Christmas heralds the birth of the Child of Truth. Jesus is truth incarnate (John 14:6) who speaks only truth, being unable to lie (Hebrews 6:18). Therefore, our lips should sing truth at this season more than any other, but, ironically and perhaps sacrilegiously, falsehoods have dominated this holiday.
Millions of children anticipate St. Nick’s arrival each December 24th. Their bodies tinkle in excitement as their parents bid them goodnight. They hear a thump. Was it Prancer? Or Dancer? Or Dasher? With a great struggle, they close their eyes and try to sleep. They wake up the next morning to a full Christmas tree and an empty cookie plate. Years go by and the noises sound less like reindeer hooves and they begin to wonder if what their friend says is true: Santa isn't real.
America is a free country and grants its citizens the right to teach their children whatever they please, but that doesn't necessarily make what they're teaching true. If you're an unbeliever, then you can tell your kids that cars run on pickles if you want. But believers should have a higher standard since they serve a Higher Authority. It is a Christian’s duty to raise their offspring in truth.
Scripture forbids lying (Leviticus 19:11; Colossians 3:9) and lying to a child is no less sinful than lying to an adult. The delightful fantasy of Mr. Claus may be cloaked in innocence, but we must remember that God abhors all sins, even the ones that seem minor. "A Christian should never tell any type of lie" (John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ, page 81). "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil," (Matthew 5:37).
If a parent lies to their child now, the child may be quicker to disbelieve them later. Sometimes even the smallest lie from a parent can be detrimental. The parent claims a jolly old man delivers presents on Christmas Eve, then a few years later they inform their child that it's a myth. How will children be able to distinguish when their parents are telling the truth and when they're not? If they lied about Santa the child might wonder if they lied about God too. They may begin to doubt creation, the incarnation, or some other hard-to-grasp doctrine. Although the Santa masquerade may have no effect on a child’s trust in their parents, why take the risk? Regardless of whether the child’s faith is shaken or not, they will feel disappointed, and no parent wants that. Those who tell these tales should remember how they felt when their parents told them the truth of St. Nick.
Some seem to think the legend of Santa adds to the magic of Christmas. Believe me, Mr. Claus adds nothing. It's like dumping buckets of sugar on a gingerbread man—it's already sweet the way it is (now, if it was coffee, that'd be a different matter) and any more sugar would make it sickening. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and always has been, even though I never believed in Santa as a child. Wouldn't children rather receive gifts from parents who love them instead of a strange man they've never met? Every kid looks forward to their birthday even though there isn't some guy called Sir Hullabaloo who rides a unicorn and sneaks into the house through the rafters and leaves a cake and presents.
I'm not purporting that parents should completely banish Santa from their homes. There is nothing wrong with watching Christmas movies or displaying decor featuring Santa, as long as the child knows what he really is—a fictional character.
Mariposa is a self-taught artist and aspiring children's author who captures the glories of God's creation on paper. She has a Ph.D. in creativity and a master's degree in imagination.
Aberdeen is a book-eating, ink-drinking dinosaur from the createtus period. When he isn't falling into plot holes or taking cover from the volcano of ideas, he's hanging out with Dee-Dee the doodledactyl. Read full bio