Santa Won’t Be Coming To Our House

Santa Won't Be Coming To Our House

Santa won’t be stopping at our house, this year or ever. This is a topic very dear to my heart and I know it’s a very sensitive issue but I had to share the perspective of a family who does not “do” the whole Santa Claus thing.

When my daughter was born in January of 2008, my husband and I had almost a year to discuss how we would handle Christmas with our little girl. Would Christmas be about the birth of Jesus? Would it be about Santa? Would it be about both? Would it be about giving and helping others? Would it be about family and traditions? Christmas can mean so much but what would it mean for our little family?

I have strong emotions when I think about my personal experience with “Santa Claus”. I remember being completely devastated when I found out that Santa was really my parents. I also distinctly recall my anger with them… they always told me to be honest and tell the truth yet they “lied” to me for years about this mystical man that comes down the chimney delivering presents. I remember feeling so hurt and confused.

My husband and I decided we would not do the Santa thing with our little girl. It didn’t matter in her first year or second year. She was too young to understand Christmas and what it meant for her and her family. This year she is almost three. This is the year that we feel she will really grasp the importance of this season and what it means to us as a family. We want our little girl to see the joy in Christmas. Helping and giving to others, as well as sharing special moments and traditions with the family. My husband and I have also shared with her that it is Jesus’ birthday (she seems to think a birthday cake should be involved). Perhaps next year we will share with her the stories about St. Nicholas; a man who demonstrated charity and humility.

We have chosen to spend our time and energy on enjoying the holiday season with our little girl. We don’t want to stress about getting our stories “right” or fret about how to keep her believing. We would rather focus on tobogganing, looking at Christmas lights, sipping hot cocoa on a cold winter night, attending concerts, giving to others, being kind and generous, visiting with family and loving one another.

However, it’s not easy “avoiding” the Santa hype. Santa is everywhere and to go against the “norm” is challenging. We’ve also discovered that other parents get very sensitive around this issue… we’ve been questioned and told; “Why don’t you let her believe? Don’t you think she’s missing out? It’s not lying… it’s helping her learn how to have faith”. To us, having faith in something that we, as parents, clearly lie about, is not a good lesson about faith. Since it is such a sensitive topic I try to avoid these discussions, which is unfortunate because I think we each have a right to celebrate the holiday season the way we wish.

Last night my husband and I watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. At the end of the movie Clark Griswold shares his wisdom about Christmas… “See kids, it (Christmas) means something different to everybody. Now I know what it means to me”.

I have to emphasize, my family’s approach to Christmas is our own choice and I think it’s important for every family to have their own traditions and approaches to enjoying the holiday season. We’re just different and that should be okay.



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  1. says

    What a great post. I salute you and your decision to skip the Santa thing. It’s not something I have done with my children; but, I think your reasoning is completely justified. I’m dreading the day my 6 y/o twins find out the “truth” about Santa. Although, I’m not entirely certain there isn’t a Santa Claus ;-) I guess I should save that for a blog post of my own!

    Merry Christmas,

  2. Anonymous says

    very good post Jennifer, well put and well said…we too feel the same way about the whole santa issue and true meaning of christmas to us..however, not wanting to get into a big religious debate with you, thought it was interesting you talk about one mystical man while embracing anothers so called birthday….just food for thought ;)….hope this comment doesnt offend you…..Have a very very christmas, no matter how you choose to celebrate it.

  3. says

    It’s always tough to be different. Here there are so many other cultures that it doesn’t stand out to much if someone doesn’t conform. We are almost your opposite, not Christian, but we do santa claus! I’m just figuring it out as I go along really, and it’s hard to form ones own traditions. Happy Christmas!

  4. says

    Great post! We don’t do Santa either, but I KNOW my kids want to 5 year old asks me about reindeer flying all the time, and she thinks I’m joking when I tell her there’s no flying reindeer. It’s hard to go against the tv specials! My 9 year old, gets it, though I can tell he wishes it were true. My good friend keeps Christmas 100% about Jesus birth, they don’t give any gifts to each other on Christmas. Instead they give gifts to each other on St. Nicks Day which is Dec. 6th. And, talk about the true St. Nick and follow his example of giving. Then on Christmas they make a birthday cake for Jesus, and offer gifts to him only. Way to stand strong. It’s tough to be counter-culture, but you aren’t from this world anyway. :) As a Christian you are a daughter of the King, just passing through. Enjoy your Christmas!!

  5. says

    Great post Jennifer. Our family does both, we make our 4yr old daughter give .50 of her allowance to the charity of her choice (she wants to help the animals so we give it to the Humane Society) and for every birthday we also ask people to bring donations. For her 4th birthday a few weeks ago we had people bring ‘Stuffies for Puppies’ to give to the Humane Society.
    We also still let them believe in Santa but we don’t really talk about him much. The kids were pretty excited to see him at hubby’s work Christmas party so that was still sweet to see :)
    And they get the religious side of things through home, preschool and church so we’ll hitting all sides!
    Every family has to decide for themselves what works for them :)

  6. says

    Great post!! I didn’t realize how sensitive of a subject it can be until I blogged about it. I truly respect what other families do and I find it really interesting how different people celebrate the season! I also find it interesting that people would question your decision. We “do” Santa but also teach our kids the reason for the season :)

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