Is Santa coming to town and church? What is your church's (or pastor's) stance?

Actively speaks out against celebrating Christmas with Santa in any way
5% (1 vote)
Okay if treated as a myth
5% (1 vote)
Issue generally avoided (not brought up by pastor or leaders), but no Santa at church
68% (13 votes)
No problem with Santa at all, but Santa still not allowed in church functions
16% (3 votes)
Santa can come to church
0% (0 votes)
Other
5% (1 vote)
Total votes: 19
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There are 12 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

When I came to pastor the church I now serve (that was 28 years ago), the church had a tradition of Santa Claus visiting during the Christmas church dinner. When I took a stand against this, there were some hard feelings then. We came to a compromise, namely, I do not put down the Santa thing, but our church stays out of it. If I am asked my opinion, I can state it. This compromise has proved to be a wise one. Most of the people who have come into our church over the years do not do the Santa thing.

The ethical issue of lying to children is one matter. The commercializing of Christmas is another. If there is one thing churches should do during the holidays, it is to teach and emphasize the Gospel accounts as to how and why Jesus came. That's my opinion. What's yours?

"The Midrash Detective"

JD Miller's picture

Ed, I actually addressed the issue in our Christmas program a couple of years ago. I showed the similarities between Christ and Santa but then showed how Santa is an imposter and make believe, but Christ is real and so much better. It starts out with a little kid exposing a shopping mall Santa and the Grandparents using the situation as a teaching tool. If you want to read it, I just put it up on my blog post. If anyone wants to use it go right ahead. Jerry
You can find it at http://bancroftbaptist.blogspot.com/

Ed Vasicek's picture

JD Miller wrote:
Ed, I actually addressed the issue in our Christmas program a couple of years ago. I showed the similarities between Christ and Santa but then showed how Santa is an imposter and make believe, but Christ is real and so much better. It starts out with a little kid exposing a shopping mall Santa and the Grandparents using the situation as a teaching tool. If you want to read it, I just put it up on my blog post. If anyone wants to use it go right ahead. Jerry
You can find it at http://bancroftbaptist.blogspot.com/[/quote]

Sounds like you have a position between number one and two.

"The Midrash Detective"

JD Miller's picture

Ed wrote,
"Sounds like you have a position between number one and two."
No Category Quite for You!

Actually you did have a category for me Ed. I chose other.

Dick Dayton's picture

Historically, as I understand it, there was a young man raised in privileged nobility in a Nordic country, and his name was Nikolas. As he looked around, he realized he had privilege, and others lived in poverty, and he was motivated to give and share with those less fortunate.

Now to contemporary society and stories. I was raised in a secular home, and the presents were put under the tree after we had gone to bed Christmas Eve. It was a real shock to the system to realize that Santa Claus was a myth, not reality.

We always told our children that the presents came from us or from grandma and grandpa. We believed it was critical that they know the truth, especially the truth about our Lord Jesus Christ. We explained to them that other children may be taught about Santa, but that was myth, not reality. We also encouraged them not to "burst the bubble" for their friends, because they would figure it out on their own eventually.

One of our motivations for this was that we wanted our children to know, appreciate, and embrace the truths of Scripture. If we did not tell them the truth about Santa, then why should they beleive us when we talked about Jesus ?

I will say that not all of our church people appreciated our frankness, but that has not deterred me, even from the pulpit. I am not nasty about it, but feel we must be Biblically honest. Easter is not about bunnies who lay chocolate eggs. It is about our Savior dying for our sins, being buried, and rising from the dead. Christmas is not about an overweight man from the North Pole going up and down chimneys delivering presents. It is about God giving the gift of His Son. Even in our church Christmas programs, far too often we leave Jesus as a baby in the manger and do not tell the story of why He came.

Dick Dayton

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Ponderings... why is the Santa myth apparently 'sacred' to some Christians/churches? If a parent in the congregation was teaching their child that some other legend or myth was real (and you can take your pick from Mother Nature to Peter Pan to Dracula), and also asked that no one at church disabuse their child of this notion, how would/should church leadership react?

The thought also came to mind that if church is not the appropriate place to express patriotism during July, or have the Easter Bunny visit in April, why would it be appropriate to indulge in the secular trappings of Christmas? I know what I think, but color me confused about how people manage to compartmentalize all of this stuff.

Charlie's picture

In the Reformed (especially Puritan) churches, the celebration of Christmas was banned, since they denied that their could be Christian holidays, except those specifically commanded in Scripture, and there aren't any. Still today, some Reformed people will either not celebrate Christmas at all or they will celebrate it as a secular holiday of family and giving. To them, will-worship is worse than commercialization.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Ed Vasicek's picture

Dick Dayton wrote:

Quote:
Historically, as I understand it, there was a young man raised in privileged nobility in a Nordic country, and his name was Nikolas. As he looked around, he realized he had privilege, and others lived in poverty, and he was motivated to give and share with those less fortunate.

Now to contemporary society and stories. I was raised in a secular home, and the presents were put under the tree after we had gone to bed Christmas Eve. It was a real shock to the system to realize that Santa Claus was a myth, not reality.

We always told our children that the presents came from us or from grandma and grandpa. We believed it was critical that they know the truth, especially the truth about our Lord Jesus Christ. We explained to them that other children may be taught about Santa, but that was myth, not reality. We also encouraged them not to "burst the bubble" for their friends, because they would figure it out on their own eventually.

One of our motivations for this was that we wanted our children to know, appreciate, and embrace the truths of Scripture. If we did not tell them the truth about Santa, then why should they beleive us when we talked about Jesus ?

That was our thinking as well, and I have no regrets.

The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy -- I likewise did not embrace them, but we lived and let live -- as long as they didn't bring it into the church program. My sister and brother-in-law (who are not evangelicals) even invented Turkey Claus for Thanksgiving. Personally, I think that is hilarious.
Charlie Brown's "Great Pumpkin" makes the point.

Jim Peet said:

Quote:
The Four Stages of Male Development

Child believes in Santa
Adolescent doesn't believe in Santa
Adult is Santa
Senior looks like Santa
Note picture of Ed above

You should have seen me last year with my handlebar mustache. I am a bit jolly and pudgy, I must admit.

Charlie said:

Quote:
In the Reformed (especially Puritan) churches, the celebration of Christmas was banned, since they denied that their could be Christian holidays, except those specifically commanded in Scripture, and there aren't any.

I am familiar with that era of history. I say it was a bit of pre-Scrooge "Bah humbug!" Glad it is not like that nowadays with the Reformed people I know.
__________________

"The Midrash Detective"

Anne Sokol's picture

my husband is not about to give the glory for the gifts to Santa. He wants the kudos Wink

also, i don't know, i don't make a big deal of it, but I can't imagine telling them santa is real. i try to be age-appropriately honest always, so i do tell them santa isn't real, but i don't make a huge deal of it being a lie or whatever, and they are still at the ages when they can still enjoy it all somehow too even though it's not real. I don't really decorate with santa stuff either. seems kinda weird.

In Ukraine and in many other countries, New Year is celebrated more than christmas. I think here, the santa/christmas is Jan 6/7, the Orthodox christmas, but New Years is the big deal.

handerson's picture

Our children know that the gifts come from specific individuals but we also try to share with them the "true" Santa Claus story based in the historical St. Nicholas. We thought this was a healthy balance until our then kindergarten daughter told her teacher that Santa Claus wasn't at the North Pole but had lived a long time ago and was now "really up in heaven... along with his sleigh and reindeer." :8)