We don’t do Santa in my house.
Not that he’s not allowed to be a topic of conversation, or that his image is not allowed in my house (obviously, see my post here!). I just mean that my kids know that Santa isn’t real, and there are no presents from Santa under the tree on Christmas morning.
Okay, put down the phone. I’m sure the authorities will be too busy to arrest me anyway.
Let me say this before I explain my reasons…
I don’t judge you for doing Santa in your house.
I’m not writing this post to tell you not to do Santa, or because I think you are a heathen for practicing this fun tradition in your house. I think Santa is a fun part of Christmas! I love a good Santa movie, it’s fun to see Santas at the mall, and I think an awesome rendition of “Santa Baby” is great background music for tree decorating.
I have quite a few reasons why we don’t do Santa in my house, and almost all of them have nothing to do with religion (though a few do). I don’t think that you are a bad Christian if you tell your kids Santa brought their new bike…so take a deep breath and keep reading, okay?
Reason #1 – “You better watch out….”
Can I just say this? I hate the feeling of anxiety that we give our kids when we tell them to “watch out” because Santa Clause is coming. It’s sort of like telling your kids that the policeman at the restaurant is going to arrest them if they don’t sit down and behave. Isn’t that counter-productive? Don’t we want our kids to like the police and Santa?
We should be good and nice because we are supposed to be. Not because we’re about to get blacklisted at the North Pole. Or to get our names on a list.
Plus, no one ever gets coal in their stocking. Santa’s still bringing your kids that new Nano. So this is an empty threat….again undermining the whole process anyway.
Reason #2 – “He sees you when you’re sleeping…”
Um…excuse me? I remember being so creeped out by this weird aspect of Santa. He watches me all year long? This is not comforting, this is some twisted gift-giving Big Brother concept that I’m not excited about. Also, he can get into my house with all the doors locked AND no chimney? Could he do this any time of the year, should he choose? Yeah…no thanks.
I want my kids to know the only person who is watching them all the time is Jesus, and He isn’t looking for reasons to note when they’ve screwed up. I want my kids to know that Jesus shows them grace when they screw up instead of adding a tally to the “naughty” side. Every time.
Reason #3 – Gratitude
Ty works hard. Like really hard. He gets up early and goes to work before the rest of us are awake. He provides the money for their sports, their school, their food, their clothes, and their Christmas presents.
We put a lot of time, effort, and thought into what we will get our kids for Christmas. We pick out the perfect clothes that they will like, the toy we know they want, the book that we think they will enjoy. I spend Christmas Eve frantically lovingly wrapping each present.
Gratitude is so important to me (see here and here). I think it’s important that our kids know exactly how they get their presents, and to be grateful. They should look Ty in the eye and say “Thank you, Dad. This is awesome!”
Has anyone ever sent Santa a thank you note? No.
But you can…
Reason #4 – I don’t celebrate Ragnar
Okay, this is Ragnar.
He’s the mascot for the Vikings — our family’s favorite football team (don’t judge…we know).
We don’t watch the Vikings play on Sundays for Ragnar. We watch them for the football that they play. While Ragnar is a fun part of the whole experience, he certainly isn’t the reason the Vikings play football. He doesn’t get all the screen-time, analysis from commentators, and he’s not why people buy tickets.
Santa is to Christmas as Ragnar is to the Vikings. Feel me? He’s a fun addition. Just not what Christmas is all about.
In my house, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. We celebrate His birth by blessing and loving each other and others — just as Jesus asked us to do. It’s not about what we can get from Christmas, it’s about what we can give. Santa is a good symbol of the spirit of giving, and that is all.
Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the decorations, the family, the food, the parties, the music (oh! the music!). I love taking my kids to see Christmas lights, Christmas carols, watching Miracle on 34th Street (the original) and It’s a Wonderful Life. I love giving gifts to all of my loved ones, and I love that everyone around me is in the same wonderful mood. There’s electricity in the air when the first snow of December falls (except in Arizona…maybe when the temp drops to 60 degrees?).
I love a well-played Santa.
We’ve just chosen to skip the part about him being real.
And for the record, my kids know that they are not to be telling other kids that Santa is not real. They know that other kids think he is real, and they know not to spoil that for them, so you don’t need to declare a quarantine of my children until Christmas is over.
Do you do Santa? Do you skip it? I’d love to hear from you about it!
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