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Christmas and Santa

A lot of parents ask me what to tell their kids about Santa Claus. Sometimes I say, “Well, St. Nicholas was, I don’t know what country he was from in Europe, but he was a saint that gave people stuff and he was generous and around Christmas time, he was really helpful to people who are poor and people who didn’t have anything, he managed to get things for them.” And, I don’t know the whole story, but that’s one thing I say, is that he was really a kind man and helped people, but he’s not really the same as the Santa Claus figure. For those that hear so much about Santa Claus, I say, well, you know, it’s okay if you tell them that Santa did something, 

And, you might call it a lie, but what difference does it make? What difference does it make? Really? You’re gonna have a philosophical discussion with your kid about Santa Claus and tell them the truth behind the lie and the lie inside the truth and get all complicated explaining things, you know, until the cows come home?

That’s not gonna help. I would just be simple about it and go, “Well that’s just a way we talk about gifts that are brought around that time,” and be simple and don’t put a lot of energy into it and they’ll figure it out later that there’s, at any given mall, there might be six Santas and they’re gonna have to wonder who’s which one is really Santa, you know?

And, later they’re gonna have movies about Santa and that’s gonna be weird because most of the movies about Santa are kind of strange. And, I guess it doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is what you tell them about Christmas. Because, Christmas isn’t about consumerism, and getting all kinds of gifts, and running up to charge cards, and getting all fearful about your money and all busy, busy busy in that time of year, rushing around trying to get stuff for everybody. It was supposed to be about the birth of Jesus and the celebration of His coming to earth and most people completely miss that – I mean most people aren’t even conscious of anything like that.

Then, that would be the more real thing that you tell your kids – that something real is being celebrated here, that Jesus came to the earth to pay off our karma, to pay for our sins, to sacrifice Himself completely. And, He knew from day one – from the first day of the moment of His birth on – He knew His mission and He knew what He was to do and, out of love, He did that mission and He paid for us, and He made it possible for us to come home and to be children of God. 

That was His mission, that was His plan and we need to do a lot more preparation for that birth at Christmas time, and we need to be more inward, more meditative, more prayerful, more thankful, more devotional, more still – not all busy, busy and spending and spending.

I think it would be a lot better honoring of Him not to do this voracious spending and teaching the kids to demand so much and expect so much and be so upset and entitled if they don’t get things. You know, I would teach your kids to give more, to make some money, to earn some extra money in the house, to help somebody by giving them a present and not be so concerned about their own.

That’s what I tell kids about Santa, just about as much as I told you here.

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