What About Santa Claus?

How do Christians feel about ________?  Regardless of how you fill in the blank, the answer will depend on which Christian you ask.  I just want to poll the audience on this one: What does your family do with Santa Claus?

The cartoons below express radically different viewpoints.  In one, Santa is portrayed almost as an enemy of Jesus.  In the other, he bows his head and worships.  Is there anything left of Saint Nicolas in our modern Santa?

There is a third option.  Some families watch Christmas specials that feature Santa Claus and celebrate “that special feeling of the holidays” and also read the Bible and honor the birth of Jesus.  You could hang stockings and put up a manger scene.  You could light a Christmas tree and light the candles of an Advent wreath.  Is celebrating with the culture while keeping the faith an offense to both?

UPDATE: I held my piece for a few days and tried to give everyone a chance.  Here is my response.

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9 thoughts on “What About Santa Claus?

  1. We celebrate Chanukkah. Jesus also celebrated (JOHN 10:22-24)

    Jesus was most likely born in the Hebrew month of Nisan in the spring. So that is when I celebrate HIS birth. Not with Santa;-)

  2. From what I’ve learned about “Santa Claus”, he was actually named Saint Nicholas, and from what I’ve heard, he left baskets of food for the needy. Personally, I would never leave the story of Saint Nicholas out, but I would let my kids believe that there is creepy old guy going around to people’s houses and leaving gifts due to a naughty or nice list. The importance of Christmas would be the celebration of Jesus the Christ’s birth.

  3. So how do Christians reconcile bringing the birth of Jesus into a holiday that is essentially ungodly considering that most of the celebrations and most of the holiday customs are largely pagan? Personally, I still enjoy the themes of Christmas and I enjoy the time of year it’s just that I don’t necessarily believe that it has a whole lot to do with Christ.

  4. I don’t “judge” those who do teach their children Santa Claus, I mean it’s pretty much the whole society and my parents did it for me too, but I don’t care for it and if were blessed with children we’ll pretty much ignore it and teach them that its a game that adults like to play, so as they don’t ruin it for other kids. The fact that the child gets a gift based on whether they were naughty or nice is completely opposite of the gospel anyways. We can’t earn the gift of salvation by being good or bad, we’re already bad and God must change our hearts. I believe it detracts from the worship of a Messiah and need for redemption too. I mean, that’s why Christ had to come was because of our need to be reconciled to God, and this was God’s way. Absolutely nothing to do with some guy flying around giving gifts, that’s a fairy tale, and I guess my fear too is that once kids realize they were being lied to about Santa, maybe they’re being lied to about Jesus too. I also don’t care for the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy either, but that’s me.

  5. I grew up believing in Santa Claus. I LOVED it.
    When Cam was little I also did the Santa Claus thing for him, but after a while, I began to feel like we were just lying to him.
    I guess I am torn about it now. I don’t think it is healthy to perpetuate a lie to your children, even for something “fun”. But I am also not the kind of Christian who thinks you will go to hell if you hide Easter eggs or trick or treat.
    I guess if I had to chose, I would say, for me, I would rather take the focus off the Santa/presents thing and really turn the focus on Christ. I dislike commercialism too, and I feel sad that Christmas has for most, become a tedious chore of finding the right gift, or creating the right festive “mood”.
    It really starts stressing me out this time of year, that I cant afford to give everyone I’d like to a meaningful gift.
    I think I would like to see Christmas more as a celebration of the gift we were given instead. I don’t say that because it is expected of me as a follower of Christ, but as person who is deeply grieved by what Christmas has become. So having said all that, I guess you could say, down with (the modern idea of) Santa Claus.

  6. As a little girl I grew up believing in Santa Claus. It was a time every year to get excited and looking forward to waking up Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought. Mother and Daddy was tuned in to make sure there was suspense, look for Santa and his reindeer, and to be excited about the morning. When I grew up and had kids, we did the same for them. It was great being Santa, getting their gifts for them, getting them in their places for my girls to wake up and see what Santa had brought them. Oh the joy of being a parent and seeing the big smiles on their faces. Now I had a little 4 year old grandson. This is the first year he has really paid any attention to Christmas and Santa Claus. I know he is going to be excited himself when he wakes up and sees all his gifts. He may not know the real meaning of Christmas, but he will learn as he grows older. I can’t wait for this special morning to get here.
    I too am not crazy about the commercialism that is included in Christmas. It used to be about being with family, celebrations, the birth of Christ, many things. People these days take the holidays to extreme, going all out, when it isn’t about that at all. We all need to make Christmas for what it is, in our own way.

  7. If others want to use the Santa legend, it is their business and I won’t criticise, but for me, I’ve never had a Santa in the house and have never bought a card with Santa on or used Santa in any way. I consider such things as Santa, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny etc as telling lies to my children and I won’t be part of it. The Christmas story, on the other hand, is beautiful and true.

    I have a vivid memory of teaching Sunday School. One of the boys had recently found out that Santa was make-believe. When talking about the goodness of God and His blessings to us, the boy piped up “And when do we find out He is fake, just like Santa?”

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