“Your dad is on the phone pretending to be Santa Claus, what do I do?”
“Just put her on the phone, I told her not to tell Poppy the truth. She won’t tell him—promise.”
I am not sure why others were so disturbed when I made the decision not to promote Santa Claus in our home. My daughter loved the manger and the animals, especially taking the baby and bathing him and placing him back in the trough. Personally I had no issues with others playing Santa and I still don’t today—each family should decide for themselves. I survived the crushing news at eight years old from my informed cousin and so will generations of children to come without damaging repercussions.
Today my daughter is not emotionally damaged for life for not believing in Santa, just as replacing Halloween with Harvest Fest did not leave her lacking for anything. For me and my house, I was more concerned that the fantasy of Santa Claus would become entangled in Jesus and give place to an opening that it was all make believe. And yes, I did not feel comfortable deceiving my daughter. That being said, Santa was not banned from our home, our television, our cookies, paper wrap, books or even a visit that she once requested. She understood Santa was a fun, make-believe character and not to let on to Poppy because it would crush him!
It’s Christian liberty! My freedom in Christ says that I am just as free not to celebrate secular traditions as I am to participate, (in some)*. Frankly, the celebration of Christmas has many pagan roots including mistletoe, Santa, the Christmas tree and the celebration itself, which comes from pagan festivals and more recently it is adorned in commercialism. Others have also commented that Jesus was not born on December 25th. Pastor Russell McKinney shared:
Listen, Jesus knows that He wasn’t born on December 25th, and He knows about Saturnalia and all the other winter-solstice festivals that other cultures used to celebrate. But He also knows what it is to live in a fallen world. And, knowing that, what He asks from us each Christmas (as well as every other time of the year) is that we live all out for Him.
Pastor Russell also shared that it is our responsibility to separate myth and reality along with the fun of the holiday. Ultimately, if we each pour our hearts out to the Lord he will show us guidelines and boundaries for our families and lead us to a decision of Peace.
I am looking forward to our annual viewing of The Miracle on 34th Street, as well as It’s a Wonderful Life, Scrooge, The Grinch and Elf plus all the animated specials! Are there any traditional movies that you watch in your home?
*Halloween, but that is another day.