I Love Santa

From the diaries by Caleb. We are a Santa family too. And I still believe.

What is this idea that Santa Claus somehow detracts from celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? I grew up in a Christian household that loved Santa and, as pretty much anyone who knows me or follows me on Twitter can attest, I still really like Jesus. Believing in Santa Claus and loving Jesus are hardly mutually exclusive.

There are some pretty common arguments I hear in these anti-Santa tirades: namely, that he creepy, that he is a false idol, a secular being who keeps us from keeping Christmas centered on Christ, or that, when the kids figure out that Santa Claus isn’t real, they will also question their faith. I think all of these arguments are, quite frankly frankly, silly if you are teaching your child about the real meaning of Christmas, too. If a child is taught about Jesus, how would Santa be a threat to…anything?

Let’s take each in turn.

Is Santa creepy? OK, this is a purely secular argument, but I’ve heard Christians use it, so I thought it was worth addressing. Usually this argument refers to a mall Santa, and parents recoil at the idea of putting their child on the lap of a stranger to get a photo. One has to wonder exactly why people think he’s creepy, though. Santa Claus is an embodiment of goodness, of innocent joy. It takes a hypersexualized and suspicious culture to assume that the elderly man at the mall is secretly a pervert. Has there been a rash of mall Santas gone wild that I somehow missed? I’m pretty sure there hasn’t.

If the Santa at your mall is skeevy, or if the whole thing gives you the skeeves, skip it. Don’t get a picture. That’s ok. That doesn’t mean you have to skip the legend of Santa Claus entirely, though, does it? He is a whole lot more than a guy from whom you request gifts at your local mall. Commercialization of that kind can and should easily be removed from the Santa equation. Embrace those parts of Santa that remain, if you prefer: the magic and the goodness.

Next up is the idea that Santa Claus is a secular being who will detract from Jesus at Christmas like a false idol. I can understand arguments against traditions rooted in paganism (although I still love my Christmas tree), but …read more    

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