Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Big Santa Dilemma

  Is it right to lie to your children that Santa Claus is real?  Surely it is better to be honest with your kids and avoid disappointment.  In the end, surely it just avoids the real point of the holiday?

I read an interesting article by a minister at my church about this problem, reflecting on an article by another pastor called Mark Driscoll.  Here it is, have a read.

  " I’m not meaning to have a ‘Driscoll-fest’ this week, but I’ve happened upon another really helpful piece from him: What We Tell Our Kids About Santa.  This is a subject that has plagued me for the last couple of Christmases.  Do we embrace the Santa myth and enjoy watching our kids believe that he delivers their presents down the chimney, having flown in from the North Pole by reindeer, and that he watches them all year round to see if they’ve been good?  Or do we reject the myth, tell them that it’s not true and that we shouldn’t believe in it at all, thereby taking the fun out of Santa and probably causing a lot of heartache for their friends!?

  Driscoll’s helpful article gives us another option: redeeming Santa.  This way we’re being honest with our children about the origins of the Santa story, that Saint Nicholas was a real man who faithfully served Jesus by giving gifts to the poor.  It also allows us to embrace the fun of Santa by dressing up and even visiting Santa with our children, all the while being thankful to God for a man who inspired generations of families to be generous at Christmas and to live humble, obedient lives for Jesus.

“Saint Nick was a wonderful man who loved and served Jesus faithfully. So, we gladly include him in our Christmas traditions to remind us of what it looks like for someone to live a life of devotion to Jesus as God. Our kids thank us for being both honest and fun, which we think is what Jesus wants.”  Mark Driscoll "

I, personally, don't think I'd like to live the Santa Claus lie with my (future) children, even though it will be hard to let it take control of me.  This seems a much nicer way of dealing with things, keeping an honest relationship going.

What do you think?