Over the past two years, my wife and I have done some thinking about Santa. We decided that we are not going to participate in the American tradition of telling our children that a fat man in a red and white suit comes down the chemny and leaves presents. Everyone we know does Santa (in varrying degrees and forms). We grew up doing Santa. But now, no Santa for us. Several factors have contributed in our decision:
1. Santa has the tendency to obscure the true meaning of Christmas. Santa is not evil, just the tendency to idolize him at Christmas time. Alcohol is not evil, just the tendency to overuse it. If you ask most American children to draw a Christmas picture, they will most likely include Santa or reindeer (an obvious sign that these children have been taught that Christmas = Santa).
2. Santa is a lie. No matter how you slice it, you must admit this one fact about Santa: He does not exist. Now, I know that there was once a man from whom Santa originated. But the historical story of a generous man has nothing to do with the jolly good fellow who knows when you are sleeping and knows when you've been bad or good. For all parents who do Santa, there comes a point when you have to admit to your children that you lied about Santa (and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy). I do not want to have to admit that to my daughter.
3. Santa obscures the character of God. The modern day child must admit that God is not unique in many of His attributes. Who cares that God is omnicient (all-knowing) when Santa is also? Who cares that God is timeless when Santa is also (can be everywhere at the same time)? I'll be honest: I want Karis to be in awe of God. I want her to stand in wonder of His majesty. And I want this to happen as early as possible.
Other Random Factors:
4. It is bad parenting to motivate obedience using anything but God. "You better be good or Santa might not bring you that red truck you want."
5. Our chemny is too small and I hear that reindeer hoofs shorten the life of your shingles.
I'm going to get myself into a heap of trouble on this one. Fire away.