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Family Parenting tips

Do your kids believe in Santa? Parenting Tip #33

Do your kids believe in Santa? {Mom of Many}This has been a debate forever.

Some say it’s hurting the cause of Christ to allow Santa into our homes. Others say Santa is a harmless fantasy that makes Christmas fun.

Here is my take on this debate. (Read to the end, please.)

  1. We didn’t teach our kids Santa is real.
  2. When they saw plastic Santa’s in stores, they asked, “Who is that?”
  3. We emphasized the Christmas story of Luke 2 every year.
  4. We had a bunch of adopted kids that we needed to trust us – we didn’t see lying to them even for fun being an option.

Let me explain why we nixed Santa.

Besides the fact that Christmas is a time of celebration of Christ’s birth, I had a negative experience when I was little. That formed my opinion on how I would parent my kids. My brother told me Santa wasn’t real when I was around 6 or 7 and I remember distinctly that moment when I realized I’d been lied to.

Now, don’t get all in a huff, hear me out.

Up to that point everyone had upheld the Santa story and I faithfully filled out my Christmas list every year. It was a fun time. But when my brother spilled the beans I was embarrassed and felt betrayed. I remember I was in my closet playing around on the pole…doing chin-ups.

My brother came in with a friend and told me with a smile on his face. Apparently it gave him pleasure to reveal the secret – little kids…what are we to do with them? That moment is forever burned into my memory – 50 years later I can still picture it.

Yet, I know other families who teach the Christmas story as well AND include Santa in the festivities.

Who is right?

I’m here to tell you that it’s up to each parent how they will handle this issue. If they never had any issues and can keep it a fun little fantasy then what’s it to us? Seriously. Why debate and point fingers? Every family is different and every family must decide for themselves what they will and will not do with their kids.

I honestly don’t think Christ cares AT ALL.

As long as those of us that name the name of Christ give Him the preeminence in our lives and give Him the proper respect and devotion then I don’t think He really cares what silly little fantasies we play around with. If He has His rightful place in our hearts then everything else just pales in comparison.

Really. Do you think God cares one whit about Santa?

Let’s focus on the right things. Forget the debate. Forget about judging other families and just enjoy the season and all it brings to us. There is too much fun stuff out there to waste time considering this issue. Just decide what is best for your family and go with it. If the Lord has a problem with it, He’ll tell you – if you are listening. If you’re not, then how much chance do I have that you’d listen to me?

Christmas time is amazing. Focus on family, the beauty of the decorations, the fun of the gifting and leave the rest to God. I would say focus on the beauty of the “snow” too but we’ve not seen any yet!

I’m pretty sure Christ would prefer we all focus on Him rather than being bothered by the Jolly ol’ Soul.

Tell me what you do in your family – do you do the ho ho ho holidays? Leave me a comment, I’d like to hear what you think.

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Val @ Mom of Many

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Book Reviews recommendations Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Parenting is Your Highest Calling & Eight Other Myths

Have you every had a passionate belief that you couldn’t put into words? You knew it had a Biblical foundation, but for the life of you, you couldn’t nail it down or explain it well enough without making you sound like you were making excuses or justifying yourself? This book, Parenting is Your Hightest Calling & Eight Other Myths by Leslie Leyland Fields does a great job at explaining the ins and outs of parental responsibility and dispels the myths that are so prevalant in Christian society – myths that I ran into in my parenting experience. 

 She outlines 9 myths that many parents buy into that can cause grief and disappointment when their parenting experience doesn’t the bring the results they’d expected. As a mother of 15 children, 13 of whom are special needs adopted, I saw how the blame game is easily entered into by those who have a tendency to judge others, especially Christian leaders who take credit for their own children’s successes. It is my desire to see that parents are encouraged and loved, not expected to be perfect or to take on the responsibility that was only God’s to begin with.

Here are the 9 myths Leslie outlines in her book:

1. Having Children Makes You Happy and Fulfilled.
2. Nurturing Your Children Is Natural
3. Parenting Is your Highest Calling
4. Good Parenting Leads to Happy Children
5. If You Find Parenting Difficult, You Must Not Be Following the Right Plan
6. You Represent Jesus to Your Children
7. You Will Always Feel Unconditional love for Your Children
8. Successful Parents Produce Godly Children
9. God Approves of Only One Family Design

Her basic premise is that we as parents are required by God to be faithful, to follow His basic guidelines for holy living and endeavor to teach the same precepts to our children. That’s it. We are to leave the results up to Him. He is the one who will woo their hearts, call them to repentance and a life of service to Him. We can’t do that. Only God is able to take our children and make them into something He can use.

I have seen and experienced the extreme pressure from others to measure up as the perfect Christian parent – too often reminded that “if we do our job, our kids will turn out right”  and “if they stumble and fall it is ultimately our fault.”  This advice is given without the slightest bit of acknowledgement that God is the One who shapes the believer and determines their path in life.  In her book, Leslie reminds us of parents in the Bible who lived a faithful, godly life only to experience disappointment in their parenting experience. The business of parenting is hard enough. We certainly don’t need to be bogged down by misplaced condemnation. This is a very encouraging book and I recommend it to every parent.

Thank you Leslie, for sending it to me. I wish I’d read it years ago.

You can get this book at Amazon.com for $11.19 and Christianbook.com  for $10.99.