Kick Santa To The Curb?

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

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I just read The Case for Keeping Santa by Lynne Griffin (@Lynne_Griffin).  She discusses the positive values promoted by the stories surrounding Santa Claus.  For example:

Joy

Create some joyful childhood memories.

Generosity

“Santa’s biggest legacy is his desire to give without receiving.”

Wonder

“How does he get around the world in one night? Do reindeer really fly? Learning to question and make sense of the unbelievable is an important skill for a child. Just thinking about this Christmas tale encourages critical thinking and reasoning skills. Join your child on the quest to understand.”

Faith

“Santa is your child’s first experience believing in something he cannot see. Believing in Santa is a beginning step toward teaching your child about faith. Spirituality is based on learning to trust in a higher power, in God.”

Hope

This lesson keeps us all going.  Utilizing this story bolsters a child’s desire for better days to come.  Of course, as Lynne points out, it can be equally dangerous if not tempered.

She also gives some tips for answering the inevitable questions that will come as children mature.  “Don’t lie just to keep the myth alive.”

I recently participated in a discussion with others about what and when to tell a child about Santa and the Christian position on Christmas.  Ted Torreson authored the post Why I Won’t Be Teaching My Children About Santa Claus.  As a pastor, he makes the case that perhaps we do our children a disservice by not telling them about the reason for the season and the real story of St. Nicolas.

As parents, we want to teach our kids about faith, love and life.  But, we also want them to maintain vivid imaginations and grow up with the values we cherish.  The many positive characteristics of Santa seem worth perpetuating.  Especially, that of the cheerful giver!

4 thoughts on “Kick Santa To The Curb?

  1. Thanks for the post and thanks for linking to my post at faithim.wordpress.com. Griffin gives some good reasons for keeping Santa Claus. However I look at her main points and can’t help bu think that thay are all things that you get when you celebrate Christmas as a Christian.

    Joy

    I had great joy as a Child going to church, singing of the savior in a manger, angels on high, wisemen who bowed before the new born king. I had great joy as a child reading the real Christmas story from Luke 2. I had greatjoy celebrating Christmas with my family.

    Generosity

    I’d say St. Nichola’s biggest legacy is giving without receiving. That started the whole Santa Claus legends. Yet the real St. Nicholas gave without receiving because he was already giving the greatest gift of the babe in the manger who would grow up to be his savior. Really Nicholas pointed to a greater Generosity, the generocity of Jesus who gave Salvation for us through His Death on the Cross to pay for our sins and his Ressurection from the dead to assure us that we would rise from the dead as well. This is a real gift given generously and freely, not because of anything we did, but because of the love of God.

    Wonder

    What is more wonderous that God in flesh, the father and the creator of us all coming into the world to indentify with us, to live among us. What’s more wonderous than angels filling the sky and announcing the birth fo a savior.

    Faith.

    Griffen says, “Santa is your child’s first experience believing in something he cannot see.” and says this prepares them for beleif in God. Actually, this is only the case if one does not teach their children about Jesus from an early age. I had faith in Jesus before I was even old enough to understand the Santa story. As a Christian, I want Jesus to be the first thing my child beleives that she cannot see.

    Hope

    What greater thing can a person hope for than to be reunited with God? What greater thing can a person hope for than the peace on earth that He will usher in when he comes again, and the peace with God that Christ has already granted us?

    All of Griffen’s reasons for Santa, I beleive, are even greater reasons for teaching Children of the real reason for Christmas, all the God has given us in Christ.

    Thanks again for the post. Merry Christmas!

    • Ted,

      I took some time to think about your comment and after I was finished thinking, I decided it warranted another blog post http://www.leadershipdad.com/2011/12/26/the-purpose-of-santa/. I hope you have a moment to read it. I would welcome your comments and opinion.

      I very much appreciate you commenting on my post. While I would love to sit and discuss theology, philosophy and culture with you face to face, this will have to do for now. You are truly and scholar and a gentleman…and, there aren’t too many of us left.

      I hope you had a joyous Christmas. I know you made life-long cherished memories for the children in your life because I know you care.

      Cheers!
      JDW

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