Bryan Lopez pointed me to a great article over at Pure Church. Thabiti Anyabwile discussed how he and his wife do not celebrate jolly ole' St. Nick and his annual appearance down the chimney. A few days ago I mentioned another article that discussed the same issue that young parents face this time of year. I am a young parent of an almost 2 year old girl, and a boy on the way and this question is now being raised in our home. So here are my 2 cents on this whole Santa Claus issue.
1. I believe that Santa is not the great enemy of Christmas, yes I do realize that if you move the letters around you get Satan. I do not think that if a family that loves the Lord does the whole Santa thing they are heretics and are worse than Democrats (joke). I believe that the consumer mindset of our culture that my daughter is growing up in that tells her that if she wants to go to "heaven" whether that be social status heaven, or beautiful and skinny heaven, or successful and independent heaven she needs to own this or that as her savior. I think that materialism and idolatry (often what we sinful people have made Santa come to represent) are what I must learn to fight against in my heart and mind as well as in my children's, not some plump dude in a red suit that likes cookies.
2. I think there is a danger in raising up children that have been lied to about a mythical figure that brings joy and blessings from "above". A figure that can see everything, I mean he knows if you are naughty or nice. A dude that seems to be everywhere at once, the dude goes to every house in the world in one night! A make believe figure that will bless you if you are good and obedient. Then one day the kid finds out they have been lied to and deceived about this loving, joyful, supernatural man. "If Santa is fake and a lie, what about Jesus?" Seems like a logical question to ask, after all we had been propagating this lie about someone that seems to resemble our Lord in his attributes pretty closely to a 10 year old.
3. Let me quote Thabiti Anyabwile here on this point:
"Christmas is the time we celebrate the Infinite Creator God, sending His Eternal Son down from eternity into space and time. God entered His creation, indeed, took nine months residence in the womb of a virgin. One fully God and fully man was born, clothed in the likeness of sinful man, lived a perfect life in obedience to the Father, died a scandalous death in love for sinners, and rose from the grave in glory! Imagine that. This is what our children's minds should be fired with. And it's all true! In the end, there is nothing as inspiring as the truth about Jesus!"
I think Christ seems to be able to captivate and provide joy and awe without a old, jolly fat dude in a red suit.
Needless to say our family will not be doing the whole "Santa" thing. However one question still remains, how do we tell our daughter and son that some people do believe that Santa is real, and that it is not their job or duty to pop that bubble?? Any suggestions for that one???