Just Imagine (Oops, you can’t these days)

imgresIt happens every year. Christmas arrives, and suddenly Christians lose their imagination. Well, not all of us. But there is a segment of believers who seem to think any kind of holiday “magic” is unbiblical and bad for kids. You know, Santa, reindeer, the North Pole…things that could just be part of a kid’s honest, make-believe world are now considered taboo. I don’t quite get it.

I remember playing loads of make believe games as a kid. That Captain America cape my mom made for me was awesome! Destroying entire fleets of UFOs and legions of aliens in the backyard, well, what a ride! These days, though, child-like, innocent fantasy seems to have been lulled to sleep by adults who are more concerned about correctness than creativity.

Perhaps I’m basing too much on my own good experience (i.e., just because I wasn’t damaged by Christmas fantasy doesn’t mean it is necessarily right). Or maybe I’m blinded to the real truth by my own love for the holidays. I don’t know exactly. But it does seem as though imagination and creativity are considered less valid options for a church kid at Christmas. It seems like we’ve confused wandering with wondering.

By no means am I “okaying” deceitfulness. I’m just asking an honest question: Is it really “deceitful” to pretend with our kids (you know, the cookies and milk by the Christmas tree, the whole chimney thing, and stuff like that)? I think not. God knows the heart, and a healthy imagination is more than a holiday benefit; it’s a God-given blessing.

0 Comments on “Just Imagine (Oops, you can’t these days)”

  1. I agree that fostering a child’s imagination and creativity is an important thing, but I think that can be adequately done without make-believing Santa Claus. I have great parents, but I remember feeling very deceived, confused, and almost hurt when I found out that I had been lied to about the reality of Santa Claus, the Eater Bunny, and the tooth fairy (am I forgetting any?). I’m sure not all kids feel that way, but knowing that I did makes me think twice about wanting to lie to my children–even if my heart is in the right place.

  2. Todd, I just have to get some more clarification on this issue. Funny you should write this because hubby and I are in complete disagreement about this right now. After reading your blog I’m not 100% clear on what you are saying; so what I want to ask is what does this look like in your household, what have you taught your kids about santa, reindeer, etc? How have you found this balance in your home between deceitfulness and just having fun with the imagination Christmas can bring or any other holiday? I grew up knowing about Santa and looking forward to what he brought us in our stockings, while I knew it was from my parents at a pretty young age this is still something that we do as a family that we look forward to and looking back at my childhood these are some of my favorite memories that pop back to me. I don’t think I ever felt deceived about this and thankfully it hasn’t affected my belief in Christ, but I’m on the fence with how we will handle this with our children. I remember you saying a couple of years ago in a message probably close to Christmas that you don’t teach your kids about Santa because you don’t want them to ever question whether Jesus is real if your kids find out that Santa isn’t real, or something like that. Maybe I just misunderstood you at the time, but since then I’ve taken a stance against Santa, but hubby thinks I’m being a scrouge and I definatly don’t want to take the fun away from Christmas by making this a contention between us. I don’t want to deceive our children, but I also don’t want to take any fun out of Christmas, I want my children to have as many fun memories about Christmas as I do, however Santa is involved in that. I hope this makes sense, I just don’t know what that balance looks like from a biblical perspective.

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