For the last week or so my kids have been in full Christmas mode. They are all sugared up from the cookies, they're seeing Santa everywhere, and they're in high spirits for presents! Nothing is so cute as hearing my three year passionately sing "Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock."
As a parent I want to make sure they don't miss what Christmas is really about, namely the birth of Jesus Christ. So in addition to watching endless Elf reruns, Stephanie and I have made sure to read the Bible story and to try and teach the kids about generosity and developing a giving heart.
I have also decided to tell the kids Santa is not real. I know, many of you may be shocked that I could break the hearts of my kids (ages 6, 5, 3) over something so trivial. "Just let them have fun with it for a few years," you're thinking. Well, before you fling tomatoes at me and call me a Grinch you can relax, because my kids don't believe me.
(it is sad and worrisome to me that the influence of popular culture already triumphs my children's faith and trust in my word as their Father....think about that for a minute....maybe that is the number 1 reason why you shouldn't be lying to your kids about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and so forth)
Here are 5 reasons why I tell the kids Santa is not real.
1. I want them to know Jesus is the giver of gifts, not some jolly fat man.
2. I don't want them to develop legalistic hearts thinking they can ever 'earn' anything by their good works alone.
3. I want them to know Daddy and Mommy love them and delight in seeing their joy on Christmas - that is why they get presents.
4. I want them to be able to trust Daddy and Mommy's word and I should never use lies to manipulate the behavior of my children (i.e., eat your beans or Santa's not coming!).
5. I want them to know that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus birth and his coming to save the world, and it is not about trees/lights/cookies/reindeer with glowing noses.