Why Santa is alive and well at our house

Santa-Peanut-TwixTexture by Kim Klassen; chillmagic, 100% soft light

This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas – as am I.
Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.

~Santa Claus, Polar Express (2004) 

Bell jingle. Paper crinkles. Candles twinkle. And there’s a Santa on every corner.

It’s impossible to avoid the jolly elf in this country, regardless of your faith preference. This time of year I hear of those who discourage the childhood belief in Santa. For them, they prefer not to perpetuate the focus on Santa for many reasons. Some fear Santa will become a (little g-)god and will replace the focus of the Christ Child’s birth; some people equate belief in Santa with increased materialism and commercialism; others don’t like the idea of gifts being connected to whether a child deserves them or not.

Whatever the reason, that is their position and I respect their decision. But belief in Santa is alive and well at our house…and here’s why.

Santa is magical. In this world of too much reality television and real-life drama to say nothing of what they see on the news, what’s wrong with some good-old-fashioned imaginative fun for a few years? Fantasy is an important part of childhood. That’s why we read fairy tales and other magical, fiction books. Those stories foster imagination and creativity. There is so much ugly in the world, a temporary belief in a bit of fantasy can bring a smile to the face of one who is worried, depressed or dealing with the anxiety of life. There will be enough heartbreak in their lives as they get older…let them create memories of a simpler time.

Let’s face it, have you ever known a child who believes in Santa NOT to get gifts? Yes, sometimes we threaten that Santa won’t bring gifts for naughty children…but really….does that ever happen? Of course not. Santa is the embodiment of gift giving. Like the sunrise and sunset, gifts magically show up under the Christmas tree every year regardless of how often they are threatened that they won’t. Wonderful gifts that are given from the heart out of love….selfless acts that require no return payment on the part of the child.

Santa has not and will not replace the real meaning of why we celebrate Christmas at our house. We are not threatened that Santa will replace Jesus and his saving grace. That message is front and center. The magic of Santa is secondary. In fact, as Peanut was watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, she announced the Grinch’s heart was too small because he didn’t understand that Christmas was when Jesus was born. And Jesus is love. That was the moment I realized Santa was never going to unseat God. Christ is the foundation. Everything else builds off of that. It’s not Santa’s fault that our culture has hijacked Christmas and turned it into such a commercialism holiday.

The Big Lie is an opportunity to help children understand about selflessness and humbleness; to understand the joy that comes when anonymously giving from the heart. Santa opens the door to discussions about generosity, kindness…and forgiveness. When done correctly, it can be a tangible understanding of the concept of being forgiven for not being perfect. And that can help them understand that bigger concept of God’s forgiveness in our lives when we screw up. The real story about Saint Nicholas/Father Christmas is a beautiful segue in this area.

All fairy tales teach life truths through metaphors and symbolism. With Santa, we will teach our grandchildren about the joy of giving and not demanding.

Christmas Day we will celebrate the birth of God’s son who brought us the best gift of all…salvation and eternal life. Will there be presents? Yes, just as gifts were brought to the Christ Child. We will celebrate our love and generosity as a family. Will Santa bring gifts? Yes….the spirit of Christmas will bring gifts Peanut and Twix did not earn or maybe even deserve. And he will do that in hopes of a few cookies and a bit of reindeer food. 🙂

Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy; who gives himself by thought or word or deed in every gift that he bestows; who shares his joys with those who are sad; whose hand is never closed against the needy; whose arm is ever outstretched to aid the week; whose sympathy is quick and genuinein time of trouble; who recognizes a comradeand brother in every man he meets upon life’scommon road; who lives his life throughout the entire year in the Christmas spirit.
~EDWIN OSGOOD GROVER, Vicki Howard’s The Book of Santa Claus
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12 thoughts on “Why Santa is alive and well at our house

  1. Hear, hear! I totally agree. Christmas is multifaceted and we should embrace the magic as well as the spiritual. Children are young for such a short time, we should encourage all the magic we can find for them. Yes, we have a lot of Santas around our house, too. But we also have several nativity scenes. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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  2. An excellent position in the eternal debate. Children deserve to believe as long as they can – too soon it becomes difficult to find the magic in life. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

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  3. “Santa is magical. In this world of too much reality television and real-life drama to say nothing of what they see on the news, what’s wrong with some good-old-fashioned imaginative fun for a few years? Fantasy is an important part of childhood. That’s why we read fairy tales and other magical, fiction books. Those stories foster imagination and creativity. ”

    Amen, Lisa! And couldn’t agree with you more! And I still believe in Santa 🙂

    What a fantastic photograph!

    Hope you’re enjoying this magical holiday season!

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  4. Pingback: The elf is everywhere except on the shelf | peripheral perceptions

  5. Your photo of your grandchildren and Santa is one of those that will become a cherished heirloom. As the years pass, and the children grow, they will look back upon that photo and know the sheer joy of Christmas – the promise, the hope, the anticipation of good things to come. What a gift! I agree with your thoughts on Santa and the value of a little magic and a lot of faith in this world.

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  6. So cute. My children always loved Santa. And there was a real one in the forms of their mom and dad so to me Santa is real…not the St. Nicholas of years past, but when they asked if he were real, I had no qualms about saying yes. hahahaha I even have a picture that I could show them years later of their dad coming in the back door with presents after they’d been tucked into bed on Christmas Eve. They didn’t seem to mind the deception, and as you say it is magical. 🙂

    The best laugh I had when my middle son went to see Santa at the Mall, he exclaimed, “He’s not real, Santa doesn’t wear a Timex watch.” lol

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  7. Pingback: Photo Blogging Challenge: ‘Tis the Season | peripheral perceptions

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