and then I let them play with it. In time, they wanted to show and tell me the story. Cute memories remind me of how much they absorbed.
Thank you for coming to earth for me, for my family, for this world. Fan into flame love and awe for you in my heart. Teach me how to share you, both boldly and gently. And may your love in me bend my heart to set tone and direction for our home. Amen.