Santa has become a rather interesting subject around here lately. See, we have decided not to celebrate/believe in "Santa". There are a multitude of reasons, but apparently most people believe that we are depriving our children. For this reason, I feel the need to explain why we feel it is in the best interest of our children not to celebrate Santa.
1. The true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with Santa. While we will always teach our kids about the real St. Nick, we will not teach them that Santa currently resides at the North Pole and comes down chimney's to bring presents for the children who have been good. See, the true meaning of Christmas has to do with the birth of Jesus. For you historians, yes, I know that Jesus was not born in December (it was probably sometime during the summer), but CHRISTmas is celebrated on December 25th and that's when we choose to celebrate it, too. I want my children to understand the true purpose of Christmas - not the Santa, commercialized, materialistic Christmas. Yes, they will get presents. But we will not go into debt to give them things they do not need, or will only play with a handful of times before they move on to wanting the next greatest and coolest thing. I want them to understand that this is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The one who gave the Ultimate gift for you, for me, for them, for everyone. That is a far more important life lesson.
2. Santa is a lie. I don't want to lie to my kids and I certainly don't want them to think lying is okay. We never celebrated Santa when I was little for that very reason. My dad was devastated when he discovered that Santa wasn't real. Not because Santa was a fake, but because his parents had lied to him.
Think about it this way. We tell our kids that Santa is real. We tell our kids that Jesus is real. What happens when they discover Santa is a lie? Will they jump to the conclusion that Jesus is a lie, too? If I was willing to lie about one, then why wouldn't I have lied about the other? That is not something I want to have to explain to my kids.
Additionally, lying becomes tiresome. Your one little white lie that Santa is real, becomes a complicated web of lies once children are old enough to think logically. More lies are created to cover the initial lie. As parents we try to make our kids understand that lying is bad, yet we set a terrible example by telling them Santa is real.
3. I am appalled at what Christmas has become for most people. It is all about consumerism. I was sickened when I drove down 169 on my way to my parents house on Thanksgiving. It was 4pm and the line at Best Buy was around the building and had been all day. It's Thanksgiving people. Spend the time with your family. No materialist thing could be worth giving up the one commodity you can never get back - time with your family. I don't want to encourage this materialism in my children. I would love it if one day my kids came up to me and told me they would rather give their presents to someone who had nothing than keep them for themselves. Mind you, I would never ask them to do that, but my hope and prayer is that my kids will think of others who have little, more than they think of themselves with much. In a way we can be living Santa's. This is why Brett and I choose not to give gifts to each other - instead, we adopt Angel Tree kids. We have plenty and they have little. Seems only right.
4. Some people have stated that we are depriving our children of the joy and excitement of waking up Christmas morning and finding out what Santa brought them. My response - if they wake up on Christmas morning and see that mom and dad got them what they asked for, how are they going to be any less excited? And, if your child is that excited, wouldn't you rather them be excited because YOU bought them something instead of some fictional character? My kids will know that we love them and we want them to be blessed. As they grow older, we plan on instituting a three present rule modeled after the three wise men: something they want, something they need, and something to read (borrowed from an awesome family with 7 well behaved, respectful, and well-mannered kids). As I said previously, I want to make CHRISTmas about Christ and His gift, not Santa and his gifts.
Well, there you have it. My two cents on Santa and my rant on materialism. I'm sure I will get a lot of feedback - please keep in mind that I completely understand why parents have Santa presents for their kids and respect their decision to do so.