The Little White Lie of Santa
After a long evening of ministry last night, Kelly and I were discussing our parenting techniques down the road with Abigail. And once again we ran into a brick wall on a rather large sticking point. What do we do about Santa? Granted, we really still have a bit of time before we have to make a solid decision, but we really do need to figure something solid out. So I put the discussion up to you readers. What do you think we should do? What do (or did) you do with your own children. Here is my (incomplete) list of pros and cons of the Santa mythology.
Pros: The legend of Santa is one that encourages benevolence and good will. Going along with Santa will ease the idea for family around Christmas time. It allows for Abigail to really stretch and flex her imagination. It gives her less of a “social crutch” to overcome with other children her age.
Cons: The legend of Santa encourages a works-based method of gift-giving. It also encourages selfishness (Christmas wish list?). Santa is placed on par with God as far as omnipotence and omniscience are concerned (sees you when you’re sleeping?), and in my twisted mind last night, even seemed a little voyeuristic (a joke). Depending upon which “version” of Santa you watch in Christmas TV specials, he is portrayed as all-knowing with his angels (elves) attempting to complete a selfless mission for children and has to overcome an enemy that is just as powerful, or nearly as powerful as he is (Satan?) who uses his minions (demons?) to capture Santa and keep him from his mission. It would force us to lie to our child, and while yes, it is a white lie, it is still a lie. It distracts from the real reason we as disciples celebrate the Christmas holiday. What happens when Abigail asks Santa for something that we cannot afford? Does Santa disappoint her or do we? Does she become the kid who ruins the fun for all the other kids by loudly announcing that there is no Santa Claus?
There are more on each side of the argument, but what do you think?