So, my daughter, who is 6, asked me about Santa Claus this year. I totally didn’t see it coming. I first tried to side-step the question. She wasn’t having it. After a couple of attempts to divert her attention, I told her the truth.
To be honest, I always felt a little weird about the whole Santa Claus thing anyway. Yes, I believed in Santa Claus when I was younger, until about age 8, actually. My mother got the idea that it would be cool to put gift tags on our “Santa” that year. She had never done that before, and she didn’t bother to change her handwriting. That was my “aha” moment. So, I asked my dad if Santa was real. He responded in much the same way I did to my own daughter. And, like my daughter, I wasn’t to be diverted (I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree :0)). When I asked him point blank about the gift tags and Mom’s handwriting, he said Mom was just helping Santa out. Yeah, right. Good one, Dad, but I wasn’t buying it. And that was the end of Santa for me.
I know that Santa adds an element of joy and fun to Christmas, but what’s the right answer where this is concerned? As a Christian, do I perpetuate this myth with my child? I don’t know. I have allowed her to believe in Santa, and I HAVE perpetuated the belief….but….I always felt weird about it. I was lying to her, and that made me uncomfortable. What did God think? He says we are to tell the truth, and isn’t Christmas about Jesus’ birth? Doesn’t our real joy come from the fact that the greatest gift ever given came in the form of an infant who would save the world from itself? The answer in my mind is an unequivocal YES!
So, where does that leave Santa, and was I right to tell my daughter the truth when she asked me? My mother-in-law says that none of us can really know the truth. Perhaps, but there is one thing I know for sure to be true, and that is I want my daughter to know first and foremost that we celebrate CHRISTmas because of a baby named Jesus. He is the one and only Son of God who came to this earth in human form, lived a blameless life, and took my sin, her sin, and the sin of the entire world upon Himself so that we would never know the punishment for that sin if we would but accept His free gift of salvation. Santa can’t do THAT!