When it comes to kids and Christmas the conversation among parents always starts, “Does your child believe?” It is sometimes followed with a statement that is poised as a question, “Your child still believes?!” From there either a joyful or an awkward conversation follows.
So as the authority on Christmas, (I’m low key obsessed.) here’s the answer to the age old question “Should children believe in Santa Claus”… Yes. That’s it. It’s a simple, straightforward and empirical “Yes”.
Belief in Santa Claus and his story touches on ideals in the Christian faith and are grounded on a real Christian man, Saint Nicholas. St. Nick was indeed a real person who became famous for giving gifts and money to the poor. The hope of instilling a spirit of charity and kindness towards others in the hearts of children is critical for them and for the future they will come to shape.
Santa Claus does not undermine The Nativity Story, people do. The idea of grace and favor which were born in the Nativity are ideals that Santa Claus carries out. This helps the youngest of children understand the concept of grace and being forgiven for the missteps that we make along the way.
Reinforcing with children that good behavior is rewarded is something that we instill in the hearts of children with their belief in God. That there good acts and kindness are seen by God and others.
Small acts that children who believe in Santa partake in like creating letters for Santa actually helps improve their performance in school and gets them writing. It also helps children to develop a healthy imagination and fosters creativity.
Embracing Santa does not mean that one does not embrace the true reason we celebrate Christmas which is to honor the birth of Christ. It also does not mean that all accept Santa as a symbol of materialism and greed and that a Santa Christmas list is a demand list instead of a hope list. The story and belief in Santa is what we allow our children to hold dear. What we reinforce is what they will take away. Allowing children to embrace Santa helps them to understand the concept of grace, giving, kindness, generosity and forgiveness.
So now that we have that established here’s why believing in Santa is also important for kids young and old. Here’s where it gets deep. Having stepped onto the other side literally, I know the significance and importance of truly living. Should we ever put off or put down joy, imagination, creativity, generosity, kindness and unabashed belief? No. When will you ever truly begin to live if you don’t live inside these moments, opportunities, feelings and joy?
The answer is that you will live but miss out on the great joys of living. A movie that I have watched so many times is “Contact” with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. There is a great scene where Matthew McConaughey and Jodie Foster talk about proving the existence of God. It is one of my favorite scenes in a movie.
Our belief in God is based on having to believe without seeing. Some will challenge this correlation with the notion that Santa isn’t really real and therefore perhaps The Almighty is not as well. But you see, the spirit of Christmas… that grace was born into the world and along with it came kindness, joy, mercy and generosity will always be real for those who claim to see it and those who refuse to. The belief in the nativity story is believing that others have accepted the story and show the kindness and love that The Savior did and does as well.
Not to mention how could you deny your children and yourself the opportunity to have this much joy?
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