Well Friend, it is that time of year again. You know… when people stir-up the great debate about whether Santa should be apart of the Christian Christmas tradition.  Well as you can imagine, with the past week of being snowed in I have spent a lot of time online, and I have seen quite a few blog posts about various stances on Santa. So it is my turn to interject my opinion.

Here is the deal…I don’t care if you celebrate Santa or not.  I don’t care if you have a creepy little elf who lurks around at night while you are sleep creating mischief…I am not going to go any further with that one.  What I do care about is senseless bickering and judging between the Santa Camp and the No Santa Camp.  I mean for real?

The Santa Camp wants to have Santa…then have Santa.

The No Santa Camp wants to focus on Jesus…then focus on Jesus.

Bottom line…IT’S CHRISTMAS PEOPLE!  BE HAPPY! Why judge a family for being different?  It is not worth it!

One article I read said that Santa just reinforces the concept of a works-based-mentality meaning you only receive your gifts if you are good.  But as my husband pointed out, what parent ever withholds Christmas gifts from a child because he was “bad” that year?  Really Santa is more merciful than we give him credit for!

Anyway, I bet you are wondering what side of the camp we are on.

If you haven’t figured out already, I love the concept of Santa.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a little magic during the Christmas holiday.  As I mentioned before, Christmas is about celebrating the biggest birthday ever.  At your kid’ parties don’t you go all out making it fun for them adding decorations and even having “celebrities” represented…Chuck E. Cheese, Mickey Mouse,  Disney Princess?   It was so fun when I was young  to pretend that there was a Santa, and I eventually figured it out.  (I don’t think that there is any correlation between how strongly I believe in Christ and the fact that my parents told me that there was a Santa…I turned out ok…I think.)

The way we approach it with our kids is that Santa is Jesus’s mascot.TheGreatSantaDebate

When my daughter was younger, she loved mascots.  She even had a stuffed mascot collection.  I asked her once what she thought mascots were.  She said, “They are mascots.  You know, there are people, animals, and mascots.” Telling her that Santa is like a mascot has worked beautifully.  About a year ago she figured out that the mascots are just people in a costume.  So when she asks me if Santa is real, I never give her a direct answer.  I simply say, “What do you think?”  It really has been neat to see her draw her own conclusions as she gets older.  Kids are smarter than we give them credit.

My whole point is that I know someday she will understand the mascot is not the main attraction.  Until then, I have purposed in my heart to teach her the truths that I want her to know about Christmas. I wrote a post called Operation Focus on Jesus in which I  shared some ways I taught my daughter these truths in the past. Check it out!

Gasp…you can have Santa and focus on Jesus? Sorry that might have put me on the naughty list. 😉

But that is my approach.  What about you?  Are you in the Santa Camp or the No Santa Camp?



15 comments on “The Great Santa Debate (And Don’t Even Get Me Started on the Elf on the Shelf)

  1. headygolf

    Santa always comes to our house (even though our son is 23….) But Christmas Eve is reserved for Jesus – it’s His birthday party! Cake – stories – acting out with nativity sets (well – this isn’t as much a part since someone near and dear to you has my nativity set!)…..I’m one of those who thinks you can do both and still serve God.

  2. Heather Forseth Grant

    I love this Jennifer! We have both Jesus and Santa at my house and I truly believe it’s possible to raise children who love Jesus and also believe in Santa. Sometimes I do feel like other Christians look down on our family because of Santa:-( Totally agree with your thoughts! Thanks!

    1. Jennifer Mullen Post author

      Miss Heather,
      I have felt that judgment too, but I also have talked to my friends in the “No Santa Camp” who feel judged too. The point is why judge? Thanks for your continual encouragement.

  3. Laecen S.

    Wonderful post! I was from a Nazarene, no Santa family growing up. My husband was a Methodist, Santa is real family. I didn’t want to let the kids think he was real. We were undecided on our son’s 1st Christmas. The second, I was caved. So, our kids believe that Santa is a servant of God, and helps all the kids celebrate Jesus’ birthday with presents and family dinner. The kids have to give presents of kindness, helping others out, just being a good person, or else Santa won’t stopand celebrate. He really won’t show up if they don’t show beyond the norm goodness and compassion. Since we have that approach, we have an Elf that reports the acts of goodness and bad. He keeps a tally for them to see. I was never indulged to anything magical as a child. Yet, their childhood innocence won’t last long and Nick (nearly 6) is already questioning Santa. Hahahaha.

    1. Jennifer Mullen Post author

      Yes. The innocence won’t last. It is a sweet, short window of time. (Didn’t know you are Nazarene…my husband was brought up Nazarene. We currently attend a Nazarene church.)

      1. Laecen S.

        Yes, my mother was pretty strict with being one. Long hair, not permitted to go to dances, date, couldn’t say “gosh” without soap washing our mouth, movies were edited before we could watch them. We learned our articles of faith, on the quiz team at church, sang harmony at church. Haha. Sheltered in some ways, definitely.

          1. Laecen S.

            Our church was wonderful! My mother just interpreted it that way. I loved our church growing up. Weattend a Nazarene Community church now. It’s like family!

  4. Taryn Kendrick

    Love, love, love this post, Jennifer. Mom was a “no Santa” when we were little. She talked to me about the spirit of Christmas…I misunderstood and told my elementary school friends that Santa was a spirit in Heaven with Jesus…oops! Then I preceded to tell them there was no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy…YIKES! I personally let my children decide. Both became “Santa” children (as well as Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc.) I still remember the day Logan demanded the “whole truth, nothing but the truth.” He was disappointed for a minute, but that was just because he was accepting what he had already deduced. I agree with the no harm in “a little magic” theory. I will say that I focus my teaching on the most important aspect of holidays such as Easter & Christmas – God Almighty & Christ our Lord. Most of all, I love your stance on not judging others. As Christians, we should embrace all who believe, not condemn. Hope you and your kids have a very magical and blessed Christmas 🙂

  5. Pingback: Letter to Santa: Free Printable | Coffee With Jen

  6. joannedisfan

    How I explained Santa to my kids is that he represents the spirit of giving and allows people to give gifts to others while being anonymous. Santa does fill the stockings, but usually once they are all old enough everyone enjoys trying to find neat little items to put in each others stockings. Admittedly Little D is just 4 and only this year really starting to think about Santa.

  7. Jamie (@JamiesThots)

    I have to admit, I’m really annoyed by people who say we can’t talk about Santa because we are Christians. We can still focus on Christ and have Santa be a fun story we tell. We didn’t have a chimney growing up so our parents always told us they left a key for Santa. That kinda made him like a cool, quirky family member not this mystical creature that only awards good children.

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