Many Christian parents reject Santa Claus. They never have gifts from Santa waiting Christmas morning. They don’t trudge to the mall for pictures with Santa, and they discourage their kids from believing in Santa. They have good reasons for this – keep the focus on the Christian truth of Christmas, and minimize the materialism.
Our family embraces Santa. We do it all, the cookies, the carrots for the reindeer, the letters, and the stockings. Why?
First, I do it because it makes my kids happy, and I don’t like to puncture their balloons. Its an emotional reason, but there it is.
Second, I don’t want to become the dour, joyless Christian. The thing that Santa exemplifies is the joy of the Christian life. He lives to serve, and he is happy (jolly) about it. He lives removed from the world (at the North Pole) but he eagerly engages with the world. He is all about being happy, giving and sharing. I want to be a joyful Christian, even when I am fasting or practicing self-denial. And I want my kids to see that Christianity can bring joy without corrupting Christ’s teachings. I hope they can learn that from the way I lead my life.
Finally, I remember a scene from Thérèse where she was a little girl, putting her shoes out for Father Christmas and overheard the truth from her father and sister talking. If Santa was good enough for the Martin family, he is good enough for mine.