The Santa Controversy

by Kim on December 22, 2012

Ok, I’m about to open the controversy floodgates.

Here’s the thing: we’re considering not introducing Santa to our kids. Like, no pictures on Santa’s lap, no “do you hear sleigh bells???” on Christmas Eve, and no “you better be good or Santa might skip our house!”

First, let me tell you where I’m coming from on this. We didn’t do Santa in my house when I was a kid, so I’m already pretty removed from the whole experience. And we’re Christians, so there is the (valid) argument that Santa distracts us from the real reason for the season (as do presents, Christmas cookies, unbridled purging of money, and all that, of course).

But there’s also the fact that I see all these people taking their kids to see Santa in the mall, and the kids being terrified and bursting into tears. Then we all laugh at the sloppy, bawling messes the kids are in their Santa photos.

Why??? I just don’t understand.

Santa Oh my gosh! I would cry too-look at that guy!

My kid already has stranger anxiety-there’s no need to throw a billowing white beard, a blinding XXL red outfit, and a bunch of flashing lights into the mix.

(To be fair, I realize there are tons of pictures of kids sitting on Santa’s lap with massive grins, having the time of their lives.)

Besides all that, because I didn’t grow up with Santa myself, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to-how do I say this-lie (I guess?) in a believable way. I can’t see myself writing “From Santa” on any of our carefully-selected gifts-we picked that out for you, dangit! And I don’t see myself carefully navigating all the complicated questions that come along with this Santa business once the kids get older and start identifying the gaps in the story. (WAIT. What about the houses that don’t have chimneys??)

And I won’t even go into the trauma of kids finding out that Santa is, in fact, not real, because I’ve heard that’s mostly reserved for movies. My sources tell me it’s much less traumatic and more natural in real life.

So that’s my take on the Santa business. But then there’s my husband, who had a wonderful experience believing in Santa as a kid and wants Mason to have that, too. (In his words: “I thought it was soooo cool to believe in Santa!”)

So…now what?


Anyway…moving on! It’s Saturday and I do have a couple links for you to check out over the weekend. Enjoy!

weekend reads

–Here’s an incredibly important list every parent needs to tuck away in their brains.

–If you can handle it (I only barely can), here’s a powerful piece honoring the names of the Newtown shooting victims. I think it’s important to respect them by knowing these things, as gut-wrenching as it is to read them.

–There’s absolutely no need to obsess over holiday eating and weight gain, but if your brain does go there, think of it this way.

–I know, I know…runners can be super obnoxious. But how would you know how far we’d run if we didn’t display it on the backs of our cars?? (haha)

–Have you heard about the 26 Random Acts of Kindness initiative to honor the 26 people who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary? Alyssa has some great ideas for it.

–Check out this crazy list of Runner’s World’s top 10 elite running news stories.


Welp, I’m off to clean the house and pack for our trip out of town for the holidays! (I know it sounds weird to clean before leaving, but I HATE coming home to a dirty house!) We’re leaving tonight around Mason’s bedtime so he’ll hopefully (KNOCK ON WOOD) sleep through the entire 3.5 hour trip. Wish us luck!

So. What are your thoughts on Santa???

Advice/opinions wanted!!


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one } August 24, 2014 at 10:03 am

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Jessica December 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I’m in the same boat. We never really did Santa at my house; we celebrated at church and with a few gifts but none of the gifts were from Santa. However, my husband loved (and loves) the idea of Santa and his family does a ton of gifts. My daughter is still little enough where we don’t need to decide yet. We do pictures with Santa but we don’t make a big deal out of it, and we figure we’ll decide on the big Santa issue later. I like Jenna’s compromise.

I refuse to do the “elf on the shelf” thing though. In my opinion, it’s silly, unnecessary, and mostly a marketing ploy.


Kim December 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Agree–elf on the shelf sounds like way too much work. :)


Alicia December 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I love that you brought this up, I feel the same way. My family always focused on Christmas being about the birth of Baby Jesus; my mom would write that all our gifts from Baby Jesus as oppose to Santa. I just feel that Santa has been too commercialized and takes away from the whole point of CHRISTmas. I don’t even really like getting Santa decorations, call me but I would rather have snowmen gift bags and wrapping paper/holiday decor instead of the big red guy. lol :-P Hope ya’ll have a great trip and wonderful Christmas! <3


Kim December 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I’m with you on the snowman stuff!!! Much cuter than Santa anyway, IMO. :)


Karey @ Nutty About Health December 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I loved believing in Santa when I was little & think it’s cute… it was a highlight for me, but I am not religious. I can see where you’re coming from though. I don’t know what I’d do if I had a kid… it’s a tough decision & I hope you’re able to figure it out so that both you & your husband are happy. Happy Holidays!!


Kim December 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Thanks Karey, you too!!


Joanna Broadbent December 23, 2012 at 1:01 am

Jenna and I have the same views and have actually discussed this very subject before lol My hubby and I do not promote the idea that Santa is real or is the one who brings her gifts. We celebrate Christmas as the birth of Christ. My daughter knows of Santa from stories and songs , but just regards him as any other cartoon character. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to celebrate Christmas, just do what feels right for your family <3 SPA Love


Kim December 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Agreed. :) That was exactly how I grew up, too.


jenna December 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

i grew up in a christian home as well! i believe my parents did a WONDERFUL job introducing santa to us and balancing that fine line between having us know and really “know” him. we were told the legend of st. nicholas from the beginning, and my parents focused on how important it is for us to follow his example of being generous and giving to others. to us, that is what we knew santa as; a legend. we sort of looked at him in the same way we looked at a storybook character such as peter rabbit, alice in wonderland, or cinderella. for us, it didn’t really matter because the focus was much more on the birth of jesus and celebrating his life. we loved the fantasy and magic behind santa bringing us gifts for jesus’ birthday, but we knew that it wasn’t really possible. the magic of christmas was always still very real and alive for us, but in a different ‘fairy tale’ type of way. also, my mom would give us the option of sitting on santa’s lap if we wanted to do so. we usually opted not to, because he was a stranger and we didn’t know him, but sometimes we would. she was fine with whatever we chose and just never made much a big deal of it. :o) i hope this will help you out in your decisions alittle bit! merry christmas and spa <3!


Kim December 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Jenna, I really like that approach. Thank you for sharing!


Jade December 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm

That is a great idea!


Jade December 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I was just discussing this with a friend and she was in agreement with you. I was kind of neutral on Santa, but now I’m leaning towards no Santa for my future kids (haven’t discussed with my husband yet though!). And as someone who has worked with children who were sexually abused, I don’t like the idea of secrets and telling kids they have to be “good” and obey adults or Santa won’t come. Why confuse them more about life/secrets/behavior? Plus, what better job for a creep child abuser than one where kids come to sit on your lap?? Of COURSE I don’t think all Santas are perpetrators, but I just don’t like the idea of making kids sit on a strange man’s lap. Wow, that comment went somewhere dark, huh?! I guess I have been thinking about it a lot! Good luck with your decision! Happy Holidays!


Kim December 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Woah, you’ve brought up some great points I wasn’t even thinking of! Child abuse is no joke. Thanks for commenting and happy holidays to you!


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