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Real Answers™
Copyright: ©2011 William Cripe Sr.


By: William Cripe Sr.

"Pastor, what do I tell my children about Santa Claus?"  It's a question I can depend on from a nervous parent this time of year.  Many Christian moms and dads feel a real tension, if not betrayal of their convictions, over the issue of how to deal with Santa Claus without compromising their belief of what Christmas is all about. 


Sure I've heard the one about "lying to your children" and the awful trauma your child can go through having been taught that Santa is real discovering one day, "Mom and Dad lied to me all these years."


We are led to believe such deception is certain to mean years of therapy unwinding your child's twisted world of confused reality.  Seriously, has anyone ever known a single person whose sense of reason, fair play, or mental stability was warped by being raised under the diabolical fantasy of Jolly old St. Nick?  Neither have I. 


So, having those tense times of parenthood successfully behind me, all you nail biting moms and dads, should grab a glass of egg nog and relax.  The scandal of Santa might be a big deal to you, but your children hardly give it a thought..  Practicality and honesty need not clash. 


The historical Nicholas was born in Patara, and became Bishop of Myra during the third century.  He became known for numerous miracles and deeds of kindness many of which pertained to the rescuing of children from various tragedies.  As the lore of "Saint" Nicholas spread his growing popularity evolved into "Father Christmas" as his fame conquered Germany. 


Before long, the myth overcame the man, and the historical became intertwined with the mythical.  By the time the legend arrived in America, the Dutch Protestant settlers in New Amsterdam (New York City) created a composite of a benevolent magical individual known as Sinter Klaus giving rise to the present day Santa Claus.  In time, the season of Advent became a celebration of the number of shopping days left until Christmas rather than the anticipated incarnation of God. 


Still, children do not ponder these things in such deep and troubling ways.  They see a kindly, stout man whose sole duty in life is to make their dreams come true.  Who could resist not falling prostrate before him?  Only the God of the "prosperity gospel" comes with such expectation. 


If bangles and baubles are all that's missing in your life then Santa just might be your man.


But God is the only one capable of giving meaning to life, bringing sense and fulfillment to our existence while securing peace on Earth.  Yet before peace on Earth is possible there must first be peace in Heaven.  This is why the Babe from above must always eclipse the man in the sleigh. 

For in all of human history, no one was found worthy of heaven even as the Bible declares, "There is none righteous, not even one...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."   We may desire a Santa but we need a Savior which is why children need to know the real story of Christmas.  More than likely they are ready to accept it with child-like faith.    As for Santa?  When they ask, tell them the truth in a positive way--he is a make-believe person about whom it is fun to pretend.  Some people make believe he comes on Christmas Eve bringing lots of toys to girls and boys. 


If they want to make believe too, give them permission to do so.  Just be around to help them understand the difference between fact and fancy.  If you keep Jesus at the center of your home-- not just for a single holiday, but all through the year--it is doubtful Santa Claus will ever be an issue in your household.  


"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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