my children love Christmas. they know Christmastime is lots of fun, we make wonderful memories, spend extra time together, and it’s a very special time of year.
and Santa Claus isn’t involved in any of it.
both my husband and i grew up loving Santa Claus at Christmastime. but when we ourselves became parents, we decided to kick Santa to the curb. it was getting too conflicting and confusing to try to celebrate Jesus’ birth and let Santa have center stage. teaching our children to honor God’s one and only Son who was sent to live and die for us became more important than anyone coming by a flying reindeer-pulled sleigh from the North Pole. the gifts under the tree meant less and less as we turn our hearts to The Ultimate Gift from God.
we have taught our children, ages 6 and 3, that Santa is a pretend character that a lot of children think is who brings them presents on Christmas Eve. we teach our children that the Christmas presents they receive are selected lovingly by Mom and Dad, bought with the money that we saved by working hard and making small sacrifices as a family.
our children each get four Christmas gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. these four presents represent the simplicity and purity of Christmas, and do not distract from what we are intentionally celebrating. just as baby Jesus received the valued gift of gold, the sacred gift of frankincense, and the life-celebrating gift of myrrh, our children receive purposeful, heartfelt gifts that hold meaning.
we teach our children that Christmas is a time to celebrate Jesus’ Birthday, and at someone else’s birthday, it’s not about what we get; it’s about what we give. it is quite a challenge to teach this in our consumerism-Santa-centered world we live in. toy store catalogs pile up in our mailbox, commercials on radio and television blast Christmas sales and encourage adding the latest whatnot to our “wish lists,” and even well-meaning strangers will ask my children what they’re asking Santa to bring them for Christmas this year.
but we have taught them. when the toy store catalogs come, so do the giving catalogs from World Vision, Compassion International, and Gospel of Asia. we have taught our children to care for the lost, the crying, and the dying. we have taught them about our responsibility as Christians to share the good news of the gospel, and about Jesus, our Savior. we have taught them to give because God so loved the world that He gave.
birthday parties are fun, and Jesus, of course, gets the best birthday party of all. we celebrate BIG, with a bright and decorated Christmas tree and a birthday cake and homemade cookies. we send cards to all of our family and friends. we talk about that special night in the manger. we get to spend time with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. we go to church at night and we sing about Jesus, to Jesus. we make meaningful memories for our children and generations to come.
my children love Jesus, and Christmastime is all about Him. we have a lot of fun, we make wonderful memories, we spend extra time together, and it’s a very special time of year. and Santa Claus isn’t involved in any of it.
Eryn tweeted this week, “We aren’t mad at Santa, we don’t ignore him or hate on him. He just isn’t a part of our Christmas.”