To Santa or Not To Santa?

Laura
Laura

EEK! This tradition I’ve started! What have I gotten myself into? I had no idea when I opened The Elf on The Shelf box, what a blessing (and annoyance) it was going to be!

Laura
Janelle

I’m sure your boys really enjoy looking for him every morning and seeing what kind of silly thing he is doing!

Laura
Laura

They do.  On of my favorite days is when Pepper Mint arrives, and it’s always with a note from Santa reminding the boys about what Christmas is really about. And part of that is about learning to give grace to others… like Pepper when he t.p.’s our hallway!

Laura
Janelle

That’s funny. It’s the truth that we all mess up sometimes and we all need grace. I’m curious, how do you use Santa and your elf to teach about the meaning of Christmas?

Laura
Laura

Well, Santa’s letter includes the Christmas story, and a reminder about why he brings them gifts, and how to extend grace.  Sometimes, I feel like God even uses Pepper to speak to me. Like, this year when he arrived, he was outside the front door sitting on the wreath, peeking in the window with his note that said, “Please let me in.”  I know I wrote it, but I felt like it was a reminder to me that that is what God is asking us too.

Laura
Janelle

I can just see him peeking in your front window with his note… poor Pepper!

Laura
Laura

I know it’s a rather elaborate ruse, Santa and the elf and all that, but I have so much fun with it…I think it gives me joy because it’s kinda a fun way to model for them how they will look for God each day, too.

Laura
Janelle

I’m glad you have so much fun with it! Any way that I can teach my children about seeking God is a win in my book. After all, God is present in our days, but sometimes we forget He is. Pepper can remind your family to look in unexpected places for God.

Laura
Laura

I try to use everything to point the boys back to God. And I know that is your goal too. Isn’t it cool how we have the same goal in mothering our kids but it looks different?

Laura
Janelle

Yes! I love how God gives us that freedom! Imagine how boring our world would be if we were all the same! Cookie-cutter families. BORING! 🙃

Laura
Laura

So true! Well, I know you don’t do Santa with your kids, so be honest, do people like me drive you nuts?  I mean, with all our talk of Santa and Elves and Reindeer. 🎅  It’s everywhere.  Even on the Christian radio station, so many of the songs are about Santa.  Does it bother you?

Laura
Janelle

Sometimes… just kidding! 😜  Sometimes I feel like we lose the meaning of Christmas in all the “extra” stuff. And stress ourselves out trying to keep up with everything. Although I think that God gives us each liberty to “do” Christmas however we want, as long as we remember that Jesus is the reason we’re celebrating!

Laura
Laura

Amen!

Laura
Janelle

Imagine if it were my kids’ birthday and I didn’t even stop to pay attention to them since I was so busy with decorations, presents, and being sure my house looked “Pinterest perfect”! Yikes! I don’t want to do that to Jesus on His birthday. Even if I do choose to incorporate fun “extra” stuff, I hope I stay focused on the reason for the season. Elves, reindeer, Santa, or not… that’s a personal preference thing. As long as we keep it about Jesus.

Laura
Laura

I totally agree…I’ve heard people talk about how they don’t want to teach kids that Santa is real because they will think that God isn’t real in the long run.  I get that concern, and a lot of times I wonder if I’m doing the right thing (not just at Christmas time)… I’d love to hear why you have decided not to use Santa with your kids. 🤔

Laura
Janelle

Honestly, there’s not a super deep reason why we’ve chosen to not incorporate Santa into our Christmas. I have nothing against him! Haha! I think a big part of it is that I wasn’t raised with Santa. And partly because I’m really not fond of people in costumes! 😳  People in costumes make me incredibly uneasy.

Laura
Laura

Bahahaha!

Laura
Janelle

The other thing is, I’m lazy. 😉 I don’t want to have to explain it to my kids and wrap extra presents in fancy handwriting and answer questions about how he can get down our tiny chimney and fly his reindeer around the world in one night, etc etc!!

Laura
Laura

I have some great answers to those questions!  Haha!!

Laura
Janelle

Seriously though, I feel like especially to my children that he may become a distraction.

Laura
Laura

Good point!  There are enough distractions in our world!

Laura
Janelle

Yes. But there are lots reasons on both sides that actually make perfect sense! Like why would I not use the Santa myth to teach my children to  give rather than demand, and teach them generosity and grace?

Laura
Laura

When you put it that way, it gives me a lot of peace of mind.  Just because you don’t use Santa doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for me to use it.

Laura
Janelle

That’s right. We all have reasons why we do what we do, don’t we? But then we’re prone to wonder if what we’re doing is “right” in light of what everyone else is doing. I guess that’s where I have to go back to asking, “what is truth and what liberties am I going to take in teaching my children truth?”

Laura
Laura

Woah!  That’s deep.  What a great question!  Really makes me think about what I’m using to teach my kids and why.  And if I really pause and answer that question, then it eliminates the doubt and the guilt that sometimes accompanies it.

Laura
Janelle

Exactly. What if I stopped comparing myself to other moms and just gave them grace? You do Santa? Great! You don’t do Santa? Great! I guess I go back to another truth too that each of us will be answering to God for how we conducted our families. You won’t be answering for me and I won’t be answering for you. And that’s where God’s grace is so amazing, right? There’s no room for guilt where there’s so much grace!

Laura
Laura

I need to write that phrase down!  Because I think the truth is — God is way bigger than any single decision that I make.  His grace does cover our choices, and that is amazing.  As long as one way or another, Christmas is about Jesus, we are doing ok. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go find a new spot for Pepper!

Laura

Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike.  Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.” (Romans 14:5, NIV)
  • “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” (Psalm 119:45, NIV)
  • “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (Luke 2:6-7, NIV)

Music to inspire you:


Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:


Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try:

  • Did you know that Santa believes in Jesus?  Well, he does in our house anyway!  I say that because I think it is important to think about how you are going to use this story to make the most of it.  I try to always point my boys back to the Bible.  So our elf comes with a letter that tells the boys about God’s grace.  It actually says, “look guys… some of the songs get it wrong.  I give gifts to celebrate Jesus, and He’s for everybody… good or bad, naughty or nice.”  I think you have to do what works best for you and your family!  Ask God for wisdom to do what is right for your kids!  He knows best.  
  • We know this is a tricky conversation with many sides to the Santa discussion. We also know it’s challenging because what you decide for your family may affect other families if your kids spill the beans. But we think it’s a good conversation to have.  We think it’s so important that we extend grace to one another.  One mom can do Christmas differently than another and it’s ok.  And we hope that we can all agree on Jesus.  So with that, we say, Happy Birthday Jesus, and Merry Christmas readers.  

 

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more.

In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}

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