Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why we don't celebrate Santa

I get crazy looks and have even upset a few people when they hear that Chris and I will be teaching GG about Saint Nicholas, but not doing the "Santa" thing. We want GG to grow up giving, not expecting to receive. We will absolutely teach GG to respect that others believe in Santa and not to tell them any differently. I hope and pray, that with how we will be raising him that he will have a loving heart and not want to ruin the ideals that other children have - not just about Santa, but other things as well.

I found this in an article over at The Huffington Post and loved it, it's very wonderfully said.
"Kids' sense of wonder does not rely on thinking things are "real" or not. There is a fine line between pretending and believing, and that's where their imagination lives. I also don't believe in using Santa (and definitely not the creepy, Big Brother-like Elf on the Shelf) as a means to make my kids behave." 
"If Santa is your family's cup of tea, go for it. It's just not mine. And I think Christmas is pretty magical without it."

Some of the main reasons that we won't be teaching GG to believe in Santa:

  1. Realizing that Santa isn’t real can cause hurt. Children are often devastated, heartbroken even, when they discover that Santa doesn't really exist. It's a hurt that sticks with some for years and into adulthood. My children may or may not react the same way, but it is a hurt I do not want to risk.
  2. Santa’s mission is materialistic. Christmas’s focus encompasses getting gifts and therefore glorifies Santa because he’s the supposed gift-giver.
  3. Santa encourages wrong motives. Christmastime has become all too materialistic, but it also teaches the lesson that you should only be nice (or extra nice) to others when you want something or you’re going to get something from it. 
  4. Santa is given attributes that belong to God alone. “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good…” It gives Santa two important attributes that belong to God alone. Omnipresence (he’s everywhere at once watching all the children sleep) and omniscience (he knows all). 
  5. Santa is dead. Yes, there once lived an honorable, gracious man who did great things…but he lived a long time ago and his time has passed. He was not immortal and his efforts, I’m pretty sure, were not intended to be translated into what they have become today in our modern Santa Claus.
  6. Give credit where credit is due.  I want GG and any future children to know that they are blessed with toys and necessities because their father is a hard-working man.
  7. Santa is a lie. I don’t know who decided to start teaching their children to believe in fictional characters like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny, but I personally don’t want to be viewed in the eyes of my children as a deceiver. I want them to know that what I am teaching them is the truth and is full of honor. 
  8. Jesus is the reason for the season. Not Santa. Not presents. Gathering together with family is a close second, but, ultimately, the celebration of Jesus’ birth, His arrival to earth to deliver us from our sins, is THE reason for CHRISTmas. 


"You’re ruining your kids' imagination!"We foster imagination in every day activities. We will still read GG stories with Santa as a character he just won't be raised to believe that Santa is a real person.

"Santa, in our culture, is personified to such a degree that there's no room left for imagination. Children know what he looks like, what the North Pole is like, what the reindeer look like, and so on. Kids can even go online and follow his progress on Christmas Eve. If I believe something exists, it's not my imagination I’m using, but something else entirely."

“You’re taking the magic out of Christmas!”I, as an adult, haven't believe in Santa since I was in elementary school, but it has NEVER ruined any of the magic of Christmastime! To think that the spirit of and magic felt from Christmas is solely due to Santa is sad in my opinion. Just the lights alone during Christmastime fill me full of magical-child-like-wonder. 

Santa teaches our children that only "good" children deserve to be rewarded. Thus, those children that's families couldn't afford to get them gifts must not have deserved them. When this is believed we are reducing the degree that we're supporting the real spirit of Christmas.

"The "magic" of Christmas for many children remains in the realm of commercialism. Children are concerned with presents, wish lists pages long, and a sense of entitlement that is antithetical to anything magical. How many kids tear through opening presents because all that matters is seeing what they got? How many end up sad and upset because Santa didn’t get them what they wanted, especially when they were “good”? The magic of Christmas lies in what you do with it and the kindness you show to those around you. You don’t need to think Santa is real, you just need to make sure you create an environment that is filled with love and happiness, and that can be done with or without Santa."