Santa Claus is coming to town…or is he?

There’s no conundrum like the Father Christmas conundrum!

Should we embrace the cuddly old man with open arms? Or should we nip the deception in the bud?

Time for another round-up!

You might think it’s a bit early, but we really don’t think so – Santa is already everywhere. There’s no time like the “present” to ponder such things.

It’s a big decision.

For some, ditching Santa will impact relationships, unnecessarily raise eyebrows and damage the grandparents expectations for Christmas day. Surely it’s just harmless fun?

Others think that embracing Father Christmas is going to cause our children to mistrust us and cast doubt upon the very gospel itself – is Jesus just another myth?

These (and other) thoughts are shaping people’s opinions of what to do about old St. Nick.

The following articles represent a bunch of different opinions on the Santa Claus tradition. Some are more philosophical, some are more practical and one is really all about decision-making as a parent.We hope you find them helpful.

Have a read, and let us know your own thoughts.


The Gospel-Centred Mom: What to do about Santa

Sara Wallace shares why she and her husband decided not to do Santa Claus with their family, despite enjoying the tradition themselves as children.


Christianity Today: Why Santa belongs in your kids’ Christmas 

A helpful article about the historical Christian, St. Nicholas, and the importance of keeping the Santa tradition alive.


The Guardian: Belief in Santa could affect parent-child relationships, warns study 

This is very interesting. It is written from a secular viewpoint, but argues that lying to your children may damage trust and discourage belief in the supernatural in later life. Give it a read.


The beginning of Wisdom: Santa, Strategically 

We’ve included this post because it contains some helpful practical advice for how to encourage imagination in our children but not to lie to them.


Crosswalk: What to do with Santa Claus 

This post reflects on children and their love of fantasy with examples from the works of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.


Christian Mom thoughts: Should Christians include Santa in Christmas? 

This article doesn’t necessarily address the Santa conundrum directly, it more encourages a discussion about how to make difficult parenting decisions. After reading all the above articles you should use her question to provoke a conversation with your spouse (or friend if you’re a single parent) to help you come to a conclusion.

Well that’s all folks! Please do comment with your own experiences, advice and questions. We’d be particularly interested to know how you felt as a child when you found out the inevitable?

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6 thoughts on “Santa Claus is coming to town…or is he?

  • November 30, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I really struggled with this as a parent, but in the end, we decided to be honest with our kids. It was hurtful to me when I found out my parents had been lying and going to great lengths to deceive me. 🙁 I do think it’s confusing and sends a double message to children, all while distracting from the true meaning of the season. However, that being said, I know many parents have a lot of fun with this in good conscious. I just couldn’t do it myself though.

    • December 2, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks for commenting Katie! Yes it’s not a simple one. We think we’re leaning towards Santa just being a game we play or other people play, rather than giving our children the impression that we believe it’s true. We also want the emphasis and excitement of Christmas morning to be on the arrival of Jesus rather than the visit of Santa. Thanks again!

  • December 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    It just sort of happened for our family. We only became Christians in early 2002 and then had our son in Oct 2003 so by the time he was born we had never even thought about whether Santa fits in with Christianity. I recall the first time I met Christian parents in about 2005 and they explained why they don’t do Santa and I can see both sides. My husband has always told the children the story of the real St Nic and we focused on giving and fun as a family. I’ve never lied to my kids as soon as they are old enough to ask, I tell them to make their own mind up if it adds to the magic and fun of Christmas. Mich x

    • December 9, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Thanks for your comment Mich. There must be lots of different ways to incorporate the spirit of St Nic into Christmas, he was a Christian after all. It sounds like you made a wise decision for your family. The main thing that we’d like to avoid is the idea that our boys need to be “good boys” to get gifts – that’s the opposite of grace and the opposite of the true meaning of Christmas. We get the best gifts from God even though we don’t deserve it, and that’s wonderfully good news!Still very much figuring our what that looks like in practice, as our boys are so young. Hope you have a great Christmas this year!

  • November 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    My husband and I both agreed we wouldn’t do Santa when we had kids. I’m not anti-santa but I naively thought that we’d be able to not really make a deal of it and they wouldn’t notice. What I didn’t plan for is that SO MANY PEOPLE talk about him as if he is real at school and church. It makes it awkward and confuses the kids. We’re currently trying to deal with how our daughter relates to other kids at school who do believe so she doesn’t cause upset!

    • November 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Yes it’s really tricky isn’t it? Even if a family decides not to talk about Santa at home, they won’t escape him elsewhere. We’d be really interested to hear what you are encouraging your daughter to say (or not say!) to other children?


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