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December 19, 2007

Comments

Rick

Without getting into the whole Christmas thing ... the Santa question was an easy one. I wanted my kids to know that the gifts they got came from me. They got them freely and because I love them. I worked hard for the money to buy them and I wanted them to appreciate the sacrifice I made so they could have this.

Some might say that is selfish - I prefer to think that I was teaching them that their dad loves them and enjoys giving them things.

I see no upside in Santa.

Deanna Adair

Matt- I could not agree more with the stance that you and Lindsey have taken concerning Santa Claus. I think I told you that your Bapa made Santa Claus so real, that when I found he wasn't in the third grade, I was devastated. So much that it affected my belief in God. I teetered between belief and unbelief in God until I was 16 when the Lord revealed to me who He was in Christ. He was no make believe Santa Claus that came around once a year and looked to see if I were "naughty or nice" in order to receive blessings from Him. I praise Him that His love is unconditional all the time and in spite of the fact that I am sinful, He freely chose to give me the greatest gift- eternal salvation and the security of always knowing He is faithful and true. I believe it can devastate a child to find out that Santa Claus is a "myth". I am so thankful my grandchildren will always know the truth.

Adam Tisdale

Let me get this straight...Santa isn't for real? That can't possibly be what you're saying.

Matt Adair

Adam - I don't even know this Santa character. I just randomly rip off blog posts. To be honest, I just wanted an excuse to type 'Thabiti Anyabwile.'

Casey

This is good stuff, and echoes why we decided not to pursue convincing our daughters Lane and Aubrey that Santa is real. Lane knows the story, just like she knows the story of Frosty the Snowman, but she knows it's not real. I always want her to believe me that Jesus is real, and it's hard to be 100% convincing when you've tried to convince a kid for years that Santa/EasterBunny/ToothFairy are real too. Now all the sudden when they're 8 years old and they realize all those imaginary people are just that, we're supposed to be able to keep them convinced in Jesus? I'm sure the odds are it's still okay and they will believe in God, but I'd rather have all possible cards stacked up on my side for convincing them of the reality of Jesus. I tell her Santa's not real, Easter Bunny's not real, etc., BUT......God is real and he loves you even more than your parents do. Hopefully that impacts them both with the reality of it all. Not that our parents screwed up or anything. Santa is okay and all.....I just think there's a better option. It's the difference in what's good for your kids and what's BEST for your kids. Why settle for good when you can achieve what's better or best? And finally, why give them another distraction at the holidays? Gifts are already a distraction (and that includes to me----giving and receiving all the goodies), so why add another one (Santa)? Just another thing to keep their eyes off Jesus at Christmastime.

Matt Adair

Rick and Casey - yup

Jan :)

Hi Casey,
Appreciate your post.
We did the same thing with our girls. As a child, I was totally devastated when a nasty neighbor dropped the bomb. And then we had a friend in college who, as a child, tossed out Jesus along with Rudolph when he learned the truth about Santa. By God's grace he became a Christian in college. We didn't want to run that risk with our kids, either. We always told them that Santa was pretend, and we were going to pretend Santa for the fun of it, but the focus was on Jesus, who is real. Funny thing about little ones and pretending...they believe the made up stuff, too! It was easy for them, though, once they finally understood what we had been saying for several years - "Oh yeah...that's right...you've been telling us Santa wasn't real all along." It was no big deal. Another funny thing - at 21 and 19, they still don't want to see any of their gifts under the tree until Christmas morning, they still sleep together in the same bed on Christmas Eve, and they still "scream in their pillows" before going to sleep. Silly traditions, but majorly important ones to our adult kids. And they are both believers, by the way - in Jesus, that is.
As an aside, I do wish the Christan community (myself included) would spend more time considering how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, than debating the ills of the jolly old elf.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.
:)

Matt Adair

Jan - thankfully, it's not an either or. Part of living in community and mission is talking about things that are very real in our culture and usually assumed as normative or even good by followers of Jesus.

Jan :)

You're right.
I just know that sometimes I can get so focused on one issue, that I negect others. Seems I'd rather dialogue about Santa, than evangelism or leadership.

cheryl

I'm taking a short break to catch up on my blog reading, while the cookies for Santa are baking in the oven. Oh my! I just asked my 20 year old if she remembered how she felt when she discovered the truth about Santa. She said, "I really don't....I guess I just outgrew it." Then, I asked my 17 year old if he felt like he was screwed up for life after he learned the truth. I didn't even get a response...just an eye roll. The 20 year old said, "Mom, you aren't going to tell Sallie (8) the truth, ARE YOU??? Wait and ruin it for her with the Easter Bunny...not now!" So...we will wait. And we will leave the cookies and milk by the fireplace when we go to bed tonight... after I stand outside in the cold and throw nuts on the roof to simulate the pitter patter of little hooves. And I will pray that my sweet Sallie will get what she wants from Santa, but she will receive what she needs from the Saviour...and that she will know He will be there for her each and every night of the year, not just on Christmas Eve. And I pray when the story of Santa loses its luster, that a story with eternal brightness will forever burn in her heart. Now, Bah Humbug to you who don't believe! Nah, not really.... Merry Christmas to all!

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