Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Jesus/Santa Christmas Dilemma

My Christmas dilemma.  It's not really so much a dilemma anymore, but it was.  I'm talking about the whole "Jesus/Santa, who's real/who's fake, lying to have fun/telling the truth and spoiling childhood fun" dilemma.  I didn't like having to make the decision as to what we teach our children about Santa.  Of course it's "fun", but we're also straight-up lying.  My inquisitive Ellie started digging for the truth at the age of 3.  So, we had to come up with something.  I tell my children something along these lines:

"Some people love to play make-believe at Christmas.  People like to pretend that Santa comes around on Christmas Eve and gives everyone their presents.  We know that our gifts really come from mommy, daddy, family, and friends, but it's still fun to play make-believe.  If you want to pretend that Santa brings your presents, we can do that!"
I really want to give my children the joy of playing make-believe and having fun with the traditional "Christmas" things (Santa, reindeer, elves, etc.), but I also want my children to know the truth so that we don't have to later deal with the "Santa's not real?  You lied?  Is Jesus even real?" type questions.  I just don't want to even go there.  Besides, Christmas is about Jesus after all, and I think Santa is of little importance when it comes to Christmas. 
On that note, there is an amazing Christmas book that incorporates both Jesus AND Santa. This book was a gift a couple years ago, and I absolutely love it.  In the book, Santa tells his favorite Christmas story-the story of Jesus.  It's a perfect book for helping children realize the true meaning of Christmas, while still getting some of the fun "Santa" theme in there, too.   It's called Santa's Favorite Story.  You can find it HERE on Amazon, although the price isn't that great.  You may be able to check your local library for it, too. 


  1. Hey Jessica! That looks like a great book :)!! I also love the idea of the "Christmas parable"...kind of like a modern-day parable to help kids up for basically kind of lines up all the preparations that we make for Santa's coming, to all the preparations made for Jesus to be born, and how the gifts we receive, are like the gift that we receive in Jesus being born. It's another really neat approach to the Christmas/Santa season :) Happy Christmas guys! -Casey M (& James)

  2. Casey-That is a great way of teaching it, too! I like that a lot. Something else I've heard of parents doing and goes along with what you said is the 3 gift rule... i.e. Jesus had 3 gifts, and so the same happens for the kids. Some parents will do a gift guideline of "something they want, something they need, and something to wear". I've heard a few variations of it, but I also like that idea and that it ties to the birth of Jesus. Merry Christmas to you both!



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