When Christmas is getting near, you begin to hear the questions from your kids… “Is Santa coming to my house this year?”
As a Christian parent, you may ask yourself how to answer these types of questions, the main one being…
Should Christians celebrate Santa Claus at Christmas?
Let’s take a deep look into what the Bible says about it and what parents can do instead!
Christians And Santa Claus
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I think overall that the body of Christ seems to be divided on whether or not we should teach our kids about Santa at Christmas.
Some say it shouldn’t be encouraged because it’s a mythical story that takes the place of Jesus.
Others say it’s harmless fun.
I would like to think there is a good medium of explaining to your kids the meaning of Santa Claus and where the “worldly” story came from, but still making sure to focus 100% on Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas.
So, should Christians teach their kids about Santa Claus and/or celebrate it at Christmas? Do we teach a worldly story as truth to our kids, or do we lead and guide them in what God’s Word says?
Let’s see the origins of Santa, what the Bible says about it, and what you can do instead!
Origin of Santa Claus: Saint Nicholas
Before we can talk about whether or not you should teach your kids about Santa, let’s look into where the idea of Santa Claus even came from!
Two words, one name: Saint Nicholas.
Saint Nicholas was a real person which is where the story of Santa Claus came from.
No, he wasn’t from the North Pole and he didn’t have a big long white beard, at least it’s very likely that he didn’t haha.
Nicholas was born long ago; he was a fourth-century Bishop of Myra who dedicated a lot of his resources and time to the Christian church.
One more popularly known story was him giving gold to the less fortunate. More specifically he would pay dowries to young, poor girls so that they would be able to marry – hence the tradition of him carrying big bags with gold coins.
While some of you may know this, I didn’t really realize where this tradition came from!
So I think it’s important to understand that Santa Claus is not a real person but the story behind it actually points to Jesus. Saint Nicholas was kind, had a love for others and for God, which still points back to Jesus, the reason for the season!
What Does The Bible Say About Santa Claus
Now that we understand a little more about where the idea of Santa Claus came from, (a real person, Saint Nicholas), let’s look at what the Bible has to say about Santa Claus.
You may be thinking, “Yeah I don’t think the Bible mentions Santa Claus at all, I think I would remember something like that…”
Well, you’re right!
The Bible does not reference Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas for that matter. But it does reference Jesus and God sending his son to be born of a virgin, a miracle in and of itself.
The real reason we celebrate Christmas, not Santa Claus, rather Jesus Christ coming to live a life and eventually die for us because of His love for us.
An important verse I want to share with you is…
I think as parents we really need to make sure that we are speaking the truth from our lips.
Yes, the Santa Claus story may be fun and create a great experience for Christmas, but ultimately it isn’t true.
I’m not saying that you can’t celebrate Santa Claus or talk about him, but making sure that our kids understand that Santa Claus is not a real person who is coming to your house giving you presents and leaving.
Rather, it’s a fun story that we can talk about and have fun with, but Jesus Christ came down, was born, lived a sinless perfect life, died for our sins, and rose again so that we could have a forever relationship with him and Heaven.
So what may seem like an innocent little lie, or even if you don’t think of it as a lie, it takes the focus away from Jesus.
It’s our job as parents to make sure we are setting an example for our kids. What may seem like a silly little story or a little white lie, is an untruth coming from our lips.
Something God laid on my husband and I ‘s heart very early on when my daughter was born was to always tell her the truth.
It sounds simple, but raising kids you know that that can be tough sometimes.
It can be so much easier to say, well the toy broke that’s why we don’t have it, rather than you need batteries.
Or, the ice cream store is closed today, when it really isn’t it’s just not time to have any.
I’m not saying we need to burden our kids with every single thing going on in the world or even with things they may not understand, but I do believe in telling our kids the truth, especially when it comes to things of Christ such as this.
The Nice List & The Naughty List
I wanted to make sure to touch on this point because it’s SO important.
Telling our kids to be “good” so that they can be on the nice list and Santa will bring them presents may seem like a good motivator for good behavior, but it’s not the right one.
Believing that, if you are good then Santa will bring you presents, but if you are bad he won’t.
When really, it’s we choose to do good things because that’s what Jesus wants us to do and we obey His commands because we LOVE Him, and receive eternal treasures stored up for us in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20 NIV).
There is a way to still incorporate Santa Claus however in your Christmas WITHOUT believing it’s true. So how do we do this without lying to our kids?
There are two things you can do when your kids start to ask you questions about Santa Claus because that time will come sooner than later…
Two Ways To Teach Your Kids About Santa WITHOUT Lying
“Mommy, is Santa coming to my house too?”
*deer in headlights* *stuttering* *sweating and pure panic*
…These are just a couple of the feelings I felt when my daughter would ask me these type of questions about Santa. 😬
“Santa Claus” was something my husband and I talked about when we found out I was pregnant, and even the first couple of years of my daughter’s life (before she could really understand who Santa Claus was).
Now that she’s 4, the questions have come up a lot more and after praying about it, we have learned two things to do when this question comes up and how to handle it.
Part of us wants to be respectful because we know not everyone believes this way. So I don’t come right out and tell her that Santa isn’t real, go tell all your friends and ruin their life haha.
But I also don’t tell her Santa is real.
So what is the first thing you can do when your child is asking you questions about Santa Claus?
1. Remind them about Saint Nicholas
The first thing we do when she asks questions about Santa, is redirect and tell her about Saint Nicholas.
There’s a really good 5-minute family devotional By Buck Denver, that explains who’s Saint Nicholas was in a very simple way that kids can understand. We watch this every Christmas!
We talk about how Saint Nicholas was like Jesus and loved other people. That Santa Claus is based on him, and it’s a fun story/tradition that we can talk about.
Then, redirect your kids to the TRUTH which is…
2. Always always ALWAYS… Point back to Jesus
This leads into the second most important part which is… redirect and point back to Jesus always!
Even when talking about Saint Nicholas we mentioned that he loved others like Jesus did and still does.
We remind her that Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus or the presents or the glitter and sparkles and Christmas trees (even though we love all those things) Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus and what He did for us.
We felt this was a very loving way to approach the subject without feeling like we are lying to our child, and getting the real point across!
Can Christians Celebrate Santa Claus At Christmas?
Overall, it really is up to you and your family and your personal convictions.
We feel convicted that we shouldn’t teach that Santa is real. As parents, it can definitely be tough to navigate things like this, of the world.
It is important to remember though that we are not of the world. We are ambassadors for Christ, we are called to raise Godly kids who will love and serve the Lord.
It may seem like a really minor thing, like, “why is it a big deal to believe in Santa? It’s not hurting anything.”
But God has called us to speak truth from our lips, and always point everything back to him! 🙂
What are your thoughts? Do you celebrate Santa Claus in your home? Let me know in the comments!