Santa

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Just who is that jolly old man with the cherry red suit and fluffy white beard?

And, as a Christian, should I celebrate him in my Happy Home?

Well, I can answer the first question for you, but the second one is completely up to you and whatever you feel the Lord calling you to do!

Maybe the information provided here will help. :-)

It all began with a man named Saint Nicholas

This special man was born in the third century in Greece.

As he grew, he became famous for being a man of compassion, kindness, and generosity.

He believed Jesus’ words to, “Sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” so he often helped people in need – especially kids!

One of the most popular stories passed down about Saint Nicholas is about a man who had 3 daughters.  The family was so poor that the oldest daughter was going to be sold into slavery.  Saint Nicholas – unseen – dropped a bag of gold coins one night through an open window of the family’s home.  The story goes that the bag of gold coins fell into one of the daughters’ shoes!

This generous gift provided the family with enough money to have the daughter get married instead.

And then Saint Nicholas did the same thing 2 more times to help the family’s remaining daughters.

What a beautiful example of sacrificial, thoughtful love!

Saint Nicholas passed away on December 6th – a date that soon became celebrated with an annual feast in honor of his kindness.  And then the date gradually came to mark the beginning of the medieval Christmas season.

On Saint Nicholas’ Eve, Happy Buddies would set out food for the Saint and straw for the horse he was said to ride (think reindeer).  Happy Buddies also left their shoes out (think stockings) so that Saint Nicholas could fill them with treats and small gifts – just like the girl’s shoes from the story above.

Saint Nicholas is the real person around whom the tradition of Santa Claus was inspired.

Of course, Saint Nicholas’ appearance and story has changed over time as people like Washington Irving write poems like The Night Before Christmas. :-)

But I think the heart of Santa has remained the same.

He was a giver.

I believe that our Happy Buddies can see Jesus in the character of Saint Nicholas.

So when we are out and about and the Happy Buddy and I see Santa, I point to him and say, “Now there’s a man who loves to bless others.  That’s exactly what Jesus came to earth to teach us!  How can we bless someone else this Christmas?”

I try to focus more on the actual man that he was and what he did to help others – not on Wish Lists and presents and what we can get from him.

We’ve been watching A LOT of this movie in the last couple of weeks…

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But I also believe that God gets glory in our Happy Buddy’s joy and wonderment on Christmas – as long as they have a healthy awareness of Who it’s really all about.

You know, the more I seek the Lord about the kind of mom He wants me to be, the more I see Him directing me toward a balanced life.  Not full force trying to get my Happy Buddy to believe in Santa, but not completely separating our Happy Home from jolly old Saint Nick.

Because if Saint Nicholas can help me point the Happy Buddy to Jesus, then I am okay with that!

And maybe there are a few gifts under our tree with Santa’s signature on them… I mean, hey.  It’s magical.  My mom still writes Love, Santa on our gifts and I am 28 and I love it. :-)

AND the Happy Buddy and I will probably sprinkle Magic Reindeer Food on our lawn and leave out cookies and milk because it’s just plain fun.

But ultimately, the focus in our Happy Home is Jesus.

So, whether you choose to celebrate Santa in your Happy Home or not, the best gift we can give our Happy Buddies is the gift of knowing and understanding the value of giving this Christmas.

Because God – the greatest giver – gave us the greatest gift – Jesus.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

:-)

*Disclaimer – the Happy Buddy is only two right now and I understand that I am still young in my views and opinions on major things like this, but for now, this is what I believe God wants for our Happy Home!*

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14 thoughts on “Santa

  1. Thank you for sharing this! What a wonderfully written post. One thing that stuck out to me was the way you told your Happy Buddy “Now there’s a man who loves to bless people!” That is such a great application!! Sometimes it’s the simplest things like that that we can overlook…easy, casual ways to reinforce teachings. Good job Momma!

  2. Julie, I think that as your little guys get older you can stick to this plan and always tell them what’s true. To me it’s really important that kids be able to trust that you won’t intentionally tell them things that aren’t true. It worked for us to focus on Jesus as the real reason we celebrate Christmas, and at the same time enjoy the fun of imagining and pretending about Santa and leave out cookies and milk, etc. We just labeled the stories about Santa as delightful to pretend about, and those about St. Nicholas and about Christ’s birth as amazingly real and true.

  3. I love this way of looking at it. My daughter is 8 and loves Santa but is equally aware of who the holiday is really all about. Santa is a wonderful way of showing children how to give and expect nothing in return. Even the most badly behaved child they know still gets a present from Santa….despite him telling them to be good or they will get nothing. We have not yet told our daughter that Santa is not real but we also know full well that she is going to figure it out and soon. We have decided to be proactive and let her “in on the secret” because she is “grown up” now and can “help pass this tradition along”. We have a day care in our home so I want to make sure she understands she shouldn’t pass this information along to the younger ones in our care (we homeschool and there are days they are in her care as much as mine!)

  4. Wonderful post! My husband and I have come much of the same conclusion about Santa. I do love how you pointed out about Santa blessing others. While my kids have always known the “truth” that doesn’t preclude us from enjoying the idea of Santa any more than we enjoy the idea of Cinderella. Christ and His gift to us is rality and our focus at Christmas but we can’t leave out the enjoyment and entertainment factor of Santa and the fun stories that go with him. It does make it interesting as my kids are getting older and have the Santa discussion with their friends…

  5. What a great way to look at Santa!! I truly wish that you had a blog when my Happy Family was young, Oh wait, there was no such thing way back then. I do love your words and ideas. I hope that my grandchildren will benefit from ideas like this (I have none yet and hope it is a few years away but someday….) Thank you so very much, By the way, we made the Jesus is the reason sign, but, (big sigh) Our window is to small for it and we are trying to figure out the best spot for it.

  6. That is a very lovely explanation, Happy Home Fairy. It is very hurtful when kids from Christian homes tell my (also Christian) children there is no Santa Claus (no matter what you tell your kids, they will spout their superior knowledge to other kids, thinking they are doing the right thing, because children love truth). I have carefully explained the true story of Saint Nicholas to my kids from the beginning. Each year, when they ask questions, I give age appropriate explanations of what is probably not true about Santa, but is fun legend, what we just don’t know, and how people have carried on his name and legacy with generous acts throughout the ages – and then we spend Christmas Eve day being secret Santa and giving away several ten dollar bills where it is least expected, in the name of Jesus with respect to Saint Nick. We take a photo and hang our stockings with a clear conscience, following Santa’s example of generous giving, not getting.

    On another level, every culture has legends that grow and change through oral storytelling. Commercialism aside, the ability to enjoy the legend and separate fantasy from reality as we grow older parallels our ability to enjoy poetry, romance, literature, and art that is noble and beautiful. As we enjoy Robin Hood, Pecos Bill and King Arthur, I would hate to deprive my kids of an even worthier legend.

  7. Thanks for this post. Ryan and I have always wondered what we will do when we have kids regarding this subject (He really didn’t like the idea of Santa being this “all knowing, all powerful” vision that kids seem to worship, but at the same time, we wouldn’t want to deprive our kids of the fun that comes with Christmas. I think your ideas are great :)

    I hope you blog for many years to come!

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