If we think Christ cannot compete with Santa in the hearts of our children, we don’t know the real Christ.
Santa Claus is coming to town, likely to a local shopping mall near you. Santa appears a lot this time of year, and in a lot of listener emails too — two hundred mentions of him in the inbox to date. But it’s been a few years since we last addressed him here on the Ask Pastor John podcast. And to do so, Pastor John joins me today on the phone.
Now, of course, there’s a fourth-century Greek historical figure named Saint Nicholas. But all of those two hundred references to Santa are speaking of the mythical, white-bearded, red-suited, reindeer-flying Santa Claus. One of the most recent emails came from a podcast listener named Jill.
“Dear Pastor John, I’m a stay-at-home mother of three small children (5, 4, 2). My husband and I grew up as children believing Santa Claus to be real, and while it was truly magical for those nine years, when I found out that it wasn’t true, I remember burying my head and sobbing. I was not angry at my parents; I knew they wanted to surprise me and make Christmas special. However, I was truly disappointed.
“Now as a mother, I feel torn between Scriptures — like ‘Do not lie to one another’ (Colossians 3:9) — and yet still desiring to create something mythical and special and magical for my children around Christmas. I fear more emphasis is placed on the bearded man in a suit than on Jesus, our Savior! My question is, What if my husband feels differently, and actually wants to keep the Santa myth alive for our children? What, Pastor John, should I do?”