When I first became a mom, I wasn’t prepared for a lot of things. I was probably MOST unprepared for the fact that my children would start asking me hard questions.
As a mom, you know that when your kids ask you a question you BETTER have the answer! If you don’t have it, who possibly could? You are everything to them and they look to you for advice.
I didn’t realize I would have to take a hard stance on so many issues I didn’t even realize were issues before!
Oh the questions I was unprepared for!
Does the Easter Bunny come to our house?
What happens when you die?
Will you die first because you’re older than dad?
Can girls marry girls?
How do you get babies out?
Why doesn’t the leprechaun visit us? He visits Bella’s house.
How old you have to be to have a baby?
Is Santa real?
I have come up with some pretty creative answers on the spot over time. LOL
Believe it or not, the Santa issue is one that I grappled with for so long because it was a faith based issue for me. I gave myself a hard time over Santa Claus.
I know I’m not the only one to go through this, so I wanted to talk about my final decision and how I came to it.
The Great Santa Debate
It wasn’t until my kids were 5, 3, and 1 that I really started to have heartache over this Santa thing.
As they got older, they started asking more advanced questions like “How does Santa know if we have been good or bad? Does he talk to Jesus?”
It pained me to answer because I didn’t want to lie. I wanted to say, “Of course not, because Santa’s not real!” But I couldn’t let them think Santa was real all of their life and go cold turkey on them! I didn’t want to extinguish the magic of Christmas for them. How mean would that have been?!
And then a good friend invited me to a Christmas seminar at her church. It was a program about showing love as a family at Christmas time by choosing a larger purpose to give to and making that your “big” Christmas gift to someone. (Like along the lines of funding a well in an African village or buying a cow for a poor family in South America).
As she wrapped up her presentation, a lovely lady raised her hand. She looked like she was in her mid 30s. I thought she was going to ask a question about the gift ideas in the presentation, but then she asked the question I had been wondering about for a couple years.
“What do you tell your kids about Santa Claus?”
I held my breath because I was so anxious to hear the response!!
It seemed everyone in the room eagerly awaited the answer.
I fully expected our teacher to go on a long rant about how Santa isn’t part of Christianity and how none of us should be pandering to the whims of popular culture.
But she didn’t say that.
What she said truly amazed me. I’ll never forget it.
She said, “Santa isn’t the issue.”
The question was about Santa! I was thoroughly confused.
She continued, “What do you teach your children about Christmas?”
The lady answered, “That Jesus Christ our savior was born.”
The instructor replied, “And that’s what matters. If your children NEVER heard that message and ALL they knew about Christmas was that Santa comes to bring them presents, THEN you’d be in trouble. If you make Christmas all about CHRIST and there happens to be a little Santa thrown in there, your kids will get the real message. The will eventually grow out of Santa and into Christ. But if they never hear the message of Christ, then Santa IS an issue for your family.”
I’ll never forget her words.
On Not Ruining Santa
I’m so glad I went to that seminiar. I have no clue what I would have decided about Santa if I had never heard that advice!
I used to have a hard time with the Santa Claus issue, but not anymore.
I teach my kids about Jesus – who he was, what he did for us, what that means for our lives. And at Christmas time, we celebrate his birth, read stories about baby Jesus’ entrance into the world, and attend Christmas worship service. I’m evening looking at getting one of these nativity sets for our outdoors Christmas decorations (this one with lights OR this white one that you’ll probably recognize).
But I also read my kids Twas the Night Before Christmas and don’t feel one bit guilty about it.
When they ask me questions that I don’t want to answer with a lie such as “Does Santa talk to Jesus?” I simple say, “I don’t know” or “I don’t think so.” No further explanation. Just a truthful, vague response.
Santa’s Not a Huge Deal
We also don’t make a huge deal about Santa or track him down in the mall or anything like that. They see him, talk about him, but don’t ever make a big deal about him because we don’t make a big deal about him as parents.
They fill in all the gaps themselves. It keeps Santa mysterious, and I know my answers will make perfect sense to them once they figure out the truth. And the “facts” they come up with about the mystery surrounding Santa are quite imaginative!
I know my kids understand the real meaning of Christmas, and a little bit of Santa isn’t going to change that fact.
As Christians, it’s important that we teach our kids to live IN the world, but not be OF the world. I feel like this Santa thing has give me lots of great practice at toeing that line! 😀
If you are having trouble with this exact dilemma, I hope my post was helpful to you! You can do this, mama!
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