3 Reasons I Won’t Teach My Son That Santa Is Real
Call me the Grinch, call me Scrooge. I’ve received some crooked looks, some shame-ing glares and even a few, “You’re going to take all the fun out of Christmas“ responses. I know I sound like a party pooper poopin’ on the party, but I stand firm where I stand. I will not teach my son, or any other children I’m given, that Santa Clause is real.
Now, I in no way am “judging” anyone who chooses to do so or has done so, as I understand that you have your reasons, just as I have mine. I respect yours, as I hope you respect mine. I’m all good with that! But personally, in my time on this Earth I’ve observed and learned a few things in regards to Santa. So, though my children will know about Santa, I will never tell them he is real.
Here is why:
1. Christmas is Still Fun Without Santa
I think to say that Christmas loses all its fun when you take Santa out of the picture is a little…. well… sad. There’s so much more to Christmas that brings excitement and I’m convinced that those things are better than Santa. Though I know telling your kids that “Santa’s watching” probably works like the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to getting your kids behavior in order, I’m okay with not having that tool in my box.
Santa, I will admit, does bring excitement to children. The thought that there’s some big ol’ dude on top of the world who sees everything you do and fulfills your present dreams… that can be exciting. I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t want that?! *waves* Yes, please!
But I want is to raise our son to be excited about time with family, making memories and new traditions. Getting him excited about the true Christmas story, caroling door-to-door, Christmas movies, hot chocolate by the fireside. Getting bundled up to go ice skating, Christmas crafts, visiting the snow, decorating the tree, baking delicious Christmas goodies (*takes a breath of air*). You name it!
I want to capture his excitement, doing the things he desires together. In doing so we can enjoy the anticipation for Christmas, but not because of Santa. Instead, we’ll anticipate it simply for the time we’ll spend together doing things that we can’t do any other time of year. I know without doubt, that children everywhere would rather have that than Santa any day.
2. I Don’t Want to Lie to Him – Santa Isn’t Real
In order to pull off the entire Santa gig, I would have to essentially lie to him. Santa is not real, so the simple fact of teaching him that he is real and kickin’ it up North is in itself a lie.
My parents weren’t the type to necessarily carry on the whole Santa ordeal, but they did tell us he was real. Our mom labeled Christmas presents, “From Santa” (but of course not the best ones. My mom made sure those were from her and my dad lol). But I’ve heard some stories from friends whose parents went all out.
I’m talking eating the cookies, going on the roof making sounds and saying Santa just left, jingling some bells and waving in the air loudly saying, “BYE SANTA!” And I find these things funny, because as fun as they must be for their kids, I can only imagine how fun it is for the parents. But I can’t get past the fact that it’s all one big charade. One big elaborate story to fool children. Not that the intention is to fool them, I understand it’s for their enjoyment, but I remember when I found out Santa was a lie. What I felt was far from joy.
I was in elementary, and we were making clay molds of Christmas trees and painting those puppies and decking them out (I still have mine to this day!). And my friend and I were going on about how Santa was going to bring us this and that, and a little boy sitting across the table listened for a little. And out of no where he stopped what he was doing, and said something along the lines of, “Santa isn’t bringing you anything! He isn’t even real!” Little did he know he shattered my world. I held it together, acted like I was all good, but I went home that day and talked with my sister. And indeed, she confirmed Santa was all but a myth.
There’s a sadness, an embarrassment and even somewhat of an anger that came with this discovery. All the years I ran around excited about Santa, to just find out I was excited for no reason. I felt embarrassed and dumb. And I felt like the parents who were supposed to always lead me right, had led me wrong. Either they knew what they did or they didn’t. But once I brought up how Santa wasn’t real to my mom, her reaction said it all.
I know parents who tell their children about Santa do it with good intentions, and the last thing they want is to hurt/lie to them. So, I in no way mean to shame anyone (not my parents, and not you). I just personally don’t want to do anything that has the potential to establish my relationship with my children on anything but trust. Where they can trust and know that what I say is true and reliable. Even if the truth hurts, I will tell them for the sake of that trust. If our children feel that we, their parents, cannot be trusted, then who will they go to instead? I’d prefer not to know.
3. Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Now I know we see this plastered all over t-shirts and social media. I do get that for many this is not what Christmas is. But for me, and for my family, this is the heart of Christmas. I don’t look forward to Christmas for the presents, I don’t look forward to it for the music… I look forward to Christmas for Jesus (and for the time together with friends/family). No, Jesus was not born on December 25th two thousand years ago. I get that. But, nonetheless, it is a time that has been set aside to remember that indeed, He did come.
Jesus Christ’s birth is what’s celebrated all year, but especially at Christmas time. Had He not come, I would be living a very different life, probably without my husband or my son. Perhaps addicted to drugs and unhealthy relationships like I was in my past. It scares me to think what my life could have become, where I would be today if it weren’t for Jesus. And though each day I rough it out, struggle, fail and fall, it’s Jesus who picks me up, wipes me off and carries me forward. It is Him who beckons me back every time I wander off.
Christmas celebrates the fact that Jesus was born and that He was born to die. It sounds morbid, but that is what it is. He was born to die and bare the weight of sin upon His shoulders in order to satisfy the wrath of God. Had He never been born, my sin would be upon my back, and I think it would have killed me a long time ago. Because Jesus was born and because He died in my place, my burden is lifted, my shame erased.
Santa is fictional. Children are taught that he is a man who watches their every move and knows their good and bad. Though they are far from comparable, God is true. He sees our every move. He knows our good and bad. And so very much more. If I tell my children about Santa and they come to learn he’s a lie, then what will they think about God?
In the end, I don’t want Santa to steal the joy and glory that I want my son to have toward Jesus every day and at this time of year. I want him to grow excited about Jesus and what He’s done. I want him to share my husband and I’s joy for that above all else. If we teach him about Santa we’ll steer his eyes away from that. Though Santa might bring immediate excitement, he proves to be a dry-bed in the long-run. Instead, we’d rather, from the very beginning, turn his eyes toward the very Wellspring of Life.
Whatever the case may be for you and your family this year, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. May the joy and love of Christ surround you this year.
In All Honesty,