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At Christmas, Are Children being taught to Believe in Jesus Christ or the “god” Santa?

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Published on: December 18, 2015

The song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” is very informational as to what supposed god-like qualities society has given Santa. In this song, as well as a multitude of other ways, children are lead to believe he is: 

  • Omnipresent – In one night, he is in homes worldwide delivering gifts.
  • Omnipotent – He can bring any toy kids want, even if parents can’t.
  • Omniscient – He knows when all children are sleeping, he knows when they are awake, he knows if they’ve been good or bad. He accepts children by their works, so be good for goodness sake.

Consider, too, what society teaches about him:

  • He is sovereign – He answers to no one.
  • He is good – He exists to give.
  • He is righteous – It seems no one has found anything wrong with him.
  • He has eternal existence – He has no beginning and probably no end. He is unchangeable, never ages and has always been the same.

How can anyone deny these are god-like qualities given Santa by society, along with extensive teaching given children to believe in him? Yet the first command of the Ten Commandment is, You shall have no other gods before me (Deut 5:7).

One of Bill Keane’s cartoons of “The Family Circus” gave drawings of when and what children think about Santa. One cartoon shows a mother sitting on the edge of her child’s bed, obviously for bedtime prayer. The young child is on his bed and on his knees with hands together and head bowed, as the mother prays, “Thank You, Dear God, for Your…”  Kearn’s drawing above the child’s head, which is to show what the child is thinking, shows a picture of the one to whom the child is praying AND it is a picture of Santa! No doubt, young children think their prayers for Christmas gifts should go to Santa since they’ve been taught he is the one who brings them.

Lest readers think this is making “much to do about nothing,” please note “The Orlando Sentinel” gave a review of, “Santa Claus: The Movie” in 1986, and reported events in the movie which included: “Santa, starts out as a small-time toymaker and gift-giver who (along with his wife and some reindeer) gets caught in a blizzard, dies and is resurrected as an honored citizen of the North Pole. He is taken in by a community of elves, put in charge of their workshop and presented with his mission, which is to deliver toys. (emphasis added)  Can anyone deny now Santa is being portrayed, especially to children, as “another Jesus”?

An older elementary school student once said he had trouble believing in Jesus Christ, the God his parents now were saying is the true God because they had taught him for years to believe in Santa, as an unseen “god.”  Since they now say Santa doesn’t really exist, this youngster is struggling with what is the truth because when he was younger his parents had lied to him for years to make him believe in Santa! 

But even those parents who are convinced Santa should be ignored because of “godlike” qualities society has given him, ask how can their children be blessed Christmas morning with gifts their parents silently brought out during the night if Santa is censored?

Here is a tradition of one family which gives rightful attention to Jesus instead of Santa: (Regrettably the resource is unknown.)

In early December, the young parents display a Nativity set on the center of their mantel. Even though Mary and Joseph are there, Baby Jesus is not in the manger and the shepherds are on the mantel, but some distance from the Nativity scene. During the following nights, while their children are asleep, the parents gradually move the shepherds closer to the manger until Christmas morning they are right beside Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus is in the manger! When their children waken Christmas morning, the first thing they do is excitedly run to see if Baby Jesus came during the night and is in the manager! No doubt, their children also associate gifts which came during the night to be from Baby Jesus.

So, parents and other adults need to ask themselves, “At Christmas, who am I teaching children to believe in, Jesus Christ or society’s god-like Santa?”

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