I was prepared at Christmas. I had the whole comment worked out in my head when the question would be asked…
The unsuspecting person would smilingly look down at my kids and say, “So what is Santa going to bring you?”
I had the kids prepared. We tell the truth, in love. And the person would either nod his head with understanding and say, “Great!” OR I’d get the head shake of pity. At times a heated discussion would take place. But in the end, my husband and I will be held responsible for the training of our children and both of us strongly agree that Santa should not be seen as real in any way, shape, or form in our household.
So when the grocery manager asked, “Is the Easter Bunny coming to your house tonight?” I nearly fell out. I hadn’t really thought about it. I was not prepared.
I stammered and sputtered. I guess I answered ok, but it wasn’t nearly as polished as it should have been.
So much for being prepared for an answer in season and out of season.
So why don’t we allow Santa and the Easter Bunny (or the Tooth Fairy) in our home?
My answer is simple. Not everyone will agree with it, and I’m ok with that. Scripture is clear about the most important thing: The Gospel. And if there is something that is trying to take the place of the Gospel, then I should have nothing to do with it.
If I tell my kids the toys, candy, stocking stuffers, disappearing teeth, tricky elf tricks, etc. all came from some arbitrary “real” character, then I would be lying to them. The Bible says, “Do not lie.” It does not say, “Only lie when you want to so you can make things fun on a holiday.” I don’t want to lie to my kids. I want them to be able to trust me in everything. A holiday is a big deal. Parents go out of their way to create traditions so memories can be made. Why do those memories have to be formed around a lie? Christians should be proclaiming Truth…especially during the holidays. Think about it. If Satan can do anything to distract us from the real meaning of Christmas, and especially Easter, then our hearts won’t be focused on his enemy: JESUS.
Which brings me to my other reason for not using these characters. “It’s harmless fun,” some people say. Is it really? Myths and legends have been handed down since the beginning of the ages. Atheists love to lump the stories of Jesus with many legends of miraculous births and resurrections of times gone by. So now lump Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy in there. What kind of conversation will you have with your child when she learns the Truth?
Wait! They aren’t real?
No, they aren’t.
Oh. So does that mean Jesus is not real, too?
No, He’s real.
Oh. How do you know?
I’ve experienced Him.
But I’ve experienced Santa. He left me toys and I really like that. I can’t see anything about Jesus.
No, your dad and I pretended to be a rabbit and Santa. We did all of those things.
So you lied to me? You tell me lying is wrong.
I’m not saying this type of conversation will happen in all Christian homes that celebrate with “real” characters. But it could, and this type of conversation doesn’t seem to be “harmless” to me. I see it as a real battle for Truth. We don’t celebrate Santa and we’ve already had a conversation with our kids about the reality of the Bible vs the lie of Santa. Life is hard enough for a Christian family. Why would we want to distract ourselves from the One Person who should guide each and every part of our lives? I have enough sins and battles to fight without willfully adding worldly issues to my family.
It is not my mission in life to ruin everyone’s holiday if my kids “accidentally” tell your kids that Santa, or the Easter Bunny, isn’t real. This choice has not been a fun one for me. In fact, it’s been quite stressful. I have been frowned upon, argued with, and had my daughter slandered on Facebook because of our decision.
Is a lie really worth that in Christian circles? Wouldn’t the enemy love to cause rifts and struggles amongst Believers? I’m not willing to give him a foothold. But I will continue to stand for Truth to the best of my ability. Not an “in your face” Truth, but “an iron that sharpens iron” type of Truth.
The Gospel is what matters. Jesus is what matters. Nothing else.