A large part of the Christmas season centers around the tradition of "Santa Claus". However, many question whether or not Christians should take part in this tradition. As Christians, we believe that Christmas is meant as a celebration of the birth of Christ and as a reminder that Christ was a gift from God to all who will accept Him. So, is it ok to allow our children to believe that there is a Santa Claus? How parents approach this question is a personal choice but I feel that the key is to keep "the main thing, the main thing"… meaning that Christ is the main thing in Christmas, so keep Him the main thing.
Allow children to enjoy the "magic" of Christmas but don't go to great lengths to tell lies and perpetuate the fantasy of Santa Claus. Children are going to learn about Santa, elves, and the North Pole from other places even if parents don't put a big emphasis on these things. When they are old enough to ask questions, then that is the time to evaluate just how well they can separate fantasy from reality. When children are old enough to ask, "How can Santa Claus visit all the children in the world in one night?" they are beginning to develop reasoning skills. This may be the time to explain that mommies and daddies actually help Santa… this is the first step to helping children separate what is real and what is fantasy. Don't lie to children when they begin asking questions; allow the natural process of learning and discovery to take place. With or without the belief of "Santa Claus", Christmas will still be a magical time, and there will still be presents under the tree when they wake up on Christmas morning.
Parents can use Santa to teach biblical principles to children. There are many similarities between Christ and the persona of Santa.
•Both encourage children to come to them.
•Both reward good and punish bad
•Both can be in multiple places at the same time
•Both live forever
The list of comparisons could go on and on. These similarities can be viewed as either good or bad depending on how you look at them. Parents can use them to teach and reinforce the true meaning of Christmas. They can teach biblical principles such as hope, giving to others, caring for the needy, and loving others and show how Santa is a secular symbol for these things. The parallels between Christ and Santa can be a bad thing if parents allow Santa to become a replacement for Christ during the Christmas season.
The Christmas season actually begins the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, so there is plenty of time to focus on Christ and true meaning of Christmas. Santa Claus really only has one night, he arrives on the 24th of December; on Christmas Eve… so keep Christ the main focus on all the other days of the season.
Christmas is a special time of year and regardless of how commercialized some people make it, Christmas is a Christian holiday. Without CHRIST there is no CHRISTMAS.
Author's website: darleneglasgow.wordpress.com
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