Santa Claus.

We’re probably not going to do Santa with our kids.

When I say that, immediately there are those who jump up to tell us how it’s just innocent fun to tell the stories of Santa.  (Funny how it’s not OK for me to tell others not to do Santa but it’s perfectly acceptable for others to tell me to do the opposite…)

They also often say something to the effect of “we were raised believing in Santa, and we turned out all right!”  And, to a great extent that may be true.  But George Burns smoked until he was 100 years old, and that doesn’t make smoking healthy.  I don’t make my parenting decisions (or really any other decisions) based solely on anecdotal evidence.

Here is the main reason we are leaning the way we are:

On a foundational level the story of Santa and the story of Jesus are exact opposites.  Santa gives based on how good you are.  Jesus gives based on how much you admit your inability to be good.  And that might be confusing to my child.

We ruin the concept of gifts by making them meritorious. I don’t give him gifts based on “you better not cry, you better not pout” because if I did I’d never give him anything.  Pouting is an every other breath activity at some points in his day.

The Bible is pretty clear about the naughty-nice list.  There’s only one name on the nice list, and it’s Jesus.

All of that to say we are not anti-Santa.  We’ve still got him up as a decoration.  We’ll tell our kids the story of Santa.  But we won’t tell it likes it’s true.  As should be apparent from my rant about the Halloween protesters, I am not about Christians making a stink about holidays that are often our only common ground with our non-believing neighbors.