Funny story: I was running errands the other day with my sister(holla!) and my baby girl. Our coffee craving kicked in so we headed to the local coffee shop. As we parked the car I saw the "Santa" standing on the sidewalk. While getting GG out of the car I heard "Santa" whispering, obviously not quietly enough, to the owner of the coffee shop..."Here comes a child!" Apparently, "Santa" had been hired that day to bring in customers by attracting their children. Anywho, the funny part was when we(with my 1.5 year old) walked right past him, greeted him with a kind "hello" and a warm smile and proceeded to enter the establishment. The looks on their faces said it all. Don't you know who Santa is??
Why we(my husband and I) choose NOT to include "Santa" in the training of our children...
1. Fairy tales are fun and we enjoy them, but we don’t ask our children to believe them.
2. We want our children to understand God as fully as they’re able at whatever age they are. So we try to avoid anything that would delay or distort that understanding. It seems to us that celebrating with a mixture of Santa and manger will postpone a child’s clear understanding of what the real truth of God is. It’s very difficult for a young child to pick through a marble cake of part-truth and part-imagination to find the crumbs of reality.
3. We think about how confusing it must be to a straight-thinking, uncritically-minded preschooler because "Santa" comes across so much like what we’re trying all year to teach our children about God.
Look, for example, at the [common] attributes of Santa:
He’s omniscient—he sees everything you do.
He rewards you if you’re good.
He’s omnipresent—at least, he can be everywhere in one night.
He gives you good gifts.
He’s the most famous “old man in the sky” figure.
adapted from http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/2141_thinking_about_santa/
And as for St.Nicholas...yes, he is a great christian man in history to tell my children about. However, I will not encourage them to "worship" St. Nicholas, which is basically what I would be doing if we took the simple act of telling our children about him any farther than just that-telling them about him.
There was another great man in history named JESUS, Immanuel, Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace. And He is the only way to God, the forgiveness of sin, and eternal life. And THAT is the best gift that my children could ever receive.
Glory to God in the highest.
(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God),
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.