I want to share with you all why my husband and I chose to tell our (then) 3 year old the truth about Santa Clause. I understand that most of you will disagree with our decision, and that's okay.
My husband Justin and I both grew up believing in Santa Clause and the fairytale of him coming down the chimney, leaving presents, and eating cookies & milk each Christmas Eve. However, after a comment from our pastor we decided to do a little research before deciding what to relay to Madi about Santa.
The main points we came across during our research, both from our pastor's brief touch on the topic and reading online articles, was that if you teach your children about Jesus & Christianity - the foundation of our family - and then teach your children about Santa Clause, you're giving them mixed ideas.
Mark Driscoll explains it well in this excerpt from an article, "Since we also teach our children that Jesus is a real person who did perform real miracles, our fear is that if we teach them fanciful, make-believe stories as truth, it could erode confidence in our truthfulness where it really matters."
This is so so true. How can we expect our children to believe in Jesus, this man who walked the Earth and performed miracles, after we tell them that yes, St. Nicholas was a real man but Santa Clause is completely make believe? It's a hard concept to grasp as a child and can, ultimately, leave questions as they grow up as well.
So, we decided to tell Madi from the start that we, her parents, are Santa Clause. We told her how Santa Clause was a real person who brought gifts to children, but that the man dressed up as Santa is simply that - a man dressed up, just like we do for Halloween. We will still leave cookies & milk for "Santa," because it's fun to do but she knows mommy & daddy are the ones who will be eating it.
I also still mention Santa but again, she knows I mean Justin and me. It's something that gives me comfort as a mom whose sole purpose in life is to raise my child to love and serve Jesus with all her heart, to know that I'm doing everything I can to ensure her faith and confidence in Jesus Christ. I don't want her to think the people she should trust most, lie to her, even if it is about a fairy tale character.
Oh, but if you do decide to tell your child about Santa at an early age, reiterate that other kids do not know this. We've already had quite a few slip-ups where I have had to cough loudly over her "BUT SANTA'S NOT REAL" comments. Ha!
So, thoughts? I value your opinions, but let's all keep it nice. :)