My thoughts on Santa

Yesterday I was sitting for lunch with a group of college students. They were having a deep discussion about whether you should pretend there is a Santa with little kids or not. I listened to all of their stories and arguments and remained silent on the matter. But today I want to post my thoughts on Santa. I know it sounds simple, but I think there are some big issues underlying the question of Santa for me and my family.
First, I personally tell my kids that Santa is a nice story that people like to tell. It is kind of like Batman, Superman, or even Huck Finn. Nice stories created by nice, well-intentioned people. The stories may have some roots in history, but primarily serve the purpose of communicating a truth. With Santa, I learn that giving is better than receiving.
Second, my objections are more biblical than personal. What does it benefit my kids to lie to them? If I act like some mythical person (or creature) is real like Santa, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy or whatever else is real, “How does that help them?” I tell them that mommy and daddy (along with grandma and grandpa) bought them their gifts. We did it because we love them and want them to enjoy the holiday. More than that, I tell them that God provided us with the money to purchase those gifts. God is the ultimate giver and that is the biggest lesson to learn. Then, I want them to understand that we are to giving people – just like God.
The bigger problem I see is what happens when my kids find out Santa is not real. I think I lose some credibility with my children. “If my parents are lying to me about this, what else are they lying to me about?” My deepest fear is that they will question the existence of God. If I lied to them about Santa, whom they have never seen, maybe I lied to them about God, whom they have also never seen.
I have yet to have one parent give me a descent answer when I ask the question, “What does it benefit my children (or me) to lie to them about Santa?” There is no benefit that I can see. So, I spend Christmas telling my kids about the great God we serve who gave us his one and only Son.

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