Photo by jdanvers
My husband and I don't really follow many of the "traditional" American Christmas celebrations. Some of our reasons are "religious" and some are not. We don't do a lot of decorating simply because we don't feel like it. We don't do a lot of gift buying and giving (we mostly make them) because we don't have a lot of money.
One of the most controversial (apparently) is that we don't tell our kids that on Christmas Eve Santa is coming down an imaginary chimney and leaving a bunch of loot for them that the elves at his workshop in the North Pole made for them.
Believe me, I'm not condemning anyone who feels at peace before God to tell their kids about Santa. I feel that I cannot because of personal convictions. I've always tried to be as truthful with my children as possible. I want them to understand for an early age that honesty is very important and that they can expect honesty from me as well. I want them to trust me and see an example of honesty in my life. I don't always succeed perfectly in this, but it is my goal.
I've felt for a long time that having my children believe in Santa would be dishonest. Whenever we come across Santa, I try to make it clear to my 3 year old that he is just "pretend." I'm not going to try sheltering my children from Santa altogether or act like Santa is evil, because I don't think it is. I feel that it is a harmless societal tradition that actually started out because of a great man with a giving spirit. I do plan to teach my daughter about Saint Nicolas as a part of history when she's old enough to understand.
I don't want my children to be crushed and heart broken when they finally realize that Santa is not real. I think children are so crushed because their parents (who they trust completely) told them Santa was real. I just don't feel comfortable leading my children into that kind of falsehood.
Don't think that if you tell your children about Santa that I think you're a horrible parent. I just want to encourage those of you who are in the same boat as me. I also want to encourage those of you who do tell your kids about Santa to have a little understanding towards those parents who don't. My husband and I are constantly dealing with questions and accusations that we are depriving our children of an important part of childhood.
When it comes to traditions and things like this where there is no clear scripture on what to do, please, give each other some grace and accept the personal convictions of others without attacking them. Fighting amongst ourselves is definitely not the way to love each other with brotherly love.
I hope you have a wonderfully blessed Christmas season whether you tell your children about Santa or not! Just out of curiosity, do/did you tell your kids about Santa? Why or why not and have you had to defend yourself in your decision?