Friday, November 30, 2012

Santa, the Chirstmas Story, Jesus, and Heaven

We're not "doing" Santa, the Easter Bunny, leprechauns, or the Tooth Fairy. I know the arguments for and against. Some people think children need to grow up with a sense of wonder and belief in magic/something special. Others think that if their children find out that they lied about those things that they could think that their parents are lying about God, too. Some parents were traumatized as kids when they found out as children that Santa isn't real. For others it was no big deal. My husband grew up believing in Santa Clause, I didn't. We decided together that we would not pretend Santa was real or that he is the one that brings the presents.

Being horribly sheltered, I don't think Builder Boy had even heard of Santa until last year. I've talked with him, just like I did when his friend told him that the tooth fairy was real; that Santa Clause is a fun story that some parents like to pretend with their kids. I've told him that the kids think it's real but we shouldn't tell them it's not because that would make them sad. So far, as much as I know, he hasn't ruined it for anyone yet.

The boys don't know about flying reindeer or Rudolf or elves or the north pole being Santa's base of operations. We don't have regular TV, so they've not had many occasions to be exposed to it. Their Nana (Daddy's mother) has read Santa, Are You For Real? to Builder Boy, but I don't think it meant much to him last year. What has made an impression is the Veggie Tales video St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving (available on Netflix Instant Streaming.) It tells the story of Saint Nicholas and how he learned about Jesus, and shared with others because Jesus made him happy. Right now, I think that's perfect for where the kids are.

One of the tools I use to teach the boys the story of Jesus' birth is Little People Christmas Story Nativity Scene Playset though any nativity set would do. I like this one because I feel comfortable letting the kids play with it whenever they want, unsupervised. The only problem with the set is that there are no shepherds! You have to buy them separately. And that's silly considering that they were the ones that showed up at the manger, not the wise men. Oh well.
I found the Ultimate List of Nativity Resources at the SPELL Outloud blog. I also really like the DIY Printable Nativity for Kids from the Catholic Icing blog.

I love the "God Gave Us ______" series by Lisa T. Bergren. God Gave Us Christmas and God Gave Us Heaven are perfect for the kids' ages to explain why Jesus had to be born on Earth in the first place. ISBN for God Gave Us Christmas is 978-1-4000-7175-5 and God Gave Us Heaven is 978-1-4000-7446-4. I don't see a DDN in the information, but I'm sure your local librarian could help you find it.


Okay, this post probably looks like I'm trying to sell you a bunch of stuff. But really I wrote this post to share what we use with our kids to make Christmas about more than just presents under the tree for those who are looking for similar resources.

Full disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate which means that if you click on the pictures or links and buy or place in your cart an item and buy it in 90 days I do get a small percentage. (In the 4 months since I've signed up I've yet to earn the $10 minimum.) But I do not get paid to review products, and I always give my honest opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Your philosophy sounds a lot like ours, when our kids were younger. A little different - our kids had been exposed to Santa a bit, but when our oldest asked directly, at about age 4 or 5, we told the truth. Funny, reading your comments about not telling other kids sounds exactly what I said to my kids at that time!


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