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Do any Christians use Santa and not feel guilty (CC obviously)


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So I'm seeing a lot of blogs lately from people in my religion that don't do anything Santa related. A lot of them won't even listen to Christmas music that doesn't have to do with Christ. Their reasoning ranges from not wanting their kids to stop believing in God when they find out Santa isn't real to just wanting to focus on Christ and his gift to us. In either case, I'm now feeling guilty and like a horrible mother and Christian. Do any Christians not feel guilty about having Santa?

 

For what it's worth, Santa only brings stocking stuffers to our house and the ornaments on our tree is 95% nativity themed. I used to feel like that was a good balance, but now I wonder if we should cut Santa completely. But gosh darn, I love everything Christmas, I don't want to give it up.

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By the time kids are old enough to know Santa is not "real" they are old enough to discern between traditions we have for fun, and truth.

 

After all, what about leprechauns, fairies, and other creatures? They're fun...why deprive kids of that?

 

BTW, "real" is in quotes, because we do tell our kids about the diff. names for Santa, and how he is based on the gift one generous man gave to a family for their daughter's dowry. We also tell our kids, even in the Santa years, about the true reason we celebrate, and that Santa brings kids gifts because he is so happy about the birth of Jesus that he just needs to share that joy. Some will say it's rationalization and bunk, but it works for us.

Oh that's cute, I like that.

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Well, "Santa" (the *real* Santa, aka St Nicholas) *was* Christian, and that's what I try to focus on with my kids. That here was a great Christian man who loved children, and wanted to bless them, just as Jesus loved and blessed the children during His Earthly ministry. I use the Santa legend as a way to point back to Christ.

 

We did try to not "do" Santa in our family, but he's such a huge part of our culture that my kids picked up on it and started "believing" despite my best efforts. :lol: My parents did Santa when I was a kid as well (and the Easter Bunny), and it did nothing to harm my faith. I knew there was a difference between fairy tale (flying reindeer, delivering presents all in one night, etc.), and what I read about in Scripture. Jesus remained *very* real to me as a kid, even as my belief in (secular) Santa and the Easter Bunny fell to the wayside.

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We do not play up Santa, but I do not think most kids get confused. There are no gifts in our house labeled from Santa, and I really don't remember my kids ever asking what gifts are from us and which ones are from santa. It is fun for my kids to sit on santa's lap and see Santa Christmas decorations (we don't have any, but many people do). This year we started elf on a shelf not for the intended purpose of checking on behavior, but because it is fun. That is what we focus on, make believe is fun around here just like story books. God is discussed daily in a real way, not make believe. Kids don't think the Bible is make beileve just because If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is make believe KWIM. FWIW my 11 yr old knows that Santa is not real, and she has a strong faith in God.

 

We struggled with balance for years, and then we realized that our kds are far smarter than we gave them credit for. ;)

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We'd decided not to early on. We know others who do though...many others! We grew up with Santa and have very fond memories of it all. We do pretty much everything else at our house...she just knows the presents and stockings come from Mom and Dad. Sometimes I pine for the 'magic' of reindeer on the roof and all that...but I am happy with our decision overall as it helps everyone (Mom and Dad too) to keep the focus of the season. It's hard to keep Santa out though...he's everywhere! It's not as tough as she gets older though...we listen to Santa songs, have Santa wrapping paper and all that. It's sort of like snowmen and reindeer and candy canes for us now...

 

I wouldn't feel odd at all though...we have friends who do Santa and are able to keep it both about fun and magic as well as a celebration of faith. Don't sweat it! Same goes for the Easter Bunny. :D

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In our house, Santa is just an added Christmas bonus. We treated him like a fairy tale from the start. We never led our dc to believe that Santa delivers gifts. We have ALWAYS emphasized that Christmas celebrates Jesus' birth. All the other things, like the tree, Santa, etc. just add to the MERRY part of Christmas.

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We do too and I'm not afraid to admit it either. I think it depends where your heart lies. My tree is not a symbol it is decoration. We know what Christmas means, we know that it's not really the date of His birthday and we're happy to celebrate the birth of our Lord. We do Advent and we celebrate Him! Santa is a fun and imaginative thing for kids. Kids don't get that anymore. IMO there are too many adults thinking as one for their child and by doing this they take away a lot of imagination and joy that Christmas brings. While we do Santa, we don't decorate Christmas as a "winter" thing. It's a Christ thing.

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We love playing Santa in our house. We do it all: pictures with Santa, and reading Twas the Night before Christmas, and hanging stockings, and leaving out cookies, and special gifts with Santa font tags and so on.

 

We are devout Christians and love the Lord, but see nothing wrong with fun fantastical family traditions. Santa is just one of the fantasies we enjoy throughout the year... along with believing that the Cowboys will go to the Superbowl. :lol:

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So I'm seeing a lot of blogs lately from people in my religion that don't do anything Santa related. A lot of them won't even listen to Christmas music that doesn't have to do with Christ. Their reasoning ranges from not wanting their kids to stop believing in God when they find out Santa isn't real to just wanting to focus on Christ and his gift to us. In either case, I'm now feeling guilty and like a horrible mother and Christian. Do any Christians not feel guilty about having Santa?

 

For what it's worth, Santa only brings stocking stuffers to our house and the ornaments on our tree is 95% nativity themed. I used to feel like that was a good balance, but now I wonder if we should cut Santa completely. But gosh darn, I love everything Christmas, I don't want to give it up.

 

I don't feel the least bit guilty about having Santa be a part of our Christmas celebrations. In fact, when I was growing up, Santa came to the ward Christmas parties!

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But gosh darn, I love everything Christmas, I don't want to give it up.

 

So why would you let a lot of bloggers tell you what to do? :confused:

 

I don't understand why you would feel guilty about it, and I would usually say that maybe it's because my Christian beliefs are diffferent from yours, or that perhaps I'm not as religious as you are, but my mom was very religious and we had HUGE Christmases with tons of gifts from Santa -- and it was great! We still knew the true meaning of Christmas, but also had all the fun of Santa.

 

I know this is a hot-button issue for many people, but my feeling is that you should do what is fun for your family, and not worry about what others are doing. Your life is your business, and I don't think you should allow others to make you feel guilty that maybe you're "not Christian enough" if you do the Santa thing.

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We listen to all the Christmas carols (though some of them get on my nerves aka Jingle Bell Rock), and watch Santa movies, like Elf, but I always send out a Christian Christmas card and we don't have any Santa decorations, though I don't know how much I would object if one came in the door. My kids know Santa is make believe. It's funny, once oldest ds (about age 5) said "Santa is too real! Just like Superman is real! I saw them both on television!" LOL. So he knew how to define his myths, but he also had a good sense of "magical" fun.

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We do Santa with ZERO guilt. I don't think faith in salvation through Jesus Christ means that we need to suck all of the whimsy and joy out of this world. Frankly, it always seem pretty pharisaical to me.

 

We do the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, santa, ect. They all have aged out of it around 7. I'm going to miss these years!

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Santa brings the gifts in our house. We do Stockings from Santa. The boys can only ask for 1 gift and we try to get it to them usually. But not so much this year as they keep changing their minds. :confused: The boys love the different Santa movies.

 

One of my favorite nativities is Santa with his hat off worshipping baby Jesus.

 

We also have Nativities up and will have a Bethlehem dinner on Christmas eve.

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We love playing Santa in our house. We do it all: pictures with Santa, and reading Twas the Night before Christmas, and hanging stockings, and leaving out cookies, and special gifts with Santa font tags and so on.

 

We are devout Christians and love the Lord, but see nothing wrong with fun fantastical family traditions. Santa is just one of the fantasies we enjoy throughout the year... along with believing that the Cowboys will go to the Superbowl. :lol:

 

:iagree: for the most part. In our house, we believe the Cubs will win the World Series. DH jokes we're doing more "harm" to our DC for that than Santa. After all, "you can let go of Santa, but we're still hoping every spring that this year is THE YEAR." ;)

 

I don't know, my kids are young but it just doesn't seem like a big deal to me. I ignore the bloggers and articles this time of year and do what DH and I want for our family. We also celebrate St. Nicholas day.

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We were avidly anti-Santa for years, trying hard to avoid having to do "the Santa thing" (as we put it) and we succeeded, but now that we've converted to Orthodoxy, it's kind of become a non-issue for us. We celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas on Dec. 6, which is when the kids put shoes out and find something in them in the morning (they know it's we who do this, inspired by the generosity of St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra). By the time the 25th gets here, that's a fading memory for the year and we're very focused on the birth of Christ. "Santa" doesn't even come up.

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We celebrate Christmas every which way we can - we participate in the church pageant, the candle light service, Santa Claus, Christmas tree, carols of all manner, decorating the house, reading the story of the nativity from the Bible and Twas the Night Before Christmas, St. Nikolaus Day, Nose Counting Day, etc. We love every minute of it, feel no guilt, and no one in my family appears to be confused or conflicted. :D

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We celebrate Christmas every which way we can - we participate in the church pageant, the candle light service, Santa Claus, Christmas tree, carols of all manner, decorating the house, reading the story of the nativity from the Bible and Twas the Night Before Christmas, St. Nikolaus Day, Nose Counting Day, etc. We love every minute of it, feel no guilt, and no one in my family appears to be confused or conflicted. :D

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree: I am all about celebrating Christmas to the max, up to and including Santa. No one here is confused or scarred. :D

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Most of the wards we have been in had Santa at the church Christmas party. :) Like others have said Santa is a fun part of Christmas for us. It doesn't take away from the true meaning for us. For those bloggers not having Santa may be the best thing for their family, but it's not revelation for everyone. I've read many blog posts using quotes from Brigham Young and past leaders about why we should vote a certain way. But every election season the church sends the same letter asking us to study the issues and vote with our conscience and that they do not support one particular political party.

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DH and I had fun with Santa as a kid and we were not crushed when we were either told or found out or whatever.

 

What we've always done is do a really poor job at being Santa. You know over the dinner table I'd ask DH, "So, tomorrow I was thinking the kids and I would make cookies for Santa. What kind do you think I should make?" DH then replies, "I really like those peanut butter ones with Hershey's kisses on top -- why not make some of those for Santa" -- wink, wink.

 

Santa leaves a note for the kids each year and the kids remark, "Boy, he's got horrible handwriting just like Dad."

 

And the kids have noticed that sometimes there is a big gift under the tree "from Santa" wrapped in paper "just like we have."

 

Also, as we drive through town and see Santas (there seem to be a few of them holding up signs for their businesses on the nicer days here) they'll comment "Wow, that sure is a skinny Santa" or "you can see the elastic holding up his beard."

 

So, they've always sort of known and with the youngest being nearly 11, it's no big deal. They see it as a game we play. Hang stockings and you get some lip gloss or fuzzy socks or whatever.

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No guilt here. We have lots of fun traditions.

 

:iagree: Here, too. And both my girls still believe. Heck, Santa still comes to see me!

 

Our nativity isn't packed away with the seasonal stuff either, sits out every day. And I start listening to Christmas music (hymns and contemp. Christian) early - Nov. 1 this year. We're full on listening to all Christmas music by Dec. 1st.

Edited by TN Mama
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We had Santa traditions but I admit I felt just a tad guilty... I think we told them that Santa was pretend pretty early on, BUT we still continued with gifts from Santa on Christmas morning for a long time. Also, I do love a lot of secular Christmas songs. :) We of course emphasize the real reason for Christmas.

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Most of our friends do Santa & they are all committed Christians.

 

We have Santa music, books, wrapping paper, ornaments, movies, etc in our house. We just don't pretend Santa is real. I just didn't grow up with the Santa tradition and didn't even think to start it up with my kids. We don't over-spiritualize the choice.

 

Who cares what other people think. Do what works for your family. Have fun, and definitely don't feel guilty.

 

Of course if you ever start doing Elf on the Shelf you are REALLY going to h#ll. Bwhaaaaaa. Just kidding.

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We do Santa and everything else fun that goes along with Christmas. We also do a devotional every night and every Family Home Evening from Thanksgiving onward is based on Christ and Christmas. We have a good balance and Santa is STAYING!! :lol:

 

And seriously, people in your ward aren't doing Santa? :001_huh: What's up with that? LOL

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I see no reason to be guilty about listening to secular Christmas songs since I also listen to Christmas carols. I also listen to regular, non Christmas music in December too. Please don't feel guilty about Christmas traditions- enjoy them and stop reading those blogs. Our Christmas celebrations, delightful though they may be, are just a tiniest little glimpse of what heaven will be like- so totally joyous and wonderful. I see no reason to make Christianity bleak. I don't mean that we should be celebrating at all times- Maundy Thursday comes to mind- but celebrating Christ's birth and including fun aspects- why not? We don't do Santa ourselves and never did but we had kids visit with Santa or gone to events with a Santa. DIdn't harm anyone, nor did watching Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer make any of our children non believers.

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We do Santa and everything else fun that goes along with Christmas. We also do a devotional every night and every Family Home Evening from Thanksgiving onward is based on Christ and Christmas. We have a good balance and Santa is STAYING!! :lol:

 

And seriously, people in your ward aren't doing Santa? :001_huh: What's up with that? LOL

Every ward I've been in has had Santa visit the ward Christmas party. Of course, there's also always been some sort of Nativity display or play (usually with the Primary kids as "actors"), or one year there was a talent show. But always a mix of sacred and secular Christmas traditions. In the church building! :tongue_smilie:

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I feel no guilt whatsoever! We have Saint Nicholas (the real one who brings coins in the kids shoes), he communications with Santa on how the kids are behaving ;), we have Nativity (commonly reffered to as Advent) leading up to Christmas Day so there is 40ish days completely focused on Jesus, then there is Santa, Christmas Eve and Christmas day services, following is the 12 days of Christmas.

 

No, I have no guilt :D.

 

That said we did try to tell the olders Santa was not real this year...they didn't believe us. :001_huh:

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we do santa here and i feel guilt-free about it. he brings one gift to my kids. i love the magic of santa so much. in fact, i love many of the traditions surrounding christmas - baking, carols, hot cocoa, decorations, holiday movies, gifts, etc. although christmas is central to Jesus for sure - there are other elements we enjoy about it as well. and honestly, for my family, easter is the cornerstone of christianity. that is the big huge deal here even more than christmas.

 

eta - this is the first year my daughter won't believe in santa. we told her a couple of months ago, so now she is santa's helper.

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So I'm seeing a lot of blogs lately from people in my religion that don't do anything Santa related. A lot of them won't even listen to Christmas music that doesn't have to do with Christ. Their reasoning ranges from not wanting their kids to stop believing in God when they find out Santa isn't real to just wanting to focus on Christ and his gift to us. In either case, I'm now feeling guilty and like a horrible mother and Christian. Do any Christians not feel guilty about having Santa?

 

For what it's worth, Santa only brings stocking stuffers to our house and the ornaments on our tree is 95% nativity themed. I used to feel like that was a good balance, but now I wonder if we should cut Santa completely. But gosh darn, I love everything Christmas, I don't want to give it up.

 

I was at a friends, and she had a straw goat pulling a sleigh decoration. It was supposed to be Thor, who delivered the presents. I remember thinking "how pagan, you have a goat.". I was turned off, then I realized, "wait a minute, we have santa. How is that different?"

 

santa is fun, I did santa pictures every year growing up, my kids did them, and dudeling is now doing them too. (maybe this year, I'll try to get *everyone* to go with dudeling. just one last time. 1dd has used him as an excuse to keep going, last year 1ds went with them.)

 

I have a wide variety of ornaments, including some santas. (I want an uncle mistletoe doll. My mom had an original one, and my sister got it. I did buy a recent edition in a glass ornament, but it's not the same. sniff.) Presents frequently have "from santa" on them. none were devestated when they learned about santa. (though they would then ask to be an elf. Sure kid, I'll put you to work.) It didn't confuse my olders about religion. They've had santa hats and light-up antlers.

 

dudeling is a different story - but he is also ASD. last year I noticed he was starting to obsess about santa. I had to seriously cut down his exposure to santa "things" and up the Nativity Stories. Santa will still be around, just not very much.

 

I generally listen to more religious christmas music, but I also listen to traditional songs that are neither religious nor santa. (then again, sometimes I enjoy "santa baby" ;)) Most of the santa songs seem more for kids to me and I think that is the biggest turnoff.

 

eta: because dudeling is so literal - and always so concerned with whether something is real or not I have to deal with it. when I have to say "this is pretened", I always add "isn't that fun/silly?"

Edited by gardenmom5
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YAY!!!! Santa is staying!!!!

 

So why would you let a lot of bloggers tell you what to do? :confused:

 

I don't understand why you would feel guilty about it, and I would usually say that maybe it's because my Christian beliefs are diffferent from yours, or that perhaps I'm not as religious as you are, but my mom was very religious and we had HUGE Christmases with tons of gifts from Santa -- and it was great! We still knew the true meaning of Christmas, but also had all the fun of Santa.

 

I know this is a hot-button issue for many people, but my feeling is that you should do what is fun for your family, and not worry about what others are doing. Your life is your business, and I don't think you should allow others to make you feel guilty that maybe you're "not Christian enough" if you do the Santa thing.

 

Well, what don't I feel guilty about? That might be a shorter list:lol:. The health food blogs make me feel guilty that I'm not making my own kefir or soaking my grains; the homeschooling blogs make me feel guilty I don't do a whole bunch of crafts and fun projects; the religious blogs make me feel like I'm not teaching my kids my religion well enough.

 

There's no one telling me that I ought not to, but there's a bunch of people posting their "why" on their blogs. And so many other people comment and agree with them. I was starting to think I was the only one.

 

We had Santa fun and pictures when the kid was little. Ironically, it was Santa who told my son that Santa wasn't real. It was OK...he was old enough, and it was just a slip of the lip--he was talking to us, and said, "This is my last gig this season--I'm ready to get back to the ranch in Montana." The look on my son's face was a riot! O-O

 

Take a look here for a tradition that you can segue to or do at the same time (but next year). It's non-combative but gives the story of St. Nicholas and gives you someone that is real, not a parable or an invention of the Coca-Cola company, someone your kids can really look up to.

 

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/

Thanks, that page is so cool!

 

Santa brings the gifts in our house. We do Stockings from Santa. The boys can only ask for 1 gift and we try to get it to them usually. But not so much this year as they keep changing their minds. :confused: The boys love the different Santa movies.

 

One of my favorite nativities is Santa with his hat off worshipping baby Jesus.

 

We also have Nativities up and will have a Bethlehem dinner on Christmas eve.

What is a Bethlehem dinner?

 

We do Santa and everything else fun that goes along with Christmas. We also do a devotional every night and every Family Home Evening from Thanksgiving onward is based on Christ and Christmas. We have a good balance and Santa is STAYING!! :lol:

 

And seriously, people in your ward aren't doing Santa? :001_huh: What's up with that? LOL

Of the three years we've been in this ward, we only went to one of the parties. Santa was not at that one. I like your FHE idea, that's a really good one.

 

Most of the blogs I saw with the anti-Santa rhetoric came from the LDS Homeschooling blog. I suppose I should stop trying to fit in with that crowd, eh?:lol: I did have one friend who went on a rant against Halloween on her FB. And so many people left high-horsey comments about how they couldn't wait for this "traditions of the fathers" holiday to be over with so they could get to the REAL holidays about being grateful. *sigh* I'll try to stay away from the high horsey people from now on. Maybe I'll write my own blogpost about why we're keeping Santa, gosh darn it!

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Every ward I've been in has had Santa visit the ward Christmas party. Of course, there's also always been some sort of Nativity display or play (usually with the Primary kids as "actors"), or one year there was a talent show. But always a mix of sacred and secular Christmas traditions. In the church building! :tongue_smilie:

 

dh tells of one christmas party where the "stake high council" wore reindeer antlers and did the cancan at a ward christmas party. that was in provo. (not a student ward.) dh said someone video taped it . . . .

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We LOVE Santa here! Love it! I go so far as to buy different wrapping paper so they won't figure it out!!! No guilt. It's all fun. And, when the kids start questioning and really, really want to know, I tell them. And, then they get to stay up late and help fill the stockings. My oldest was SO excited that he was part of the "secret" the first year he didn't believe in Santa.

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