It has always been strange to me. I always wondered why it was ok? I always wondered why they could lie to us? We are told, from the day we are born, not to lie. Then the people who tell us this, lie to us as long as they can about one thing we know of. One thing we all find out.
Why is it ok?
I am faced with a dilemma. Do I do the same thing? Do I lie to my daughter? Do I tell her the same lie every year around this time? Do I make it worse by adding another lie to it? Do I move that little doll around and tell her it moved on its own? Then I must keep lying because I will need to keep moving it. I will have to tell her to be good because it is watching her and will report back to the bigger lie.
Yes I am talking about Santa and the Elf on the Shelf. I remember when I was a kid and found out there wasn’t a Santa. Not when my parents told me, but when I actually found out. Confession time: I SNOOPED FOR MY PRESENTS! Sorry Mom and Dad. I found my Nintendo in the basement. It was the Nintendo given to me a few days later by Santa.
“Why did Santa drop off my presents and leave them in the basement?” I asked myself. I didn’t really ask that. I asked myself “why was I lied to and told not to lie?” Then I started to play along in the fear that if they knew I knew, then the Christmas presents would stop. I liked getting gifts. It didn’t matter if Santa was real. My Nintendo was real. My bike was real. My drums were real.
So why do we still lie about this guy in a red suit? I understand people want to keep Christmas magical and have fun with their children. I understand that it is a tradition. I understand that Santa is a symbol of giving. But I do not understand why Santa is in more places at Christmas than the person the holiday is named for. I do not like that I see a giant inflatable Santa on the way home from work and do not see anything about the real Gift given to us. And while Santa is a symbol of giving, he also is a symbol of taking. We teach kids to make lists of all these things that they want Santa to bring. They are taught to rely on a man in a red suit and not the One that this holiday is supposed to celebrate.
And what about the Jewish kids? Does Santa not like them? Since they do not celebrate Christmas, Santa will not bring them toys. Are they on the naughty list? Would they be on the naughty list of the One this holiday is about? We are all on the naughty list. But He was born to bring us forgiveness. So why wouldn’t Santa go to their house?
I’m not saying that if you do the Santa thing you are bad. I am saying I am confused. I need help. I think there can be a balance but it should not be 50/50. Jesus should be the reason for Christmas that I teach my daughter. If not for His birth we would not have Christmas. If not for His death we would not be saved.
I just pray that she and other children learn the real meaning of Jesus as our gift and not what they will get from Santa. I just pray that they thank God for loving us so much the He gave us His only son.
The perfect Gift.
Luke 2:7 King James Version (KJV)
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.