Wednesday, November 29, 2006

To Santa or Not to Santa

Warning: Depending on what you have taught your children about Santa Claus, this post might be a spoiler for them. Reader discretion is advised. :)

As Christmas and the birth of our baby girl approaches, Miranda and I began talking about a very important subject... Santa Claus.

The question is age old and more difficult now than it ever has been.

What do we tell our children about Santa Claus? There are many different options out there. Some tell their children of the wonder and magic of Santa and let them figure it out on their own.

The problem with it is that we are setting our children up for disappointment. Though they will face many let downs in life, we do not want the first big disappointment to come from their parents, do we?

The second solution is to tell the truth up front. Deny the big guy in red's existence and get it over with.

The problem with this solution could be numerous. First, we take away the excitement that many school children get to experience. The anticipation. The glee. The getting up at 4:00 am to see if he came.

The final solution is one of compromise. Tell your children he is real, but when the time comes and they ask you outright, "Does Santa really exist?", you hit them with the truth. this one gives them hope for awhile, but then takes it away.
I'm not sure this solution is any better than the other two.

Here now lies the biggest problem. I believe that Santa can be a good object lesson of faith. The child believes in what they cannot see. What better way to explain Christianity. For it is "with a childlike faith" that Christians believe in Jesus.

However, when they find out the truth about the "Claus" it could possibly hurt their faith. As children they were told to believe in something that wasn't real. Will that carry over to their adult view of faith in something greater?

What do you think? I would love to hear from you!

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