We don't do Santa. No centuries-old fat guy sneaks into our house to bring presents. So far, the only downside to this is the amount of times I have to remind my child, who definitely received my know-it-all-gene, it is NOT his job to tell other children the truth about Santa.
Important disclaimer: You do you. I don't believe anyone is evil or stupid or any other terrible adjective for doing Santa. The purpose of this essay is not to criticize the Santa myth, but to explain why I don't do it and encourage those who think/feel similarly. Santa is fun and you should keep on keeping on with your Santa-loving self.
I decided to skip Santa just before my son's second Christmas, around the same time I realized the only reason I would perpetuate the myth was because "it's what everyone else is doing." As you surely know, this is a terrible reason to do anything.
I examined the practice for a more rational reason to continue the tradition and instead came up with these reasons to abstain:
1. It's a little weird.
When it came right down to it, I couldn't bring myself to lie to my kid about a once yearly B&E. I think it is one of those cultural things we view as normal only because it is familiar.
(Follow up disclaimer: weird does not = wrong. For example, we turn our everyday activities into musical numbers. This is weird and I understand why you may not want to do it in your own house.)
2. It felt counterintuitive to our faith.
The Santa myth sounds a little too close to a child's understanding of God. An old guy we can't see lives North of us and keeps track of who is good and bad. If I'm teaching my child both, and he inevitably discovers one is a blatant lie, I'm not sure I can fairly expect him to believe what I have taught him about God.
3. My kid wasn't going to buy it for long anyway
I know my kid. He wasn't going to believe the myth any longer than I did (6 years). There's also a decent chance he, like me, would resent being lied to and consider it not a fun make-believe story, but instead a betrayal of trust in which adults conspired to trick me into believing something ludicrous. Sure, it could be a fun harmless event for him for a few years, but weighed against the potential damage (depending on his perception of the lie) it wasn't worth it to me.
4. It sucks the magic out of Christmas
I know, I know, I'M the one sucking the magic out by eliminating Santa. But if Santa is the magic and he is eventually exposed as false, what happens to the magic then?
As Christians, we are celebrating a magical event. God loved us so much that he sent His son to save us. The whole of the Old Testament points to this coming Messiah and at this one time a year we commemorate, we remember, we gather, and we celebrate this crazy awesome event that changed the world. This is the magic. (Related: Ann Voskamp's family advent devotional is amazing for cultivating this magic.)
5. I don't want to
If this essay annoyed you, please accept this free printable Christmas coloring page as a peace offering: