As a father of 3 (ages 3 to 11) I am a fan of Santa Claus.
I grew up in a Christian family where the season of Advent brought with it evening devotions where we would lite a candle/s in the Advent Wreath, hear a Bible story and sometimes a sing song. And in those days before Christmas we also eagerly awaited the arrival of Santa Claus, who would show up after we went to sleep on Christmas Eve. But even with Santa’s anticipated visit my parents kept the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ, in focus for us and as a result the real reason for Christmas was never lost. I would be lying if I did not say that I was probably more excited for Santa’s visit than Christmas Eve service; but wouldn’t most kids be more excited for presents regardless if they gifts came from Santa or Mom and Dad. It is a part of growing up, as we mature, that we learn to put things in their proper perspective.
As I got older and realized that Santa was not real, I never felt deceived. I just remembered the days of Santa with fondness. And even as the ‘belief’ in Santa faded, the belief in Christ and the celebration of His birth never did.
If I may stir the pot: If you get rid of Santa then do you, for the sake of consistency, also toss out the tooth fairy, blowing out birthday candles while making a wish and etc? –Because that stuff is not real either.
Yes there is a balance… I am not advocating the blind practice of every childhood fairytale.
Having a Santa… Not having a Santa… either way, parenting is not easy. With God’s help, may we all do the best we can to be faithful in the task that we have been given to raise our children. As parents we will make mistakes; and when we do it is important to Confess if necessary, get back up and keep at it.