First, let me say-I was raised with santa. Just like every other youngster in America, I too awaited Christmas Eve with delighted anticipation. I recall the heart-thumping realization that he had gobbled up the cookies my sister and I left for him. I was even certain I heard him sigh one year, while I laid in bed pretending to be asleep but was really listening for the slightest noise coming from down the hall.
I was eleven when my cousin told me the truth, and my grandmother confirmed it. I survived. I was not tragically scarred for life. Shocked, disappointed and even embarrassed, but I got over it. The truth also had no affect on my belief in God.
I suppose that is because I always suspected something was a little off. I remember at a young age (don’t forget, I was eleven when I found out the truth), asking my parents how santa fit in with God. Is he an angel? Did God assign him this job? How come he isn’t mentioned in the Bible? How can Christmas be about both baby Jesus and santa? They say santa never dies, has always been, but isn’t Christmas called that because of Jesus? How do they go together?
Yep, I was that kind of child. It isn’t that I was curious and philosophical about everything; just things pertaining to God. I was raised with a Biblical worldview and was confused how secular teachings, such as santa, jived with God’s reality. I’m still like that. I guess it is the way He programmed me.
Anyway, our anti-santa decision has of course been met with criticism from all circles. I do not expect nonbelievers to understand, but when professing Christians look upon me with confusion…well then that is when I feel compelled to explain. Thus this article, and my list.
Okay, so Christians like to defend santa by saying he represents love. He’s a good way to teach children about God’s love. Parents, family and friends give gifts-particularly to children-as a way of expressing love and symbolizing God’s gift to us as well as remembering the gifts the wise men gave Jesus. He gives children something to be excited about. Adds a little magic to their lives. St. Nicholas was a good man who was kind to children. That’s what they say. Here’s what I say:
1.God does not need a pagan symbol to teach children about His love. He expressed His love in the best possible way already, by becoming flesh and dwelling among us. By dying for us. By giving us life. It is possible Aaron justified to himself the reasons he made the golden calf at the base of Mt. Sinai, while Moses was receiving the 10 Commandments. He could’ve thought to himself, and even declared, this represents the God who delivered us from Egypt. God tells us to have NO idols and to have NO other God’s before Him. With santa, kids aren’t going to walk away understanding God’s love. They are going to walk away with: I get toys!
2.A man named Nicholas may have been very kind and compassionate at one point in history. Lots of people have been kind and compassionate, but they are still just people and should not be celebrated.
3.In response to the “he gives children something to be excited about” argument: What could possibly be more exciting than the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth? Every Christian admits that is the reason for the season, but still feel the need to add to it. The very God who spoke the universe into being humbled Himself to walk on earth and live among His most precious creation, even to the point of suffering all the same hurts and pains as man because He became man. He came into this world as all men do, as a baby. Only His birth was miraculous. His birth was heralded by a host of angels and pinpointed by a star! That baby grew up sinless and freely gave His life for all mankind. He arose from the dead three days later! It’s called the Good News for a reason, folks.
4. santa encourages covetousness, greed and self. It is in a child’s nature to be selfish and self-absorbed, the idea of someone bringing them gifts as long as they remain on the “nice list” encourages that. And let’s face it, the days of kids being grateful for fruit and nuts in a stocking are looonnnggg gone. They have to have the latest, and often most expensive, gadget on the market or they would just simply die! Are all kids this greedy? Of course not. But all we have to do is take a look at what goes on on Black Friday to have a pretty accurate idea of the greed that is in mankind’s heart.
5. Because of number 4, santa makes Christmas about self and less about Jesus. Sure, we can take our kids to volunteer at homeless shelters and donate to charities, but if we teach santa-their primary thought and goal is waking up on Christmas morning to their hearts’ desires. You know it is true.
What’s wrong with gifts at Christmas? Nothing at all, within moderation and the proper attitude. It is the idea of santa that can be dangerous. Let me give it to you straight: santa is another satanic ploy to direct man’s eyes off of, and hearts away from, Jesus. satan is the master of deception and taking an ounce of truth or goodness and corrupting it. Even something like love can be used by him to confuse and deceive even the most sincere Christian. Do not be deceived, dear ones, GOD is love and He doesn’t need a pagan symbol to show that.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:“I will dwell in themAnd walk among them.I will be their God,And they shall be My people.”17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean,And I will receive you.”18 “I will be a Father to you,And you shall be My sons and daughters,Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6
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.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end, Isaiah 9:6-7