Sunday, October 21, 2012

I Believe in Santa Claus

   A couple weeks ago I met up with a friend, I'll call her Miss Ella, to walk our girls to preschool together. As we walked, Miss Ella told me she was upset because she thought one of the other moms from preschool was mad at her. Apparently, Miss Ella's daughter, we'll call her Sally, told another little girl that there was no Santa Claus. The other little girl's mother was upset about this. Miss Ella did not understand why the other mother was so upset. She said to me, "I'm not going to tell my daughter to lie, there is NO Santa Claus, no magical little elves, or flying reindeer. It's just ridiculous. I won't tell my daughter some lie." In the limited time we had on our walk home from the school, I told her a little bit about how I, as a Christian, can tell my kids that there is a Santa Claus. I told her that we believe that he stands for, or represents Christ, bringing love and blessings to us. He is an example and a reminder of those who brought gifts to Jesus. Miss Ella answered that she knows that there was a St. Nicolas that did good things and gave to people, but that didn't mean there was any use for all of the magical flying reindeer and such, she refused to lie to her daughter, and didn't see how other people could do that.

   Later, over the next few days, I thought a great deal about this. Why do I tell my children there is a Santa Claus only to have them find out later what the truth is. Is it a lie? And if it is, then what am I teaching my children by lying to them? Here are the thoughts I had:
First, I was told as a child that there was a Santa Claus and when I got older, never felt that I was lied to. To me it was part of the fun. Second, to imagine and to believe in the magical, fantastical things is natural to childhood. It helps us as children understand things about life and the world. I also feel strongly that when you are allowed to believe in magic and fantastical things as a child, it helps you, as you grow up, to have faith in things that are hard to understand.

   If we teach our children too young not to believe in all those fairy tales and magical stories simply because they are not true or they are not possible, then how much harder is it going to be to teach them that Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and 2 small fish? It is very hard to believe in a miracle if you've never learned to believe in the impossible.

   We have a book called "I Believe In Santa Claus" by Diane G. Adamson. It is a beautiful storybook comparing Santa Claus to Jesus Christ. In the back of the book, the author writes, "Strong beliefs in Santa Claus in the tender years are said to foster traits of goodness, helpfulness, and the desire to bring joy and happiness to others. These are all attributes of the Savior and espousing these traits in our own lives not only contributes to a healthful living but also helps us to become more Christlike."

I believe in Santa Claus.



  1. I love this, and I have to get a hold of that book! It's something that I've thought about for a long time. I've also thought about Santa Claus (Father Christmas) turned out to be my dad (the labels were always in his handwriting because we knew it less well as mom's), and how that could be a symbol of Heavenly Father and his gifts to us (the Savior being his greatest gift to us). I guess I better sit down and write that essay!

  2. Wonderful post! My son is 8 and he still believes- I think he’s going to be like me and even though he consciously knows Santa isn’t real, he’ll believe just because it’s more fun than the truth. Whenever they’ve asked something like, “Mom, is Santa Claus real?” I usually just say, “Well, what do you think?” Our discussions are usually inconclusive, which is fine by me. When they’re ready to know the truth they’ll figure it out and I hope they will never feel that we lied to them.

    I usually take a similar approach to you- I’ve always told my children that Santa loves Jesus so much that he wanted to celebrate His birth in an extraordinarily special way. He tries to be like Jesus by sharing love and joy with all through giving gifts, and he only gives gifts to children who try to be like Jesus as well.

    Such a tricky concept, and I totally understand where your friend is coming from. It’s an intensely personal parenting decision.

  3. beautiful! I feel exactly the same way. I'll have to check out that book! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton said it best:



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