[I]t’s three months till Christmas, have you started your shopping?
I’m not yet. I usually don’t start until after Christmas. I plan to buy most of my Christmas gifts on the day after Christmas–figured I would catch a few sales much like I did on Black Friday. I think we’ll open the majority of our gifts on December 28th. Does this sound strange? Well let me explain. However before I do, I have to address a pretty controversial issue. Santa, we quietly don’t do Santa at our house. Now before you call me a cruel parent let me explain. Below is a post I wrote in a previous blog back in 2008 that generated a lot of controversy and just about started a war on Facebook. Seven years later my feelings are still pretty much the same, but less hard-line about it.
Christmas is a Time We Celebrate Jesus’ Birthday
It is first and foremost a time to reflect on the ultimate gift God gave us by sending His Son. That doesn’t really have anything to do with Santa Claus. Ok, I can hear a few legalistic people out there re-telling me the story of Bishop Nicholas and the great dowries gifts he gave and the stories and legends that became of that. How after his death he became Saint Nickolas, and the Dutch that settle in this country pronounced it “Santa Claus.” Clement Clark Moore wrote the poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” that added to the description of the modern-day Santa from which songs, cartoons, and stories have evolved. I am not down playing any of it and my children are familiar with the story, but it takes away from the primary purpose of Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ birth.
As a Parent, I Try Not to Lie to My Kids–thus no Santa
How can I tell my kids lies year after year about Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny while simultaneously teaching them the truth of Jesus and the stories of the Bible? I know it sounds crazy, but I want to develop a relationship with my kids from which I don’t have to ever lie to them. Not even small lies based on misplaced tradition. I do not want to have a conversation with one of my children going something like this…
[blockquote author=”FullCustodyDad”]All these years you told my Santa was real, and I trusted you and believed you. After that, how can you expect me to believe in your Jesus? He could be just as made up as all the rest of it.[/blockquote]
Gifts are from Real People who Love You–Family and Friends
God gave us his Son and everyone and everything told us it was a gift from God. From Magi in the East, to angels in the sky they all proclaimed the gift of God’s Son. As parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends, the gifts are from us. Why should the great gifts we give our kids be credited to something or someone who doesn’t exist? How does that foster a thankful appreciative heart?
Christmas is Not Tied to a Date
We can open gifts when the opportunity arises and when we are with the people who gave them. If out-of-town friends visit on December 22th, we can have Christmas and open gifts on the 22th. If they come on the 28th, we can open gifts on the 28th. Do we open a few gifts on the 25th, sure. There are always some surprises on “Christmas Morning” whichever day of the month that may be for us. My kids are just as excited on 22th, 25th, or 28th for that matter. This also allows me an opportunity to teach my children about gift selecting for others and learning how to pick something that will be precious to the receiver. And… as a blended family we celebrate when my daughter is home. That’s not always on the 25th.
Santa, No Santa, We Quietly Don’t Do Santa
This year for the sake of some family that is not with us, we’re celebrating Christmas late. My kids will be excited for Christmas several times near the end of this month. As for me, I’ll get a chance to save a little money and buy a few gifts after everyone else’s Christmas for our Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season–and as Christians, we celebrate His gift everyday without the complication of a story of Santa. If any of you out there worrying, my kids have been well versed on respect for others and they do NOT ruin the “belief” in Santa for any children they know. With my youngest Daniel, we don’t openly address the issue. If asked, we just redirect and remind him, these gifts are from us.
What are your Christmas plans this year? How do you do Santa?
Paid image from www.DollarPhotoClub.com.