Santa and Christmas

Now, of course, I don’t have children, but I am fairly uncomfortable that when I do, I am going to have to teach them a great big myth about Santa in the North Pole or Lapland or wherever he is supposed to live making presents for them and bringing them on an airborne vehicle all around the world every year. It’s pure nonsense.

Not only that, but this figure - and yes, I understand he is based upon St Nicholas - is usurping Christmas from what it should be about, which is the joyous celebration of the feast of the Nativity. Now what has happened is that Advent Calendars are just a means by which kids can anticipate what Nintendo games they will get when ‘Santa bring them’ to our houses. Sorry to be a killjoy but secularized Christmas has meant that ever more elaborate and expensive gifts are being used to satisfy this commercial attitude towards one of the greatest feasts of the Christian calendar.

Is there any way to keep your children in ignorance of this absurdity? Is there any way to get them to not play computer games and actually realize what the real important stuff is? Is there any way to make Christmas about Jesus, and not about Santa, Nintendo, Mariah Carey, and all the other slurry we are bombarded with?

Why do you think you’ll have to teach them about Santa Claus? Just let them know that it’s a fun make believe thing that some people do. You don’t have to let the idea of Santa into your house if you don’t want to.

I would like to add one more thing. Children take their cue from their parents. When you do have children, what will be of upmost importance? Whatever that is will also be of upmost importance to the children. If you make Christmas in your home about the Nativity of the second person of the Holy Trinity and truly believe what you teach, then that is what your children will take out of this time of year.

Peace and God bless.

Stan

Teach them about St. Nicholas and how the saint morphed into Santa over the centuries. After all, he’s not called Santa Claus in all cultures. Most call him St. Nicholas, in their own languages, and celebrate his feast day with oranges and little gifts for the children in honor of him because he is the patron saint of children. You could revise that great custom for your children if/when you have them. :slight_smile:

But, I wouldn’t put the blame on Santa for commercialism. The old movie Miracle on 34th Street, a fantasy tale about Santa at Macy’s department store, makes the point quite beautifully that Christmas is a “state of mind” we should have all year round–in other words, we should keep the birth of Christ in our hearts not a spirit of greed. The cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas is even more explicit with a reading from the Gospel of Luke in answer to the children’s over emphasis on getting presents. Santa has been exploited for commercial reasons, I agree, but that’s not the saint’s fault any more than St. Valentine or St. Patrick are to blame for all the stuff that gets advertized for sale when their feast days come around.

Like us Catholics, the Church of England believes in the commuion of saints. It’s up to us to know how to properly invite them into our celebrations and not let the secular world drive them out or dictate how we will honor them along with our other Advent and Christmas remembrances. Yes?

This worked for us and it was the practice in my family when I was growing up; my brother and I loved that we got filled stockings before our friends :smiley:

Birthdays were the bigger gifting times for our kids. Dare I mention it’s easier on the budget as well? It is and was a lot easier to concentrate on Jesus when commercialized Santa wasn’t part of the same story.

Are you guys telling me that Santa isn’t real !!!

Of course he is! He punched out Arius at Nicaea

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl: Now now there!!! I’m sure he will not forget you. :slight_smile:

phew, trying to be good all year isn’t easy

While the Santa figure, as it is today, is a myth based on a real person, he does pose a way to introduce an understanding of God and sin with something that gives evidence of punishment and reward.

I understand where you are coming from, and I offer you two of my thoughts.

First, you do not have to teach your children about Santa.

Second, if you do teach your children about Santa, you do not have to take away from what the true meaning of Christmas is about. Even my two year old can make the distinction that, and this is a direct quote, “Christmas is for Jesus, Mama.” There are many ways to legitimately catechize your children to know, appreciate and love the true meaning of Christmas while incorporating the fun of Saint Nicholas and the spirit of Giving.

:thumbsup:

Make sure, then, that you don’t read them fairy tales, or Dr. Suess, or let them watch Big Bird, etc.

You don’t have to teach them about Santa Claus, but my children believed it until they didn’t, and then they wished they still did. Then they simply pretended they did, and received great joy in the pretending. It isn’t obsurdity, it is childhood .

And all through this time, the had no misconceptions about what the real meaning of Christmas is - so well explained in the verse of the hymn “What Child is This” that is currently my signature.

Jon

Gabriel talks here about Santa and what he thinks…

He is real. He is imported from Finland every year to countries around the world. Santas live in the wild and there are a group of elite hunters that capture, tame and prepare them for shipment to spread Christmas joy during the holidays.

The company is called Rare Exports.

The tough part is not just shielding them from what you don’t approve of but making sure they respect the celebration of the folk traditions of those other children. Nothing like being in first grade and having some non-celebrant kid coming in and telling all the kids that some folk hero they believe in isn’t real and it’s just mom and dad being sneaky.

Teaching them about folklore might be a very sensitive way to do it. Remind them that culturally people celebrate holidays in their own way and their traditions might not be yours. I admire you greatly for wanting to show them the true meaning of Christmas. I think as parents we sometimes get caught up in the secular holiday. It’s fun, filled with sweets, stories, cartoons, presents… but then it comes and goes like it was no big deal.

Traditional Christian celebrations have been secularized. You nailed it with the Advent Calendar. I didn’t celebrate an advent calendar as a kid. My wife introduced the tradition when our daughter was born. It never occurred to me to think of it as anything other than a countdown for the kids until Christmas (the secular celebration). The last thing I want is to pass on the wrong version of the tradition to my kids! :eek: Gonna discuss this with the Mrs. tonight. :slight_smile:

:

Be good all year or get a lump of coal in your stocking. :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

I had to deal with this just yesterday in Catechism. One of my second-graders made a comment about expecting to receive something from Santa to which another immediately responded with disbelief in the same. They definitely didn’t cover that situation in training.

However you decide to handle it, you should not spoil the celebration of Christmas nor should your children be apt to spoil the fun for their friends who do wait for the noble elf’s visit.

:rotfl:

or worse yet, School Supplies :crying:

Socks and underwear. :eek:

Jon

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