4. Treat Santa like every other fictional character
How? By using the word pretend. As in, “let’s pretend to leave milk and cookies out for Santa” and “let’s pretend that this gift is from Santa.” As long as the gift is real, they’ll be okay with Santa being pretend.
In case you’re wondering, my kids never told other kids that Santa wasn’t real. Why not? For the same reason they never told them that the toys from Toy Story weren’t real, either. Kids sort that out among themselves.
It’s not the kids who are worried about keeping the fantasy of Santa alive, it’s the parents. If we get our priorities right, so will they. Santa won't replace Jesus in our children's lives if he hasn't replaced Jesus in our actions.
Jesus Is the Reason for Every Season
Jesus must be central, not just to the Christmas season, but to our lives. Not as a mythical figure watching over us from a distance. That feels as make-believe as Santa.
Our kids need to hear the historical reality of Jesus. How he came into a broken world that needed a savior. That is still broken and needs a savior.
How can we complain about our culture not keeping Christ in Christmas when we still need to see more of Christ in Christians? Especially Christian parents.
Our kids don’t need Santa. And they don’t need a once-a-year Jesus. Our kids need to see Jesus in us every day. And they need to know that Jesus can live in them every day.
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