Why Santa Clause Doesn’t Bring Good and Perfect Gifts

My 7 year old thought for a moment, then asked, “Is there really a Santa Clause mom?” I looked into his chubby, big-eyed face and told the truth. My heart sank, because I hadn’t been telling the truth all along. Why did I ever tell him there was a Santa? Because that’s the story I was told? Because that’s the story most everyone else is told? The repercussions of my decision had just become clear.

From the beginning, I could have told him it was just a story. But I didn’t. We lived out fiction. We made cookies for Santa, left out carrots for the reindeer and went to bed early so Santa would be sure to come.

So what’s the harm in the charade of Santa? Good ol’ jolly Santa just wants to give good gifts. Make boys and girls everywhere happy…and behaved. It’s all in good fun.

Except, all the adults knew the truth. We pretended. My kid skipped along trusting us all. Every other story, even movies, was explained as fiction. We never cuddled up to read him Star Wars to prepare him to actually fight with the Rebels.

What if I had told him from the beginning it was just a story? Would that make me a killer of Christmas traditions? Is Christmas ruined without Santa?

What if “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was just another book on the shelf, not a peek of things to come? Does revealing to my child that no red-suited man would plop down our chimney carrying gifts, make me a joy stealing, kid crushing Grinch?

“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” James 1:16

The world deceives. The truth does not.

Who is the gift giver?

James 1:17-18Not just any gifts, but good gifts. In Greek “dosis” means “the act of giving”. Our Father is the Giver of good things. Not only does God give (Rom. 8:32) but He gives perfect gifts. The second word translated as gift means the gift itself and the word perfect means complete, highest standard.

I instilled in my child an excitement for Santa’s gifts when I should have told him the truth about all the gifts from above.

How incredibly special are His gifts to us, His firstfruits!

What a wonderful truth to share.

I recently watched a YouTube video of a pastor announcing to parents and children in line to see Santa, that he wasn’t real. It didn’t go over well…

Yes the pastor was telling the truth, but there was a more loving way to go about it. I wouldn’t walk into McDonald’s and announce to a room full of strangers that McDonald’s deceived them. Food scientists created quasi-food with no nutritional value to elicit endorphins all in an attempt to make them come back for more.

French fries would fly…at my head.

People listen and respond to someone they trust. Become that someone to your community. Click To Tweet

I love the book, “Becoming a Contagious Christian” by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg. Their book made me think through my walk in a way that makes it real and sharable.

People draw near to others who have something internally special they themselves are seeking. This uniqueness opens doors that God will use to send others to you…and that’s your opportunity to share the Good News. Even for Christians this is true. I am very drawn to people who are walking out Christ. That model creates teachable moments.

By living out the life of Christ, we can lead people away from the distractions of Retail-mas and instead lead them to an abundant life in Christ!

Merry Christmas!



Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “Why Santa Clause Doesn’t Bring Good and Perfect Gifts

  1. Calvonia Radford

    Hello Dana, your struggle is real. Tell my kids the truth or go along for the fun. My family has been criticized for choosing to share that Santa was a character with our children from the beginning. It did not spoil their fun. I actually think it made it more fun. What I like most is we didn’t have to keep making up bigger and bigger lies as they got older to cover up the previous ones. It’s a personal choice. I do believe that even in the small things we are called to demonstrate what we expect from our children. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Children are very forgiving. I may have gotten that one right, but believe me I have failed over and over again.

    1. dana Post author

      Calvonia, thank you so much for your encouraging words! You are a blessing as my Sister in Christ. I find it interesting others criticized you for telling the truth. It epitomizes how easily we as Christians fall into worldliness.
      Have a Merry CHRISTmas!

  2. Heather Lake

    Oh Dana, you nailed a struggle that I also had. We had many many conversations in our house about how to “deal with” Santa. My best friend decided to be up front with her kids from the beginning. Many times I wished I had done the same. However, our compromise was that when our sons questioned if he was real, we would answer honestly. It took a little of the guilt away. I noticed that when our sons finally learned the truth, they weren’t very disappointed, because we have always worked very hard over the years to remind them that Jesus is the true reason for the season. Santa was just added fluff. 🙂 And that lesson has remained, which blesses my mama’s heart. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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