Santa: A Myth Worth Perpetuating?

Alyson Kieda —  December 9, 2013 — 2 Comments

Santa Arrives!—Flickr/Creative Commons/MIKECNY

I recently heard a woman’s compelling story of victory through Christ over a persistent sin in her life. One thing she stated stood out in light of the upcoming Christmas holiday. She shared that when she learned as a young girl that there was no such thing as Santa, she also began to wonder about Jesus. She reasoned that if her parents could lie about Santa, surely Jesus could be a cleverly devised lie as well.

You may not have experienced what this woman did when she learned the truth about Santa, but you probably felt some disappointment, disillusionment, or even anger. I know that both my husband and I were disappointed when we learned that Santa wasn’t real and for us Christmas lost some of its magic, and that’s why we didn’t insist to our children that Santa was real. What we told them was that once upon a time there was a real person named Saint Nicholas and that Santa was patterned after him. We also told them that we give gifts at Christmas to celebrate Jesus’ birth. They were totally fine with that.

I’m not saying we should never tell the children in our life stories about Santa or the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy, but I think we need to think twice about how we do. After all Santa is a myth, and when we perpetuate the myth of Santa we can inadvertently downplay the true meaning of Christmas. We relegate the story of Jesus in the manger to just another heartwarming but fictitious story.

The story of Santa is a sweet little story, but that’s all it is. Jolly old Saint Nick brings gifts, but Jesus was the gift—God’s gift to us. Let’s remember this holiday season to put the emphasis on the Christ child, the Son of God, who left heaven to come to Earth to live as an example for us to follow and to suffer and die so that all who believe in Him might have eternal life. It doesn’t get any better than that!

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”

Alyson Kieda

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Alyson has been a staff editor since 2005. She serves for a variety of Our Daily Bread Ministries publications, including Our Daily Bread. Alyson and her husband, Alan, have three adult children and three grandchildren.

2 responses to Santa: A Myth Worth Perpetuating?

  1. My parents chose to tell me the truth about Santa being make believe from the beginning. They also told me that I was to never tell anyone that I did not believe in him because they did not want to upset other families. I always found it odd that adults would talk to me about Santa Claus around Christmastime. I wondered why they believed in him.

    My parents wanted me to know the real meaning of Christmas is not about a man in a red suit but about God Himself coming into the world as a baby.

    My grandmother disagreed with my parents’ decision and it caused strife in the family. She did her best to try to convince me that Santa was real.

    Knowing the truth never ruined Christmas for me. In fact, I am thankful they chose to tell me the truth. They did not want to lie to me.

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