Explaining Santa

Mommy… who is Santa Clause? Where is the North Pole? Does Santa really come down a chimney?

Mommy… is Santa real?

If you are a parent, or an adult for that matter, you have probably encountered similar questions especially during this jolly season.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain this when I had children. I was familiar with a family who had shared with their children their firm belief in God. They also chose to believe in Santa.

As the children grew they were told that Santa wasn’t real. The children then struggled with their concept of God and whether He was real or just another unseen imaginary concept.

I knew that this would not be the experience for every family or every child. However, I also knew that I wanted a very clear concept of both for my family.

We have come to an explanation that allows our family to celebrate both Santa and God with a clear understanding and belief of both.

We talk about who St. Nicholas really was. He was a man who really lived. He had the heart of giving. When we give gifts, we are celebrating that spirit of giving.

This discussion has allowed us to not ban Santa from Christmas... but to also not have our focus on him. His spirit of giving is just a part... a very small part.

Of course they see the Santa movies and we talk about who some people believe he is. We don't ban Santa; we just try to keep it in perspective. None of the gifts they have received have ever been from Santa. Very few of my decorations are Santa related.

I don't think they've suffered one bit with not ever "believing in Santa". In fact, I think we get to enjoy him even more as we talk about the reality of him and the spirit of giving that we should each take on.

We just remember that Santa and all the fun that surrounds him (North Pole, elves, chimneys and flying reindeer) are a great and fun way to be reminded that we celebrate the spirit of giving.

The giving spirit that reminds us of the greatest gift ever given… Jesus Christ God’s Son.

What a beautiful season we are in!

How do you explain Santa?


  1. Such a doozy of a question.

    Santa doesn't fill stockings or bring gifts at our place. We are clear that he is pretend now, but was a real person who was generous, so when we see Santa decorations it is just to remind us to be generous.

    I think we have 1 santa ornament on our tree, and I always say he is on there for that reason.

    And I also remind our daughter to be careful because some families play a game pretending Santa is real so not to tell other children what she knows, it is a big girl secret.

  2. I used to get unreasonably angry at Santa. Couldn't stand the thought of him pushing Christ out of Christmas. I especially hated that picture of Santa bending down to the baby Jesus in the manger. But as the years have gone by, I find that I've mellowed on Ol' Saint Nick.
    In our family, we remember the real man and his example of giving. We give him credit for filling stockings and giving one special gift to each kid, but everyone knows it's Mom and Dad.
    I can live with that... *;)

  3. Anonymous10:30 PM

    We didn't grow up believing in santa, and i'm definitely not scarred because of it. we knew that if there was a gift "from santa" it was from mom and dad. we had fun watching all the santa movies and we never tried to spoil it for other kids who did believe, but it was just a story...like a fairy tale. i think we will take that approach with our kids. i definitely don't want our kids believing that there is a preformance baised giving season. if you are naughty, you get coal, if you are nice, you get presents...if you are bad, you get hell, if you are good, you get heaven. i want our kids to realize that we get heaven as a GIFT, not because we are good or bad (because we are all bad) but because God loves us. hopefully we can teach them that we are not getting anything because we somehow deserve it.

  4. Someone... and I'm not sure who... has completely convinced my son that Santa comes on Christmas. He is clear and fully knows that Mom and Dad give him all his presents, so when I asked him, "well then why do you think Santa comes?" he said "to fill stockings and eat cookies!"


    Now what do I do?!


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