Santa vs. Jesus : The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown.  Da da da daaaa.....da da da da da.....da da da daaaaaa.....da da da da da da da....

Ok, now that everyone has that song in their head, let's begin :

The clock is ticking and before long that chubby wonderful man will be stuffing himself full of cookies and leaving goodies galore under your Christmas tree.  Also, our Savior and Lord will be celebrating another amazing birthday.  It's a pretty exciting time of year!

When my son turned about two years old, I had serious doubts about this whole Santa thing.  Ok, SPOILER ALERT!!!!  There is no Santa!  Take a moment, collect yourself...but I wondered if it was ok, as a Christian family, to raise him believing in the jolly man.  My concerns were pretty simple : once he finds out that Santa isn't real and that we've been lying to him, will he think that Jesus isn't real?  Will he think we've been lying about that as well?

So I took my concerns to the streets, well, to a MOPS meeting and asked what these women thought.  Wow, these women had opinions!  Here's some of the highlights:

- It's ok.  Santa is a fun game and there's no harm done.

- I believed in Santa as a kid and had no trouble separating it from the truth of Christ,

- Lying is lying.  It's not a good idea to teach them Santa and then have them realize you weren't being truthful.

- You can do it when they're babies, but at the age of 5 you should tell them the truth so they don't get confused.

- We never believed in Santa and I didn't miss out on anything.

- Kids grow up too fast these days.  There's no harm in letting them imagine Santa while they are young.  It's just for fun.

- We tried not to teach about Santa, but our families keep bringing it up.  So we finally went along with it.

I took all of these comments and many more home to husband.  He thought that it wasn't a big deal to have our son believe in Santa as long as it wasn't the main focus of Christmas.  I thought that was fair.  While I'm not to keen on the whole Santa thing, I'm ok with our son believing as long as Santa isn't the reason for the season.  In other words, we don't encourage it, but we don't discourage it.  And yes, our families and friends ask our son about Santa, "What did you ask Santa for this year?".  He answers, but we don't encourage or discourage the conversation.

This Christmas, we hardly mentioned Mr. Claus.  Our son asked if he could write a letter to the man, although he never got around to it.  He said he didn't want to sit on Santa's lap, which was fine with me. 

Like my husband and I agreed, we work to make Santa not the reason for the season.  We do Jesse Tree devotion every year, we talk about Christ, we get excited to celebrate his birthday.  Even on the calendar, instead of writing "Christmas", we wrote "Happy Birthday Jesus!", and we'll bake him a birthday cake.

This is what works for us but each family is different and must decide for themselves what works.  But don't wait too long!  It's the final countdown....da da da daaaaaaaa....