Monday, December 8, 2008

The Santa "Clause"

I recently read and responded to a friend's thread about Santa Clause and how everyone does it? The big issue for Brent, the original author was that he never wants to lie to his daughters. As Christians we try daily to model, teach, and share the love of Christ with our children. Our ultimate goal being that one day they decide to accept Jesus into their heart and make faith in Christ their very own. If we explain to our children that Santa is a real dude year after year and then one day have to confess that he isn't, do we lose valuable trust we try to build with our children and make it harder for them to understand why God is real? Hear is how I responded.....

Hey Brent,
I liked your thread and thought I would share what we believe and practice. I do believe in telling children the truth, but I always keep it appropriate to their age. When Connor asks me, Where do babies come from?, I will give the truth, but not the whole truth. I will tell him what is appropriate for a 3 year mind, not let’s say what Adam will explain later to him when he is 10. With that in mind, we tell Connor that there was a man called Santa Clause or St Nicholas, who loved Jesus just like we do. He loved Jesus so much and loved the gift that he was, that he gave gifts to children who needed them. He loved people because God first loved us. So each year when we celebrate Jesus’ Birthday on Christmas, we also celebrate a man who had a faith so strong that he loved people. We give gifts to those whom we love, give gifts to those in situations not a good as our own, and most importantly we thank God for the best gift of all, Jesus. Does Connor get that all yet? No way, but one day I hope that he sees how fun it was to see Santa each year, but also understands that we remember a man who once lived and gave so much to others simply because he loved Jesus. In the future during family devotions around Christmas we will celebrate others like St. Nicholas/Santa Clause who loved God, loved people, and loved the world.

What do you think?


momma sadler said...

like so many of your other parenting ideas, we will be using this as well. I never felt lied to or deceived when I figured out Santa wasn't real but a lot of people see it that way. I have a friend who was raised not to believe in Santa only b/c her mom didn't want her kids to thank a non-existent being for gifts she worked so hard to save for. I can understand that too. But this is a great way to present Santa to children.

Anonymous said...

Nana said: Look on the internet for a wonderful editorial dated September 20, 1897 from the New York Sun, "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus." Jen has a great explanation of the true St. Nick.

I'll add this bit of history: The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day.

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.
Now you know and can pass this along so all children, young and old alike, will know the story of St. Nicholas, otherwise known as Santa !!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful way to present Santa Clause. I also think that bringing the idea of gifts, like the three wisemen did for Jesus, is a good addition to this. The man St. Nick, took the "gift" idea and the loving others idea from Jesus and started something that has been a wonderful thing for people throughout the world who celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmastime. I too, never thought my parents lied to me and my kids never thought that either. Santa is a wonderful way to teach kids about the love the Christ for others and giving of self to the people of the world. Santa truly is a lesson for all of us.

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