Santa…I know. I’m going there, but I promise I’m not going in the direction you think. I don’t plan on shaming anyone for teaching their kids about Santa or NOT teaching their kids about Santa. I think it’s a very personal family choice.
My parents actually taught me that Santa Claus wasn’t real. I didn’t go blabbing it to other kids and ruin it for them. We were told that other kids believed and that it was ok, that we shouldn’t ruin that experience for them. And I turned out relatively normal. In turn, even though I didn’t want to teach my children about Santa Claus, I got outvoted and Santa became a thing. (My family used to get a kick out of the cheapest thing being from Santa under the tree, because I wasn’t having a “fake fat guy in a suit taking credit for the cool stuff I bought!”)
I’ve seen parents go to great lengths to promote the Christmas tradition of both Santa Claus and Elf on a Shelf. Letters written from them. Footprints of powdered sugar or in the snow. One parent threw Raisinettes on the ground to look like…you know what. I’ve heard parents ‘scare’ their children into behavior with the Elf/Santa. If I had a penny for every time I heard “Don’t make me tell Santa” in a store, I’d have my house and car paid off.
As I was thinking about this dilemma recently of do you or don’t you, I thought about how we teach our children about the Bible. Here’s my question. Are we that fervent about making sure our children are equally/more invested in the Truth?
We are to be raising up our children in the knowledge of the Lord. They should know what the Bible says and what God asks of us in the Word. And Jesus himself talked about having a child-like faith and didn’t want anyone hindering children from coming to Him.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. –Proverbs 22:6
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. –Deuteronomy 6:6-7
And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” –Matthew 18:2-4
Children are sponges. They are alert and ready to learn from you! I think we need to be just as involved and more in teaching our children about God and His creation as we are about touching the Elf on the Shelf and making his magic disappear.
This month is a perfect opportunity to leave verses on cards with your Elf to discuss the impending birth of our Savior. Maybe you read the book about Santa but make sure you’ve got another one that gears them up for the wisemen finding baby Jesus in the stable. Use your Fisher Price farm set to show them the donkey and cow around the hay as they prepare the arrival of Mary and Joseph. There are so many ways for a fun approach to learning about what this season truly is. It doesn’t have to be heavy. We just have to be doing it!
I pray that as we approach this Christmas, we find the right balance in training our children about who God is and what He has done for us with the sentimental Christmas traditions that bring joy and whimsy to this season!