One of the kids recently asked me why Santa Claus never came to our house. All five of my kids know that Santa isn’t real, so the question wasn’t stemming from feeling overlooked or forgotten by Santa. It was more just wondering how come, in our family, we’d never pretended that Santa was real.
I never flat out banned Santa Claus, I just never made a big deal out of him. He was the guy who came around at Christmas. You’d see him in the movies, on the store shelves, or at the mall. My mom was more of a snowman person, and didn’t like the Santa things as much as the snowman ones, but Santa came to our house.
I think the most honest reason we’ve never done Santa was because I didn’t like the idea of anything Santa stealing the attention from anything Jesus. Doesn’t Christ the Lord need and deserve every single ounce of attention he can get? It is hard to bring up kids in the faith. It is easy to feel like you have never done enough, like there were too many missed opportunities, like you could have done a better job.
I want my children to be catechized, grounded, and filled with the Spirit.
But while the role of the parent is huge, it is nowhere near as important as God’s. There is more to bringing up children than teaching. There is also the trusting they are in God’s hands, and that the weight of their salvation doesn’t rest on you. That doesn’t mean we throw up our hands at any attempt to be diligent or faithful, but it does mean we can rest in the comfort that God cares for all of us, daily, with love.