Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa or No Santa...

It seems this question has become as much an issue as the Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas conflict. I'm a true believer in not being afraid to say Merry Christmas over Happy Holidays, I'm a firm believer in Jesus Christ, and I'm also happy to say I'm a firm believer in Santa. That's why tonight, my lesson for the AD girls at church will include the following messages. I think they are worth sharing and a reminder to everyone of why the spirit of giving is so important. 

Santa's Prayer on Christmas Eve   Author Unknown
The sleigh was all packed, the reindeer were fed,
But Santa still knelt by the side of the bed.
"Dear Father," he prayed "Be with me tonight.
There's much work to do and my schedule is tight.
I must jump in my sleigh and streak through the sky,
Knowing full well that a reindeer can't fly.
I will visit each household before the first light,
I'll cover the world and all in one night.
With sleigh bells a-ringing, I'll land on each roof,
Amid the soft clatter of each little hoof.
To get in the house is the difficult part,
So I'll slide down the chimney of each child's heart.
My sack will hold toys to grant all their wishes.
The supply will be endless like the loaves and the fishes.
I will fill all the stockings and not leave a track.
I'll eat every cookie that is left for my snack.
I can do all these things Lord, only through You,
I just need your blessing, then it's easy to do.
All this is to honor the birth of the One,
That was sent to redeem us, Your most Holy Son.
So to all of my friends, least Your glory I rob,
Please Lord, remind them who gave me this job."

I was thankful to have this message from LDS President James Faust show up today on SugerDoodle.  It can't be said any better then this, so if you'd like to download the free printable you can go to  
Simply Fresh Designs. 


It's been 5 minutes since I finished this original post, closed it and published it. I immediately pull out the Perspective section of the Denver Post, that I've stashed away in my bag for future reading. On the bottom of the front page is an article titled: "Let Them Believe in Santa Claus". Here is what Margery Fridstein had to say. 

Let the kids have Santa Claus.
As a psychotherapist and a child development specialist, I've heard all the arguments:
"He's 7 years old and in first grade and he still believes in Santa. My husband says I should tell him the truth."
"We're a Jewish family and we don't believe in Christmas, so how can we allow her to believe in Santa?"
"We teach our children not to lie, so we must not lie about Santa Claus."
I cannot argue with the parents who make these statements. And yet I argue for Santa. A child who isn't allowed to believe in Santa is missing out on a lot. Parents do their kids a disservice when they keep them from the myth of the jolly, round, white-bearded man with the red checks and the red and white tousled hat.
Isn't it amazing that Dancer and Prancer and Rudolph can find all of our homes? And that Santa slides down our chimneys? And if we've been good, he leaves us gifts. It's surprising he doesn't get stuck. Maybe we should leave a snack for Santa and his reindeer. They've been working pretty hard all night.
Fantasy is a young child's escape from the reality of the rules of growing up. The 21st century is not easy on any of us. We all need some fantasy to survive. How about Avatar, video games, Harry Potter? Children absorb the fear of parents, and today's parents have plenty of fears for their children. We supervise our children all the time (who knows what might happen otherwise?).
J.M. Barrie wrote, "Once upon a time, there was a boy named Peter Pan, who decided not to grow up." Children and adults cheer when they read or hear Peter say, "I do believe in fairies, I do! I do!" There is a Peter Pan in all of us. And it's that magical thinking that helps up develop the resilience to deal with the reality we face as we do grow up.
Sure, there is a commercial and a religious side of the Santa experience that lead some families not to promote the story, but I think their kids miss a magic that exists only in childhood.
Every child is exposed to Santa Claus, but some very caring parents are so eager to foster their children's cognitive development that they have little tolerance for a prolonged Santa experience. There is nothing more wonderful than for a bright, reality oriented, school-age child to be able to regress to Santa at Christmas time. Of course, he may really know the score, but he wants to be a little boy one more time. Don't spoil it for him.
Research has shown that children who play imaginatively in their early years more often think creatively and solve problems effectively when they grow up.
Some parents worry about lying to their children. When your child starts asking if there really is a Santa, you can turn the question back to him: "What do you think?" Usually he will say he thinks there is one, and you can say, "Sounds good to me." And so for one more year, your child can have the symbolic experience of giving with love.
As a very young child, I remember looking at an odd patch in the ceiling of my small bedroom and thinking it was Santa watching me to make sure I was good enough to deserve presents. And I guess I was good enough.
Then came the day I found the sled I wanted hidden under my parent's bed. How did that happen?
When raising our four children, we had a friend who dressed as Santa and came to our house Christmas Eve. One year, my oldest child noticed that Santa and I used the same paper to wrap gifts. My answer: "That's amazing, isn't it?"
Loving, caring, imagining, believing and simple goodness are all part of the cultural experience of Santa, and I recommend nurturing it.
P.S.: I'm also an advocate for the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.


  1. Love this. We are struggling with the Santa topic right now. My daughter wants to believe in Santa but she has classmates who are telling her that he isn't real. We've always tried to link Santa and the spirit of Christmas as a way of helping her transition. Even when children lose the fairytale of Santa, they should still view Christmas for the magical time that it is.

  2. and Thanks Mel for being a great follower on my blog.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.