What about Santa Claus?

My wife and I never talked with our daughter about Santa Claus.  It was a conscious decision we made, and one we have never regretted.

We made the decision because we wanted to focus as much as possible on the birth of Jesus as the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

We also wanted her to know that the presents under the tree (and there were plenty) were from family members, friends, and parishioners who loved her.  We believed that was more affirming of who she is than her thinking she hadn’t made “Santa’s list” under the “naughty ” column and so she deserved all she got.

That also meant most if not all of the presents could be placed under the tree at our convenience, rather than in a scramble after our late service on Christmas Eve.  We also avoided the early morning scramble to “see what Santa brought.”  We enjoyed opening gifts Christmas Day after our morning worship; and our daughter never gave any indication she felt “deprived.”

The most important reason we never talked with her about Santa Claus was because we decided we never wanted to lie to her.  We wanted her to always know we told her the truth.  We didn’t want her to have reason to think “if they lied about Santa, what else did they lie about?”  For us, this was consistent with a desire to deal with the truth, and to reinforce our belief that words have power and can give life.  We wanted what we said to have credibility because the truth matters.  Too often people treat words and communication with disdain; and as a result so are the people with whom they would communicate also treated that way.

For us, the One who claims to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life blesses us, and calls us to live differently.