Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Existential Santa

I'm struggling a bit this holiday season. Everywhere you go, there he is. He's larger than life, charismatic, and he brings toys. How can Jesus compete with a guy who brings dolls that wet themselves?

My struggle is this: how do I lead my children to have faith in something they cannot see, yet give them faith in something that's visible everywhere but is, in fact, not real? Where do I draw the line between holiday fun, and choosing the right side of the divide to take up against the world? It's important to me that my girls stay childlike, and don't grow up too fast, but also that they realize that knowing our culture is relevant to spreading their faith. What do we do as parents to set up boundaries for them?

I'd like to hear from other moms and dads, or just anyone with an opinion about what you're doing during our Celebration of the Savior's birth, i.e. CHRISTmas.

Is Santa real in your house?
Got any thoughts?

*this post is the result of an annual discussion between myself and a very awesome friend I have. We still haven't figured it out. Please help.

santa Pictures, Images and Photos

1 comment:

jaybrams said...

Santa does not exist in a "real" sense in our house. We taught from the beginning that it's a fun thing that parents like to teach their children at Christmas and nothing is wrong with Santa himself. We taught the real story of St. Nick and how Santa is supposed to represent it, but our culture skews towards materialism and selfishness (not that it's santa's fault).

In the same sense, they know the tooth fairy isn't real, but we still all pretend it's real... meaning they see santa as a game and they sees the tooth fairy as a game, but they know neither is real.

As for reasons? Well, for us, why build trust in any kind of lie, even if it's just childhood fun? There are instances where it may damage a child's trust in his/her parents, but i dont think that usually happens, so it's not that I think it is all that damaging.

Does it make a difference? Last week my 9 yr old counted her money so she could find out how much she has to help a family in need this Christmas, but her favorite movie is still Elf... so hey, she knows how to have fun and is learning to help people along the way. And at the same time she sees Christ working in people's lives and knows that He is real and not just a game.

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