This post will be, if nothing else, extremely controversial. When I was pregnant with my first child, I swore to anyone and everyone who would listen that I would not lie to my child ever. If they couldn’t have more cookies, I wouldn’t hide the cookies and say they were gone. I would speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to my offspring.
That means I would not tell my children the tooth fairy brings them money when they lose a tooth. I would tell them I will put money under their pillow when they lose teeth. Do my children know about the tooth fairy, yes. But they know the truth. They have been known to come to me in the morning after losing a tooth and saying, “Momma, you need to fire the tooth fairy, she forgot my money” and then giggle as my jaw drops and I feel terrible.
This also means I don’t tell my children about Santa Claus. Do my children know about Santa Claus? You betcha. It seems this time of year he is somewhat hard to miss. I will never forget being stopped by little old ladies in Target to ask Ariana if Santa was going to visit her soon, only to have her reply “No, he’s not real. He’s just some old dead man.”
Which is true. But not something little old ladies expect to come out of the mouth of a 4 year old.
A few years ago I told my girls the true story of Santa, or the story that has been passed down for centuries. I shared with them that Nicholas was a man who lived a long time ago and loved Jesus and suffered because of it. They know he does not live at the North Pole, doesn’t have reindeer who fly, and doesn’t wear a red suit and his belly doesn’t jiggle like a bowlful of jelly. They know he doesn’t fly around the world delivering presents to everyone.
A year or so ago, the girls came to me and said, “Momma, we don’t believe in Santa, but we’re going to pretend we do.” At the time I didn’t see a problem with it. They know the truth, what harm is there in a little pretend?
This year I have been convicted that what is thought to be pretend, thought to be harmless, just might actually fly in the face of God. The whole idea of Santa Claus has to be a huge slap in the face of God. The season we supposedly set aside to worship God for His greatest gift, is spent instead worshiping a man, long dead, who did nothing for us.
I can’t help but wonder how God feels when His children, possessing the greatest gift on earth choose to celebrate in some other way? It’s like we’re children who have been given the best gift ever, and we play with the box. You want to talk about someone who knows “if you’ve been sleeping, He knows when you’re awake, He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”
John 3 says “For God so loved the world, He gave…” James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Isaiah 42:8 says “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.”
That includes Santa. I know he seems so harmless, “what’s the matter with children believing in Santa? If you take that away you take away the magic of the season.” I think not. There is nothing magical about Santa. Nothing. What is magical is an angel visiting a young virgin to tell her she was pregnant with the Son of God. To have God become human, to truly dwell with us. Not just 2000 years ago, but forever and ever. To have God love us so much, He chose to set aside heaven for a few years so He could save those who hated Him.
Kind of puts it into perspective doesn’t it? God became one of us, came to dwell with us for a short time so we could be with Him forever.
What has Santa done for you?