Countdown to Christmas is seven days! Are you ready? I actually am, except for stocking stuffers. I’m hoping to get away for a few hours this weekend to get those bought so that next week I can avoid the craziness! Who am I kidding? It’s going to be crazy! I love this season… the lights, the cold weather, the time with family and the anticipation of Christ being born. There are many ways to celebrate and we all have to decide what is best for our family. I’m going to share how we celebrate just to give perspective and well, because people have asked!

Santa is a fictitious character in our home. He’s not real, but it wasn’t always that way. When Luke was born we chose to ‘do Santa’. The more we thought about it and discussed it as parents, our thoughts changed. Luke was four and Eli was two when we told them that Santa was not real. Luke was so upset, but not for the reason you may think. Luke was devastated that we had lied to him. I will never forget the look on his little face when he said, “Mommy, why did you lie to me? You know lying is wrong!” I had to repent and ask forgiveness from my little boy. There is no way to skirt around it, lying is wrong. If you’re telling a child that a fictitious man brings them toys every year at Christmas, that’s a lie. It’s not pretending if you’re telling them it’s all real. Scripture says lying is wrong. It’s not a gray area. How do we somehow miss that (or dismiss it?)?

I read a heavily circulated blog post that stated that things like Doc McStuffins and Spiderman skews the child’s view of reality, so no big deal about Santa. It’s the same idea, right? It compared Santa with cartoons. But how many parents tell their children that characters like Doc McStuffins and Spiderman are real? I don’t know of any and that is the huge difference. I just find this point invalid, unless you actually tell your child that all fictitious characters are real. And of course, I don’t go around and point out everything that is fake to my child but that is quite different from making a point to tell my child something is real when it isn’t. We distinguish from the beginning that Batman and Superman aren’t real heroes but pretend. Military, firemen, missionaries, daddy’s… they are real-life heroes.

Make believe is one thing, lying is another.

I’m sure there are people out there who feel sorry for my kids. I’ve seen the Santa folks say, “keep them little as long as you can”.. and YES I am for that. That’s why you will get the evil eye if you dare to ask my child if he has a girlfriend. Seriously, don’t do it. I mean, you really have no idea how much I AM FOR keeping my little boys, little. So, don’t worry about that. They are so innocent.  A lot of the lifestyle choices we make will help keep my boys little but believing in Santa has nothing to do with that. My boys pretend every day of their life. Every. Single. Day. All day long. Right at this moment my child is pretending he is a Power Ranger. They have amazing imaginations. We couldn’t care less if the boys pretend that Santa is real because they know the truth. It IS fun to pretend! Also, we watch Santa movies/shows. One of our favorites is the old Rudolph on and right now they are watching the first Santa Clause on ABC Family.

I grew up believing in Santa. Do I hate my parents for lying to me? No and I’m pretty sure most kids won’t hold a grudge. Did I turn out okay? That’s debatable! So, the issue for me boiled down to being obedient to God. Is it okay to lie to my children? No. Maybe you don’t see it as lying, although I’m not sure how.  I’d honestly like to get an explanation of that as long as you can give it nicely!

Jesse Tree
(our first year doing Advent)

The second really big issue for us was that we couldn’t balance Santa and Jesus. SO. MUCH. FOCUS. was on the guy in the red suit that I started to really hate him. And he’s not even real. I felt like Jesus was competing with him and I really hated it. Everybody who saw my children in the month of December said, “what is Santa bringing you?” or “are you excited about Santa coming?” Ugh. It just bothered me so much. Christians, we get all in a hissy fit about someone telling us Happy Holidays but don’t dare mess with Santa Claus. I just don’t get it. As I prayed, meditated and talked with the Hubs about it, I envisioned a Christmas where we waited on Christ instead of Santa. CHRIST IS COMING! I envisioned a Christmas where we celebrated Advent and every night read Scriptures that shared the story of God becoming man for us. Is our Christmas season perfect? Not even close. Even last night the kids struggled to pay attention to the reading of Mary’s Song from Luke 1. But I know if we had kept Santa around it would be much more difficult for us.

So, what does our Christmas morning look like? My kids will be so excited to wake up Christmas morning to see their gifts. There will be great JOY! They know Mommy and Daddy got them for them and I assure you, that makes no difference in their excitement. They get those gifts from us, not because they tried hard to be good up until Christmas but because we love them, just like Christ loves us and gives us grace freely. They get three gifts each to remind them of the story of the wise men who brought Jesus three gifts. It will be a fun filled morning celebrating with family and thanking God for the ultimate gift in Christ. We’ll read the story of Christ’s birth together as a family and spend the day playing and relaxing. I can’t wait!

Christmas 2012

This is not a battle, friends. I’m just sharing our side of the coin. And remember, we’ve been on both sides. We can learn from each other. I do ask that if you have a comment, please remember to be kind and respectful. Love should be our guide whether we share truth or opinions. As always, thanks for taking the time to read!

“So my counsel is to give all your efforts to making your children as happy as they can possibly be with every kind of surprise that is rooted in the true meaning of Christmas. Let your decorations point to Jesus. Let your food point to Jesus. Let your games point to Jesus. Let your singing point to Jesus. Out-rejoice the world, out-give the world, out-decorate the world, and let it all point to Jesus.” John Piper