I believed every word to every Christmas song that talked about Santa, reindeers and a sleigh. Until I was eight years old and I figured out the whole thing was a fluke.
It started with noticing that Santa's handwriting looked a lot like my dad's. Then one year I got a trampoline for Christmas, and I knew there was no way Santa could fit that thing in his sleigh. So my eight-year-old, skeptic-self, nonchalantly asked my dad, "how much did this cost?" He gave me the wink and said "Santa brought it!" Ok, sure daddy.
That was when I pretty much knew.
But for my little sister, Santa was magical. And I kept believing because I wanted her to believe too. Once she figured it out for herself, we moved on to making the season completely about Jesus. And there was magic in that.
My Husband's Story
Josh was taught about the St Nicholas of the history books. The real man, who gave gifts anonymously to those in need. But his parents didn't feel comfortable telling Josh and his brothers about a big, bearded man in a red and white suit that flew around the world in one night and climbed down chimneys to bring them gifts. They didn't want them to be confused about what was real and what wasn't. Jesus was always the focus of Christmas for his family.
Now that we have a little boy of our own, Josh and I have been faced with the obvious question,
"What do we do with Santa?"
We haven't had to worry too much about it this year. Micah is still too young. We did pass on the "photo with Santa" while we were at the mall last weekend. (It may have been cute, or scary, depending on how much he likes big, bearded men) But once he is old enough to communicate with us, say like... next year... then what do we do?
I believed in Santa and don't seem to suffer from trust issues or lack of faith in Jesus because of it.
Josh never believed in Santa and doesn't feel like he missed out on an important childhood tradition because of that.
For us, the choice has come down to our relationship with Micah. We always want him to know that we will teach him the truth. And the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Some may gawk at the decision to take away "Santa" from a child's Christmas experience, but we don't see it that way at all! In fact, if taking Santa away from Christmas takes away the "experience" of it, then what are we really celebrating anyway?
This is all new to us. The parenting part, I mean. But we want to start it out by gaining our child's trust. Will he remember these years anyway? Most likely not. But he will remember how we made him feel. And that is more important than any holiday tradition.
What about your family? How did you come to the decision on what to do with Santa?