Sunday, August 23, 2015

Santa Claus vs The Christian: Robbing Our Children?

Over at The Old Black Church, Santa Claus was under review. So lets pull the Bunny Rabbit out of the hat and tell the Tooth Fairy that love don't live here anymore, right?

Well, here's a viewpoint supported by The Old Black Church which happens to be my favorite Christain blog

" Mark Driscoll who's one of America's most prominent young
Christian voices says Christians have three options when it comes to
dealing with cultural issues like Santa....We can either reject it, receive it,
or redeem it....I tend to agree with Driscoll that the third option is
best....As Christian parents we should tell our kids Christmas is about the
birth of the Savior, not Santa Claus....every since I can remember most
little children have unintentional worship Santa Claus as the reason
for the season"

MsBrock: "I believe it's possible for a child to learn to distrust a parent when they realizes that Santa Claus is a lie"

On this issue, I think Ms Brock and I are somewhat divided because I do not view Santa Claus as a lie. So, since I had this post sitting in my ready set go file, here it goes.

I Don’t Like Grinches That Try To Steal Christmas
Well, Christmas is but a few months away. In that far too brief a time, when we pray and play and talk and laugh together, I wish I could somehow box those moments of bliss, only to revisit them at my pleasure. Unfortunately, unless I have my own personal time machine, one that could whisk me back in time, that journey is an impossible task. Consequently, I am forced to sing satisfied, but I can dream, can’t I?

I can dream about the days my brothers and I gleefully took center stage on our linoleum tiled floor, Spiegel’s catalog in hand, pointing, pondering, and wishing for the captivating toys on the glossy pages. We knew our parents couldn’t afford most of them, however, since Santa Claus had Rudolph and several helpers, he might stop by our house, leaving everything our heart’s desired. That hope, that desire, that magical possibility, plays to a child’s heart; that no one has the right to abuse , deflate, belittle or to inject their adult sensibilities. That world of awesome wonderment, imagination and innocence, is a child’s right of passage.Having said that, last week, my grandson, who is six years old, informed the family that his teacher said Santa Claus did not exist. What?! No Santa Claus? Those words of “advice” may not seem like a major indiscretion to some parents, however, feeling the disillusionment my grandson must have felt, I was crushed. I mean, is the tooth fairy real? Should we take the Easter Bunny off the table?

“No need to worry. No need to fear. Just being alive, makes it all so very clear. That's with a child's heart, nothing can ever get you down. With a child's heart, you've got no reason to frown. Love is welcome as a sunny day. No grownup thoughts, to lead our hearts astray” ~ Stevie Wonder

I remember those days when my anticipation of Santa Clause’s arrival was enough
to find my eyes closed long before my normal bedtime, in the hope that a new day would appear at the blink of an eye. On Prancer, On Vixen, On Carey... straight to bed.... on to Christmas morning.

Yet, on one occasion, I wanted Santa to slow his roll. See, my brothers and I were a mischievous bunch, sometimes in the neighborhood and school and city parks, sometimes at our house, sometimes gracelessly throwing caution to the wind, we sometimes - well- were naughty and not very nice. Consequently, since we knew Santa didn’t suffer misbehaving kids lightly, we needed a few days to make amends.

And everyone knows, if a child does not go to sleep on Christmas Eve, prior to Santa’s arrival,, and then, happen to see him, he might vanish, taking his toys with him. So woe was me and my brothers. On that memorable day, we went to sleep when the street lights came on, only to be awaken with the urge to use the restroom. However, before we opened the door of our bedroom, we heard a rustlings sound coming from the other side. Oh no, Santa was leaving gifts, we couldn’t go out there! Nevertheless, it was decision time. My oldest brother, who may have been on the fence about this jolly old man that brought gifts, decided to crack the door to sneak a peek. He quickly closed it! In a shaky voice, he said, “Santa Clause is out there”.

With startled looks, we grabbed our little wee-wee’s and paced the floor in an attempt to stop the flood gates. After about an hour of dancing under the stars, my oldest brother decided to take another look. Santa was still there. Our next move didn’t require a vote and none was taken. We all started crying, loud, uninhibitant voices of pain leaped from our mouths.

The door sprang open, mom and dad rescued us from our claustrophobic terror, created by not only the fact that Santa was in our living room but by the knowledge that we would receive a whooping if we wetted our PJ’s. Lost toys were not the culminating factor to our tears, lost “rear end” parts were more of an issue.

Anyway, low and behold, our sentry, who we thought was Santa, was merely one of those 4ft rubber punching bags, with a red and white Christmas stocking atop it’s head.

Childhood memories; what would I do without them? The relevance here is that I, nor my parents, ever spoke of Santa Claus as a figment of someone’s imagination. And personally, I can’t understand why a person would rob a child of that joy. I thought those opinions was reserved for Grouchous Grinches that try to steal Christmas.


jjbrock said...

Carey I do not believe we should tell our children that Santa is real in the sense you mention.

I believe a child ability to believe should be directed solely toward a belief in God (what Christmas is truly SUPPOSED to be about).

As I wrote in the post , when we lead our children to believe in Santa, and then we tell them that Santa is not real, this harm their belief system.

Children have this great, amazing ability to believe without doubt, we owe it to our Lord and Savior to aim this belief towards Him, not someone who stands in the place of Him.(Santa Claus)

♫Hershey's Kiss♫ said...

I agree and disagree with you @jjbrock. I do agree that we should teach our Kids about Christ being born on that day and the importance of God in Christmas however Santa Claus is sort of a tradition. I can say that most of my neices and nephews have been bought up with knowing why we have Christmas and they've even been taught about Santa claus. I feel that knowing and understanding both will help the kids rationalize and choose what they want to believe. I'm like Carey let's not rob a child of this.

Tracy Renee Jones said...

Loved your can someone please remind the well meaning folks that Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus Christ or Christianity.

And having a child believe in Santa Clause is just as unproductive and distracting as having them believe in God.

Merry Xmas!

Mizrepresent said...

Well i believed in Santa Claus and Jesus Christ and turned out just fine. Aren't we just overthinking this a bit much...i'll answer that, yes we are. Believe what you want to believe, but to announce your beliefs as the TRUTH is just dead wrong and i really don't care to hear it. Ain't nobody on this earth an ANGEL, free from sin, so who are YOU (not you Carey) to tell me how to feel and think about what i want to believe in, teach my children, etc...that is all. Love has no boundaries, only folks creating boundaries and is you...think about it. I enjoy celebrating the holidays with my fam and friends...of course Santa no longer exists for most of was a childhood wish that we once adored and shared. This holiday we think about Christ, we think about each other and we take the time to uplift our spirits, renew our faith and combat negativity. Why waste time on Santa Claus or whether you believe in God, i really don't care what you believe in...cuz in the end I believe in God and Christ and will share that belief for as long as i live.

Jackie said...

I have such fond memories of trying to stay awake for Santa and then waking to the beautiful glistening lights and my gifts mysteriously placed under the tree. The cookies and eggnog or hot cocoa left for Santa all gone accept the crumbs, was just wondrous to me. Childhood imaginations and wonder, and ablity to believe, just like their capacity to love is unlimited and infinite. There is no reason to ration these things for our children.

MsKnowitAll said...

I remember one Christmas when my older friends decided to tell me that Santa was not real. I was devastated. And of course I was mad with my Momma who wanted to fight little Jennifer for telling me...

I healed from that betrayal and yet I enjoyed and have wonderful memories of attempting to wait up for Santa only to fall asleep and awaken to find tons of gifts under the Christmas tree. I've always believed in God and my family carried on the tradition of Santa for as long as they could - just as Miz said, I turned out fine.

If my neighbor decided to not tell or to tell their children that Santa exists, so be it. And if they tell them the story of Christ's b'earth, so be it.

Children are resilient, they are trusting, yes, and they probably will feel some hurt when they find out the truth but I am proof that good memories will prevail.

CareyCarey said...

Well, I think I can say I agree with everyone.

@Ms jjbrock, I don't believe I mentioned Santa Claus standing in place of God. As Hershey noted, the 25th of December is but one day. And really, I don't believe any adult can honestly say they've been somehow damaged by thinking (at the age of 2- 7) that a Santa would bring them gifts. I agree that the teaching of God's words are essential, and I don't think a Santa blocks that message unless the individual family changes the message.

@ Hershey, I believe you could have wrote this post for me. thanks for the comment.

@ Tracy, I discussed your comment with a couple of people and I "think" I know what you're saying but you'll have to come back before I make my move too soon.

@ Miz, ooh wee, I see I got you all fired up :-). But really, I hear what you are saying... loud and clear. Thanks

@ Jackie, see what you started (lol). Well, since you're the new face around here, I thought I'd blame something on you. But welcome. Actually, I was sorta inspired to post my article after reading your reply to Ms jjbrock. I just wanted to add another voice to the conversation. But can we talk about some Christmas memories!!! I see you have a few good memories. So do I.

@MsKnowItAll, yes, children are resilient and the truth will prevail. I guess you do know it all. But tell me, what is your favorite Christmas CD?

Tracy Renee Jones said...

@ Tracy, I discussed your comment with a couple of people and I "think" I know what you're saying but you'll have to come back before I make my move too soon.

I don't often come over to this part of town, and I would hate to get the locals all in a stir when I dare have an opinion counter to the one fed to others. I'm allergic to hypocrites so you'll pardon me if I begin to sneeze uncontrollably. And for my New Years Resolution..I've decided to not give ear time to arguments not worth my key strokes or brain juice but since it's not yet 2011...

No need to do much talking about the subject. I addressed just what I mentioned here over at the other spot *wink*. Please drop in for a hot toddy when you're free. We haven't chopped it up in awhile.

Oh, yeah..Happy Holidays!

CareyCarey said...

Tracy, you know you is a mess (lol).

But see, as you know, I love a good spirited conversation. Oh yeah, in this blog world I try to reach-out like an Octopus, sampling all the delicate tidbits of the so-called brainiacs, to the whimsical flavor of everyday life.

So yeah, bet, gotcha, I'll have to stop by the spot *wink* so we can talk about a few things... again.

But look, don't be coming up in here being all condescending to my readers. And see, they might not come back and address your words, but I am sure every eye is not closed. So, I'll catch you on the back lot before I have to cut ya. *smile*

CareyCarey said...

And Tracy, I did make my way over to your post(and left a comment, and oh boy, that was something else.

The differences between our posts is that you attached your complaints on the significance, evolution and purpose of the holiday, where as I talked specially about the joy a child receives from believing in Santa Claus.

Although your view of Christmas is completely different than Ms. jjbrock, the both of you are voicing your concerns on the evolution of the holiday. That argument is not my argument/concern, although I understand where you are coming from. In short, I do not want to debate the Bible or any religion.

Now before any of you believe Tracy and I are visiting some kind of weird site, her post was on display over at RiPPa's spot. She gave her very pointed opinion on why she no longer gets involved with Christmas.

CareyCarey said...

The following is my comment to Tracy's post @ RiPPa's blog.

Wowzer.... Holy-Cowzer. Well Ms Tracey, put up your hands cuz we gettin' ready to have a fight.

Nawl, I don't think we have the time to do our thang. But, seriously, you've made several valid points that can't be denied, however, I believe the premise to your complaints about Christmas rests in your interpretation of what it is and/or what it should be. That alone makes the whole discussion a moot point.

I mean, just because a person does not know the evolution of a holiday, does not mean thay can not or should not join in the festivities. I know plenty of people that can't tell me or you the significance of Junetenth, 4th of July, Armistice Day, Columbus Day, nor the evolution of Thanksgiving, but that lack of knowledge should not and does not make them some type of hypocrite if they decide to take that day off from work and enjoy the festivities that goes along with that holiday. To argue otherwise would mean a person would have to be a scholar of Amercan history and the Bible, or not eat barbecue on any of the above holidays. I mean, your agrument suggests a person cannot share joy (if only your friends joy) with another person unless all parties envolved are somehow of like thinking minds, knowing everything there is to know about the dates, evolution, religion and/or purpose of that joy.

Read more:

Jackie said...

I will accept the blame since I am the new kid on da block. lol Be sure to visit me sometimes too.
Back to Sant though, I was always taught that Santa was a symbol of Christmas. I understood that Santa represented God's unselfish giving to others. Of course with all our materialism, we may have distorted that, but that's what Santa symbolized to me.

Mizrepresent said...

Who really wastes time fighting on the internet with unknown folks with well-known profiles who proclaim to know all, see all and dissect all. Forgive me, i'm sneezing now.

CareyCarey said...

Thanks Miz, I didn't think she knew who she was talking to, so I am glad you came back with your "sneeze".

Some folks take kindness for weakness and stupidity.

David said...

Just to put a different spin on things:

I don't think it is a matter of harming a child's faith so much as creating a headache that doesn't need to be.

I am a church children's worker. All year everything is fine, up until Christmas when the children / parents / us have a big fight about Santa Claus.

Some children (4,5,6 and 7!)are taught Santa exists, others are taught otherwise. Some have 'found out'. Others are wavering. The conversation / question ALWAYS comes up and I am placed in an awkward spot.

As I have finally opted to tell the truth and take the flak. Sigh.

I know there are clever, non-committal answers etc, but for the other 11 months of the year the children know I give them straight honest answers to sometimes difficult questions.

Is Christmas less special without Santa? No. The Creator of the Universe was born

Just my two penneth worth

CareyCarey said...

Hello David,

I understand and agree that there are very difficult decisions to make in life, but they will always be there. However, since the issue of Santa will never go away, the discussion is valid.

When you said you tell the truth, I am left to wonder what truth you are referring to? As I've always maintained, I am not trying to suggest that Santa should be substituted for the birth of Christ. That argument is not my argument at all. For example, if a child asked me if Christmas was about Santa Claus, I'd tell them absolutely not. However, since it's a fact that most people have not read the bible, I can safely assume that a small children will have a hard time understanding the evolution of Christainity. Consequently, I see absolutely nothing work in letting a child believe that if they are good, someone named Santa might bring them a few toys. When they are old enough to understand the concept of a God, then it's time to talk about that.

See, in short, I view Santa as I do the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Boogie Man, they all have a purpose. And none of them are to say that God does not exist. If a person tells the whole story, they need not worry about a sub-text of said story.

David said...

Thanks CareyCarey

Apologies for some of the grammar in my last posting - I'd love to blame the computer, however...

I completely take your point (although I haven't bothered with the boogie man, easter bunny, tooth fairy or Santa for my kids), but my point is that I feel almost forced to participate in the Santa story at Christmas.

As you said "When they are old enough to understand the concept of a God, then it's time to talk about that" - leaves me with a bunch of kids some of whom are ready and some are not (at least in their parents'eyes.

It is a headache for me. I have to walk on eggshells for fear of upsetting parents. The kids are fine, just the adults who get upset! And all this within the context of a Church Sunday School group of children with Christian parents.

I can preach / teach ANY message I want. Just don't tell the truth about Santa Claus.


CareyCarey said...

Hello again David,

No need to apologize, I love the exchange and we are on the same page. See, when you talk about the difficulties of dealing with parents, I've been there. I've dealt with parents all my life. I was a little league president( and coach), and youth track coach. I had them from 8-15, and oh boy, some parents just get in the way.

Now I have to deal with the parents of grown men and women that have found themselves in a bit of a storm. And the story does not change. The parent knows little, but let them tell it, they know everything. Yet, their adult child finds themselves on the brink of destruction. Sometimes I want to tell the parent that they are the biggest problem. They just need to, sometimes, get out of the way.

"but my point is that I feel almost forced to participate in the Santa story at Christmas"

Yep, and therein lies the same problem for the child. When a childs school, immediate family and friends, and the world is participating in this thang called Santa, it's very difficult for them to be a opposing voice. Personally, I do not want to put that burden upon a child. I remember those children who's parents would not let them join in the fun of the holidays. They became ostracised from the other children, and that separation existed long after the holidays.

In short, as I said in my post, sometimes, we as parents, inject our adult sensibilities into a childs world of wonderment, which, although we mean well, could cause more harm than good.

Joanna said...

I remember thinking as a child that Santa was really unfair because he only brought presents to kids, and I wanted him to bring gifts for my parents too. So, one year, while I was making out my annual list to Santa, I decided to ask my mom what sort of things she could use around the house. That year my letter to Santa included requests for china and flatware!

I remember kids in school telling me there was no Santa. So, upset, I asked my mother if it was true. She asked me "Do you believe that Santa is real?" I told her that I did, and she said "Well, if you believe in Santa,then Santa is real" At the time I didn't get it, but looking back, wow, I think my mother was a genius!

The spirit of generosity is Santa. As little kids we believe in the man in red, but as we get older, we need to continue to believe in the Santa in all of us!