About Santa Clause


#1

I want your opinions. A belief in Santa Clause bothers me…and when my children ask I always tell the truth…And am relieved when they know…Some people see it as harmless fun…but my father tells me it was a belief in Santa Clause that was part of the reason he is athiest today. He reasoned that if they made up Santa Clause then they made up God too. I realize he over-simplified this, and his own father’s death, and the fact that they never attended a church service of any kind lent a hand to his athiesm…but still…

How do you deal with Santa Clause?


#2

Knowing that he wasn’t real did not ruin my life, I found out and got over it. For some reason it didn’t shake my belief in God. The thought of a fat man going down a chimney seemed kind of silly to me anyway. I never even made the connection that if Santa was made up then so is God. We only recognize Santa during Christmas and God all year round.


#3

[quote=Lillith]I want your opinions. A belief in Santa Clause bothers me…and when my children ask I always tell the truth…And am relieved when they know…Some people see it as harmless fun…but my father tells me it was a belief in Santa Clause that was part of the reason he is athiest today. He reasoned that if they made up Santa Clause then they made up God too. I realize he over-simplified this, and his own father’s death, and the fact that they never attended a church service of any kind lent a hand to his athiesm…but still…

How do you deal with Santa Clause?
[/quote]

In think you should teach your kids what you want them to believe. My problem is with the non-Santa people who actively encourage their kids to ruin the Santa myth for other peoples’ children.

I personally plan to allow my kids to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and, the Tooth Fairy. If they want to dress up in their little red suits with their horns and pitchforks on Halloween–more power to them! I think fantasy helps kids develop a healthy immagination.


#4

[quote=smartblkchick]In think you should teach your kids what you want them to believe. My problem is with the non-Santa people who actively encourage their kids to ruin the Santa myth for other peoples’ children.

I personally plan to allow my kids to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and, the Tooth Fairy. If they want to dress up in their little red suits with their horns and pitchforks on Halloween–more power to them! I think fantasy helps kids develop a healthy immagination.
[/quote]

Oh…I would never ruin it for anyone else’s kids! I have had the discussion with my children not to divulge the “grown-up secret” to other kids for sure!

I also don’t like the idea of lying to keep it up though…the facade that is.


#5

[quote=StratusRose]Knowing that he wasn’t real did not ruin my life, I found out and got over it. For some reason it didn’t shake my belief in God. The thought of a fat man going down a chimney seemed kind of silly to me anyway. I never even made the connection that if Santa was made up then so is God. We only recognize Santa during Christmas and God all year round.
[/quote]

When I found out I was devastated…because I was raised athiest it was the only spirituality I had in my life…A belief in Santa.


#6

You mean…
HE’S NOT REAL???
:eek: :crying:


#7

[quote=vluvski]You mean…
HE’S NOT REAL???
:eek: :crying:
[/quote]

:stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:


#8

[quote=vluvski]You mean…
HE’S NOT REAL???
:eek: :crying:
[/quote]

Sure, he’s real – his name is “St. Nicholas”, and he’s in Heaven. :slight_smile:

Crazy Internet Junkies Society**
**Carrier of the Angelic Sparkles Sprinkle Bag


#9

Okay, Santa Claus was a real person. Not the Jolly old Saint Nick of the famous poem " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" but a holy man who was a Bishop in Myra in Asia Minor (now Turkey).

Check out this site newadvent.org/cathen/11063b.htm or do a google search for St. Nicholas. You will get a lot more information than I can give you.

But to make a long story short, he was known for giving money anonymously to poor girls who didn’t have a dowry when a dowry was needed to marry well - and not to some old man or into prostitution (someone somewhere else on these forums pointed that out to me
:slight_smile: ).

His feast day is Dec. 6 and this is when countries other than the US and Canada generally give the presents from St. NIck to their children.

I taught my children the story of St. Nick and that it is a Miracle that God bestows on this man that he is able to make it around the globe in one night.

So, is Santa Claus real? Or is he just a “legend” or story to tell our children? I believe that every gift giver during the Advent and Christmas season are representing this great Saint especially when we do something charitable - teach your children about taking canned goods for your St. Vinent de Paul Society gift baskets or adopt a family that has come on hard times! You can then tell your children that they are acting as God wants them to act using the example of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus)!

Brenda V.


#10

As kids we did not get indulged with Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and even the tooth fairy.
However my son is at a stage where he suspects it is us. So I have told him if he doees not believe, he does not get. I think it is all in good fun.
Shish - last week was expensive - DS lost 3 teeth.
We have emphasised the birth of Jesus and Jesus dying on the cross and resurrection and All Saints Day and All Souls day. Though I do not see any thing wrong with giving him toys/money. He also knows the story of St. Nicholas.
Just yesterday, he asked if the elves really made the toys that Santa gave him or ?? So I jokingly said that with sooo many kids to make for may be Santa was shopping at Toys’R’Us. He was just thinking of all the toys that he has got from Santa.


#11

I suspect that there are tons of Santa believers who also grow up to be true Christian believers, and Santa (the commercial Santa - St. Nicholas is a whole nother story) doesn’t ruin their faith. But I am personally not a fan of Santa, and tell my kids the truth (which includes St. Nick, and the connection). I tell them that it’s a fun game that people like to play, to help them go along with other kids and family that is big into Santa.

I do worry about kids feeling betrayed or lied to, and if that affects the faith of some kids. Mostly though, I don’t see how it’s possible for a young child to truly (not just in lip-service) appreciate the miracle of Christmas that happened 2000 years ago, when just last night, Santa just performed the miracle of making it into every Christian’s house in the world and leaving just what presents they wanted. It’s just too big to compete with, if you ask me, and doesn’t lead to enthusiasm about Christ’s birth.


#12

[quote=Lillith]I want your opinions. A belief in Santa Clause bothers me…and when my children ask I always tell the truth…And am relieved when they know…
…How do you deal with Santa Clause?
[/quote]

Then deal with it truthfully and tell them about St. Nicholas–a real person who existed! It seems that the lies can get more and more elaborate as we try to keep up the Santa myth.

I approach it a little different. My younger ones are full fledged believers in Santa. But as each gets older I place more and more emphasis on good ole St. Nick, and less on the mythical character he’s evolved into. (There’s a great Catholic video called “St. Nicholas,The Boy Who Became Santa” telling true story about this saint.) I discuss the spirit of anonymous giving that is motivated by love of Jesus Christ. Eventually we have “the talk”, and allow them to share in anonymous giving for love of Jesus also.


#13

stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=38

This is a great St Nicholas site!!! :thumbsup: It has tons of info and great crafts, kids online activities, etc…
Jennifer


#14

Our little one is deathly afraid of the Santa costumes. Won’t go near them. (Or the Easter Bunny, but that is beside the point.) So our tact was to still keep “the magic” of childhood alive, but also the realistics of history and present times by doing this:

1. We told her that the santas at the mall are just people dressed up in a costume. They are Santa’s helpers. They tell Santa what she wants. But the one she sees is just a guy in an outfit. She assures us that she won’t be scared this year because she knows it is just a guy in a costume. My prediction: she’ll talk the talk, but won’t walk the walk. She’ll back out last minute. :smiley: We’ll see.

2. We’ve stressed the stories of the real Saint Nicholas. This webpage is GREAT!! We placed him in history and explained that he was a real man and a real priest and a real follower of Christ. We explained how he gave fruit and nuts and food to the poor people, and how he gave his money to the poor, and how his entire life was spent giving worldy goods to those in need. We have her help pick out the apples and oranges and nuts for the stockings and explain why we have that tradition and where it comes from. We also have her choose and help wrap gifts that are only from her. That way, she understands the “giving” part of the holiday, and not only the recieving part. We tie this all in to St. Nicholas.

3. We made cross-over connections between St. Nicholas, Santa, and Christmas, explaining how the real man came to also be a legend. There is a children’s book at the website I linked above that she has memorized. To get to it, click on the For Kids icon, then the Stories and More section. The book is And Now We Call Him Santa Claus. I don’t know why, but I really like the artwork on that one.

4. We ordered free materials frum the Greek Catholic Union about St. Nicholas. (They shipped quickly, and whomever addresses them has beautiful handwriting.) Their “Free for the Asking” page is here.

5. The other day, we were walking through some shops and there was a small area with icons for sale. I asked the little one who was pictured in them, pointing to the icons of Mary and Jesus. She showed no interest in them and was immediately drawn to a smaller one that was partially covered. She was so excited to have found an icon of St. Nicholas. She was right, too.

So I guess our main focus has been to still allow her the wonder of Santa delivering gifts on Christmas morning, but to provide a sound historical understanding of who St. Nick really was. That way, as she grows, she will understand and mature to be able to discern that it was a man who attained legendary status because he lived his life for Christ. It is pretty amazing the hundreds (if not thousands) of stories, legends, miracles, and such that are associated with the real St. Nicholas, so moving from the fantasy to the reality does not mean giving up the awe and wonder.

Of course, providing a strong daily example of living a Christian life (much as St. Nicholas’ parents did) is even more important in helping her to discern where true happiness comes from. The real St. Nicholas is a wonderful portrait for how to live in day-to-day life, and not just when it is in “season.”

http://www.saintnicholasorthodoxchurch.org/graphics/1/st.nick_icon.png


#15

[quote=Lillith]When I found out I was devastated…because I was raised athiest it was the only spirituality I had in my life…A belief in Santa.
[/quote]

You poor girl! :frowning: Why in the world would your atheist parents get you to believe in Santa if they didn’t even believe in the season in which he is celebrated–when Christians celebrate the birth of the Son of God? I’m trying to wrap my head around it, really. Were they trying to push onto you their own disappointments or were they truly clueless about what they were doing?

I think it best to tell children about St. Nicholas, as Brenda suggested, while explaining how we got the fantasy character of Santa Claus (which is only the name St. Nicholas in another language–which language escapes me at the moment).

However, Santa Claus/Father Christmas isn’t such a bad fellow for our children to believe in, either. He represents the joy of Christmas, the spirit of giving, and the abundance of God’s graces. And those are all certainly real. Read Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, if you haven’t, and you’ll see what I mean. :wink:

Anyway, all the best to you and yours, everyone, this coming Christmas Season, and God bless! :smiley:


#16

[quote=Della]You poor girl! :frowning: Why in the world would your atheist parents get you to believe in Santa if they didn’t even believe in the season in which he is celebrated–when Christians celebrate the birth of the Son of God? I’m trying to wrap my head around it, really. Were they trying to push onto you their own disappointments or were they truly clueless about what they were doing?
[/quote]

I think that they didn’t want me missing presents…a tree…the fun of it all. And I think they were truely clueless also :smiley:

Thank you to everyone for the great suggestions and the websites!


#17

[quote=Della]I think it best to tell children about St. Nicholas, as Brenda suggested, while explaining how we got the fantasy character of Santa Claus (which is only the name St. Nicholas in another language–which language escapes me at the moment).
[/quote]

This reminds me of something I read the other day. Celebration of Saint Nicholas’ feast day was forbidden by the Puritans and other anti-Catholic groups (for being a Catholic “thing”), so they kept St. Nicholas’ feast day and the gift-giving tradition, but instead of St. Nick delivering the presents, it was the Christ Child delivering them. Christkindlein became Kris Kringle. So Kris Kringle’s origin was purposefully and distinctly anti-Catholic. Further, Father Christmas was pagan in origin, coming from Norse mythology. St. Nicholas (the real Catholic bishop of Myra) was known as Sinterklaas in Dutch, from which the modern day Santa Claus originates. I thought it interesting. I also decided to not use the terms Fr. Christmas or Kris Kringle from now on because of this. Just a random little tidbit of interest.


#18

Where I come from, we celebrate “Three Kings Day” (Epiphany). On January 5th at night children gather hay (or weeds like we did :slight_smile: ) and put it in a shoe box at the foot of their bed. In the morning most of the hay is gone (maybe leaving a track to the front door) and there are presents in/around the shoe box. We used to believe that the 3 kings had come and left us gifts and their camels had eaten the hay and left the track. I loved that tradition. I like the idea of making sure you tie St. Nicholas and generosity/charity to Santa Claus.


#19

[quote=vluvski]You mean…
HE’S NOT REAL???
:eek: :crying:
[/quote]

Of course he is real. He is a Saint. Saint Nicholas. He is in heaven with Jesus and is more real than we are. At Christmas time, people remember him and his kindness and saintliness by allowing him to bring presents to children on Christmas eve.

When the kids ask how that happens, then you tell them. If they’re asking, they’re ready to know. I was sad to learn but a few years later, I realized what a wonderful act of generosity it is for parents to do this thing in secret, without expecting to get the credit themselves. . . .


#20

A lie is a lie is a lie, no matter what color the suit.

If you want your kids to maintain the myth, keep them away from me. If they happen to come out and ask me, I’m going to tell them the truth.

(Like any of your kids are ever going to ask me… :stuck_out_tongue: )

DaveBj


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.