why let Santa be part of CHRISTmas

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This post would more appropriately be titled, “Why we are doing Santa Claus this year even after all my valiant efforts to avoid him at all costs” ….


Do you find it hard to let go of what you want? (I do.)

I am one of those who always wants her way, the way she wants, what she wants, at all times.

And I was very against letting Santa become a part of our Christmas traditions.  I didn’t want to focus on the man in the jolly, red suit.

I wanted, and want, Jesus to be the reason for celebrating.  I also never want to purposely lie to my children.

But for one, we are celebrating, and focusing, on our faith all the time. We wake up to Bible stories and read Christmas stories and have nativity play. (Here are the Bible resources we love.)

Secondly, the issue of lying. No, I have realized, it is not a “lie”– it is make believe. And imaginative play is my son’s favorite past time.  His absolute favorite.  “Pretending” that we are on a space ship or we are spiders in a web is not a “lie,” it is childhood play, just like Santa will be.

So why let Santa be a part of Christmas?

Well, lo and behold, early in December, my son asked excitedly, “How is Santa going to come in if we don’t have a chimney?!”  His cheeks were gleaming from ear to ear in childhood delight.  He was asking an earnest question that came from his sweet heart.  How could I deny him this excitement? This confrontation took me by surprise, so I remember saying something like, “Oh, he finds a way….”

I had to think for a loooonge while on how I would handle this.  Would I stick with MY plan and not “do” Santa AT ALL??

But then he came running up to me, saying, “Mom! Santa’s going to come down the magic chimney and bring me a buffalo!!” His face was so filled with excitement and anticipation.

And then I remembered. I remembered listening at the window with my sister for the reindeer. And sneaking downstairs to see if the cookies and carrot had been eaten. I didn’t “believe” for too many years, but for the years I did, I have those joyful, kid-wonder memories.

So we went to visit Santa this weekend, four year old John’s first trip.  Before we went, we wrote a letter about, yes, the buffalo.  I don’t know where the buffalo came from, but I love it, incredibly adorable.


And we have sung “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” because Santa and the reindeer come hand in hand. We wear Santa hats.  We will set out a plate of milk and cookies.  Our stockings will be from Santa.

Now, not all the presents will be from Santa.  In fact, I don’t know if any of them will be.  We’ll just see how it goes.  If my son wants to think one or two of them are, that is fine, but for me, it will mostly be the stockings.  We do want the exciting presents to be from mom and dad — and there to be gratitude towards all their hard work for making Christmas a time of new toys and new adventures, that’s for sure.

And we aren’t buying, or selling, into the “naughty or nice” business.  I don’t think that is beneficial or helpful because it attacks our beliefs about grace and justification.  Christ died, one for all, and our works do not count because it is by GRACE we have been saved.

Next year, if he still expresses interest, we will dive a little deeper into the rich history of Saint Nicholas.  Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, first and foremost, but it is also a time to appeal to the magic and wonder of childhood.

I never would have come to this conclusion had it not been for my son wanting to believe.  So, again, my son teaches me something. I’m following his lead.


Here are my precious loves after getting home from our adventure with Santa.  We got ZERO “good” pictures — my husband had the camera because May did not want to let me go which I was completely okay with.  I was not going to stick her with a complete stranger.  She was happy enough to receive a candy cane and to talk about him when we got home.  These.  These kids are my joy.  Merry Christmas.

{Check out this wonderful article on how to help kids “not ruin the magic of Santa” for friends and family over at Let’s Lasso the Moon.}

You can read about child-directed learning or our homeschooling days.

**We will be taking a holiday blogging break, but will be in full swing next year :)

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One Comment

  1. suziehomemaker says:

    what I do. we own all the shows now but one. will get that maybe next yr. I let my 3 watch them. we ready the books too. but I tell her truth. We have the book about the St nick. She answers people now, just this week, there is no Santa. he is not real.but stories are stories and fun. but I see it as lying. knew to many people who don’t believe in Jesus because santa, tooth fairy, eatser bunny, jack frost are not real so that must be story too. so won’t canhce that. there are many pretends they do without using that. after all Santa is not that far back in history. what did kids do for 1000s of yrs. so do as you feel to do but don’t feel guilty if you say there is no santa at the north pole to your kids.

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