Can I tell my children about one benevolent, gift-giving, invisible man that is a lie, then expect them to believe me when I tell them about another?
"Little Timmy, there is a man, he is compassionate and kind. He loves to give children good gifts. He is the center of Christmas. He lives in the north pole. He can only be seen one day a year when he comes to give gifts. Although you may never see him, there have been witnesses. Just believe and he will also come and give you gifts! His name is Santa!"
"Little Timmy, there is a man, He is compassionate and kind. He loves to give the free gift of eternal life. He is the reason for Christmas. He lives in Heaven with His Father. He has been seen on earth when He came as a man 2000 years ago. Although you many never see him, there have been witnesses to His life and death. Repent of your sins and trust in His perfect sacrificial life and He will come live in you and give you the best and truly everlasting gift! His name is Jesus Christ!"
Then one day, inevitably, Little Timmy will ask the dreaded question, "Mom, Dad, is Santa real?"
When we tell our kids the truth about Santa, they may feel lied to, they may feel like it is just the end to a fun game, but either way we will have to earn the trust back that it will take them to believe us about the real gift-giver, Jesus.
Here is my Santa vs. Jesus post from last year:
"I often need proding from my Father to serve others. I am often ashamed of my begrudging attitude towards helping others when God reveals later that through serving He is meeting my needs! How is it that God knows our every need? How is it that He blesses us regardless of our behavior? How is it that He doesn't withold His love and compassion when I don't deserve it?Even more importantly, with kids coming from hard places, if you lie about anything, watch out. They don't trust you about anything in the first place!
That is what makes God different than Santa Claus. Santa says that "he's making a list and checking it twice, he's gonna find out who's naughty and nice....so be good for goodness sake." God says He has already found out who is naughty (all have sinned Romans 3:23) and nice (none are righteous Romans 3:10). Santa says we MUST be good. God says we cannot be good. Blessings from Santa come from working hard to be good. Blessings from God come from no work we can do on our own (Titus 3:5). Santa requires. God gives freely (Romans 6:23). God knew there was no way to do enough good to earn His favor. God knew that every lie, every lust, every selfish thought, every crime we commited would require a payment that couldn't be paid by receiving coal. God knew that we couldn't be good, but He planned to give us a gift anyway. He sent His perfect Son to pay the price of our crimes, to die in our place so that we can live eternally in heaven with our giving Father (John 3:16).
Our family doesn't celebrate Santa, it is too hard to earn his favor. Our family celebrates Jesus this season, one who earned the favor of God in a way we never could, and allows God's blessings to flow regardless of our behavior. St. Nicholas knew this as he served this Jesus, leading him to sell all he owned so that the poor and needy would receive a gift on Christmas, just as he did 2000 years ago. The true gift, the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ." Posted on the blog 12/24/12
Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone