Thanks, everyone, for the comments and questions. Regardless of what you think of my (or others’) opinion(s), I encourage you to develop your own biblical reasoning. Don’t just follow the latest author or current trend. Like it or not, this is an area of freedom, and while you want to get good advice, ask God for his wisdom first. He will tell you how to implement his truth in your family based on the “bent” of your kids. Sure, some of us will disagree, but that’s the beauty of the body of Christ in areas of freedom: we can each be fully confident in faith knowing we answer to the Lord, instead of judgmental to one another out of fear or insecurity!
Here’s the simple way we went about it in our home: We have always told our kids the truth: Santa isn’t real. But we still had fun pretending he was. (Yes, I think you can do both without involving deception.) You may think that sounds crazy, but we look at it no different than having a tea party with our girls and their dolls or playing Street Sharks with our son. In other words, when our girls were little and they’d dress their dolls up in clothes and pretend they were real, we all knew they weren’t. But we pretended they were. We let our girls give them names, talk to them, pour imaginary tea and eat fake cookies…it was a fun time of pretend and make-believe. Same with our son – we’d pull out the action figures and play in the floor, pretending they were real and could do superhuman feats. They had names, personalities, partners, enemies, etc. But no one for a minute believed any of this was true. We all knew it was just for fun. Make sense? A world of pretend and a world of truth side by side. I have always viewed this as honest, God-given creativity.
That’s how we did Santa. No one really ever thought he was real because we told them he wasn’t (that’s pretty plain, eh?). But we still had fun pretending he was and playing make-believe with various elements of Christmas. Seriously — it’s that simple for us! And, quite frankly, it has never taken our family away from the real meaning of Christmas. Maybe others’ experience isn’t as fortunate, but I can only speak for ours.
That’s our plain and simple strategy. Gotta run…I think I hear reindeer feet on the roof top!