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The Great Santa Claus Debate | Reasons Why We Won't Be Celebrating Santa Claus This Year

We're not "doing" Santa this year.

I know, I get it. I get that bug eyed look on your face.

Now you have all of these thoughts in your head like, "they are ridiculous -- way too conservative", or "well this is going to turn into a good mom bad mom post".

Quite the contrary-- that is not my intention.

Let me first start by saying that our decision not to celebrate Santa Claus this year is simply due to our own personal convictions. I will never belittle or judge how you parent your child. But I feel as though not teaching your child about Santa Claus is looked down upon, far more than the other. So, I wanted to let other parents know that they are not alone in the decision that they've made.

I'll keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
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Last year we decided to introduce our, then, 3 year old to "Santa Claus". It was fun. We did the whole "he knows when you've been bad or good" thing. Santa Claus even called him and told him to listen to mommy and daddy so that he could get presents on Christmas. It wasn't until I noticed that he was more concerned with Santa watching, than Jesus watching, that I started to re-think this Santa Claus thing. Of course, he knew the real meaning of Christmas, but Santa was more important to him. The commercialization of Christmas certainly didn't help promote the true meaning of Christmas either.

Fast forward one year to now. He's now 4 years old and spunky as ever. And he's bright, he's smart. So when he told me this year that Santa would be coming to bring him presents soon, I kind of cringed. My husband and I have grown in our walk with Christ this past year, and in this journey of trying to refine myself, the only thing I could think of in the back of my mind was, "this is the biggest lie you've ever told to your child if you continue make him believe in Santa Claus".

Let's get right to the point. Making -- yes, making -- your children believe that Santa Claus still exists is a lie. And I just couldn't live with myself, knowing that I was going to continue this lie for another year, two years, five years?

There was this amazing man who lived a long time ago, and his name was Saint Nicolas. He gave to the needy and the poor. Why not teach the real story of Saint Nicolas rather than the Westernized one?

And while you're at it -- there was also this incredibly selfless man who lived before Saint Nicolas. He was born of a virgin, in a manager, and eventually, he died for every single person on this earth. Why not just focus on the greatest gift of all on Christmas -- Jesus.

Here are a few more reasons why we are deciding against Santa this year:

1. I'm horrible at keeping up with lies, and I also hate telling them...even small ones. Why isn't this Santa fat? Why are there three Santa's at the mall? Why is this Santa a different race? Lies on top of lies...no thank you.

2. We can teach him more about Jesus and salvation through the Christmas story, and ONLY through focusing on the Christmas story. The entire country is in uproar about Santa, and going against "the norm" is hard, even for a toddler. Try to mix Santa and Jesus together, guess which story he'll remember the most.

3. God has been reminding me these past few weeks that I have a tiny little soul that has been entrusted to me. It is my responsibility to teach him to the best of my ability. In every single way, I must be an example to him. That includes allowing him to trust me. Even with the little things. Most of all, He's reminded me of just how important it is to train my son and help him grow into the amazing young man of God that He is called to be. I don't want anything, even simple things, to get in the way of that.

4. There's no pressure about Santa. It seemed like there was so much pressure around Santa last year -- that he was trying so hard to be good for Santa, that he forgot about being good because the Bible says so, or simply because it's the right thing to do.

5. Santa is a distraction, and I also don't want him to think that he's been bad if he doesn't get something he wanted. I want God to be glorified without my son asking "why didn't Santa bring me this?" on Christmas morning, but rather, "Happy Birthday, Jesus....the greatest gift of all".

6. We believe in living a simple life. Therefore, our child plays with simple every day things. Santa just doesn't work for us. Do you know what my child has on his Christmas list this year? It's not electronics or the latest "make your parents go crazy" loud obnoxious toy. He's asked for new boots, a real cowboy hat, a new farm set, real tools, a socket wrench, a John Deere tractor night light (and he'll make sure you don't get the International Harvester one), and new camo clothes for hunting. He's only four, by the way. Quite honestly, I think he's too boring for Santa ....

7. Because the Bible tells us to bring glory to God in all things, and even a little lie is a lie.

In our household, this year, we realized that if we wanted our child to really understand what Christmas was all about, we had to get rid of the Santa Claus distraction. And so, we did.

My husband actually mentioned it first during bath time. Jr asked him if Santa was coming soon, and my husband humbly responded,

"No, he's not. Santa Claus was fun last year, but he is just imaginary. Mommy and daddy get your presents, and  that time is coming soon! But this year, we're going to focus on the real meaning of Christmas --Jesus."

At first there was a lot of confusion, a lot of questions. We had to undo our lie -- untying each and every thought we had planted into his little mind -- by answering questions such as "is Santa dead?" and "why does such and such believe in Santa, but we don't?"

The biggest of all was the question as to why mommy and daddy had lied when we get after him for lying.

Gut punch, right there.

Last week at church, my husbands Aunt asked Jr about Santa Claus and if he was excited -- he looked at her like she was crazy. We explained that we weren't doing Santa this year, and she didn't mind at all. In fact, she commended us.

But, we've also had our run ins with others, when they ask if he's excited he'll proudly say, "no, Santa isn't real, my mommy and daddy get me presents and we learn about Jesus." I am amazed by how many people (Christians, at that) look down upon other Christian parents who choose against celebrating Santa during Christmas.

And while I understand that it might be inconvenient for my child to tell your child that there isn't a Santa, please, do not ask my child to lie just to cover up your decision to celebrate Santa Claus. And please to not get after him if he decides to say something about Santa Claus being imaginary; after all, he's only telling the truth.

Of course, the biggest challenge is letting him know that other kids haven't been told the truth yet. We have told him that it isn't necessary to blurt out to other children that Santa isn't real, however, we have also assured him that it is OK not to go along with their beliefs and conversations about him. Because, in the end, I want his life to glorify Jesus now, not 20 years from now when he is older and more "influential".

Is Santa bad? No. But these are our family's convictions. Does it make us better Christians? Nope!

I. fail. Jesus. daily.

Sure, Santa Claus is fun. We still watch movies about Santa Claus; we will still enjoy the Polar Express and Charlie Brown, but that's all it is now.... "fun". No pressure, no stress, no lying -- just fun.

Now, more than ever,  I'm so happy we decided against Santa this year. We've gone through the story of Saint Nicolas so many times, and he enjoys it. But he especially enjoys the story of the birth of our Savior, and I hope it is one that he will continue to share with his peers for the rest of his life!

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