My wife and I have recently had a baby (well she did all the work but you know what I mean).  We're very excited but as a new generation emerges, we have to plan on what traditions to leave out, keep in place, and/or introduce in our family while our child(ren) is growing up.  Christmas is rapidly approaching and as she will be too young to remember this one, we do want to have some idea in place as to what we will be doing in future Christmases.  With this in mind, I've been thinking about the Santa Claus bit and feel kind of torn between continuing the tradition of Santa in Christmas or halting it alltogether.  Jesus will be the main focus of Christmas, but the more I think about Santa, the more he seems an empty tradition with a good idea behind it (able to keep the good idea by upholding Jesus' teachings and values).  Now I grew up with Santa and it was fun but I somehow knew all along that he never existed so when I found out, it didn't bother me at all.  But when I think about it more and more, I mostly see Santa as a lie we tell kids to keep them in line.  "You better clean your room, or Santa won't come.  You better stop hitting your sister or Santa will leave coals in your stocking or won't give you what you want for Christmas."  Viewing Santa in this way makes Santa seem to me more like a puppet parents use to get what they want instead of a fun tradition about teaching others to give.  So instead of teaching others to be selfless, Santa is being used to allow parents to be selfish.  More juvenile than productive in my opinion.  I am not opposed to leaving Santa as a tradition to promote child-like wonder and imagination but I don't want to use him the wrong way in the way I raise my child(ren).  So for those who have raised children, what were the decisions you made when creating a family-oriented Christmas tradition?  Any bits of advice for a fellow disciple of Christ that just became a father?  Thanks!

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Myth buster ! First, Santa is not real (bye childhood fantasy) Second Clark and Superman are the same ( bye teenage fantasy) ... What's next, the Lone Ranger and kemosabe are not the same? Please spare us ... before our adult delusions fly out the window too ...
well we all know Lois Lanes tears turn into jelly beans
Ok, ok. What's your position on Spiderman?
Wasn't he one of the Von Trapp children, I don't recall him being bitten by a spider.
OK. Stop with this heresy:

The Justice League is totally real and Batman and Robin are not gay.
are you sure about robin?
Trust me on this.
Even if you deny Santa his rightful place in xmas you proclaim his magic when you give gifts to your kids. The usual explanation that we give gifts because God gave Jesus or the Wise men gave gifts to Jesus is a stretch of the imagination, and the proper celebration of Jesus' Birthday ... if we use that rational, the gifts should be given to Jesus not one another! So as you see denying the Big Guy and then turning around and giving gifts to one another is kind of a tongue in check acknowledge of Him, ho ho ho
I've heard that it keeps the kids minds open to the idea that someone is out there who is bigger and more clever and powerful than anyone you know. And he's kind. Kind of like God only smaller and more overweight and usually seen holding a Coca-Cola bottle. But the idea is that kids are prepared in their mind to believe in someone or something that can't be poked, measured or dissolved in water.

From that perspective, the kids aren't hurt by it in the long run. It's just the parents who have to justify that they're lying to their children for some greater cause. Eh?
Honestly, I think that everyone makes too big a deal about Santa Claus, both those who are for it or against it. First of all, though you are telling you kids about a guy who doesn't exist, it is not malicious lying. It is harmless as long as it isn't blown out of proportions. At the same time, not telling your kids about Santa doesn't give you some great moral high ground to judge others from. My parents went with the Santa Claus thing and when I asked my mom to tell me the straight dope she did. She told me the truth which is that Santa Claus a person that parents pretend to be to have fun and give their kids gifts. I replied, "Well that's nice of you."
And to the parents of kids that get mad at you for telling your kids there is no Santa, it's gonna happen sometime. Oh well. I think the damage comes when parents try too hard to keep the game going.
The important thing to remember is that Santa is about giving and having fun doing it. If we keep that in mind, maybe it won't matter whether our kids believe in Santa or not. But it will keep them from being wet blankets around the holidays!
Just ONE question: When was the last time your asked Jesus what he wanted for Christmas?


Just last week, actually. He said that he wanted a new Hymn book. Oh, and a Furby.

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