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Does Santa diminish Christ from Christmas?


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#1 Star_

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:19 AM

..,

Edited by Star_, 25 March 2013 - 10:40 AM.


#2 pam

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:25 AM

I think there are ways to keep Santa in the picture as well as focusing on the religious aspect of Christ' birth. While your co-worker has every right to do what she wants with her kids and I can respect it, it kind of reminds me of the movie Miracle on 34th Street. I mean, doesn't Santa deliver presents and bring joy to all the children on Christmas Eve? Plus I will never regret the opportunites I had to bake cookies for Santa with my kids at Christmas time. And to make sure we had a carrot set out for the reindeer. Yet when they were younger, Christmas Eve we focused totally on the Savior and His birth. They knew what Christmas was really about. While the world seems to focus on the commercial aspect, I think we can still keep a balance on both. I still believe in letting children have their little childhood fantasies.

Edited by pam, 08 December 2012 - 02:29 AM.


#3 NightSG

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:09 AM

Should we slaughter all the rabbits so they don't take away from Easter?

#4 jerome1232

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:44 AM

Should we slaughter all the rabbits so they don't take away from Easter?


Only if you catch one laying eggs.
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#5 Sister_N

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

Santa adds to the spirit of Christmas, the notion giving and sharing and encouraging of 'good' behaviour. I believe it is up to individual families where they place their Christmas focus, and in our house there has always been room for both Christ and Santa (with a heavier focus on Christ) I do not believe Santa alone brings about the commercial side of Christmas, that is excess shopping and the need to make every Christmas more material than the last. As children we had very modest Christmases, with a present from our parents and siblings and then a small token from Santa i.e. a book/video for us all to share. Children should be allowed to believe in Santa, and learn in their own time that he is not 'real' but that the spirit he represents mimics that of Christ.

#6 lizrenowden

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:13 AM

We were talking about Santa in Primary last week and pointed out to the children that the presents Santa brings helps us to remember the presents that the wisemen gave to Christ.
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#7 Just_A_Guy

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

I think Santa tends to be a distraction, and I also think asking kids to accept on faith the existence of something one knows not to be real, sets a bad precedent for when your kids start questioning their religious principles down the road. That said: Just_A_Girl is very big into Santa. We've reached an understanding where she tells the kids what she wants, and I just refer any questions from the kids back to Mommy.

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#8 anatess

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:45 AM

Santa is only a distraction if you were never taught about who Santa is. I grew up Catholic. Saint Nikolaus, the Bishop of Myra (the real person behind the Santa tradition) is an important saint in the Catholic faith. Read up about him and let me know if you still believe Santa is a distraction. For those who saw Rise of the Guardians - they showed Santa's core as Wonder. There is a reason for that. Saint Nikolaus is also called in Catholic tradition as Nikolaus the Wonderworker. So yeah - Santa without knowing WHY we do the Santa-thing is a distraction. You need to teach your children the Why of it.

#9 Just_A_Guy

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

Frankly, Anatess, I'm not convinced that Nikolaus of Myra would be terribly pleased with the modern incarnation of "Santa Claus", either. The fact that a modern practice originated as a memorial of something true - and even, noble and holy - does not justify the continuation of the ritual, anymore than (to use extreme examples) a drunken revel on Times Square is justified by the life and ministry of St. Patrick, or a Mardi Gras orgy constitutes a legitimate preparation for Holy Week. My family has been trying to establish some good traditions on Christmas Eve in remembrance of the Savior, and I hope we're succeeding to some degree. But even so, the Lord was not the addressee of the letter my six-year-old snuck into our mailbox this week asking for munificence while promising to be good. And neither myself nor my wife have any delusions about our kids thinking of Jesus as they tear into their gifts on Christmas morning.

Edited by Just_A_Guy, 08 December 2012 - 11:08 AM.

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#10 Bini

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:16 AM

The holidays were always elaborate for me growing up. While Santa bringing gifts was a big part of what made Christmas special as a child, my siblings and I were also immersed in the spiritual aspect of it. In the month of December, we would read one scripture about the birth of Christ, every night after dinner. We'd all take turns, so each night it was a different person reading but we all shared our thoughts on it, too. Christmas has always been a magical time for me, then and now. As an adult and parent, I wasn't sure if I wanted to incorporate Santa into Christmas. I was really torn over it, actually. I discussed my concerns with my husband and we decided not to overthink it. We will do the magic of Santa, and when that time comes when she asks questions about whether he's real or not, we'll answer her.

No more dancing candy cane - hurrah!


#11 classylady

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:18 AM

Whether it's Santa or the parents who give the gifts, children aren't necessarily going to care. And it can be just as commercialized without Santa. The gift giving can be just as hectic whether it's from Mom and Dad or Santa. Even without Santa, if Christmas is celebrated with gift giving, the stores will commercialize it. IMO, Santa is just being the scapegoat here.

#12 Bini

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:20 AM

Whether it's Santa or the parents who give the gifts, children aren't necessarily going to care. And it can be just as commercialized without Santa. The gift giving can be just as hectic whether it's from Mom and Dad or Santa. Even without Santa, if Christmas is celebrated with gift giving, the stores will commercialize it. IMO, Santa is just being the scapegoat here.


Well said.

No more dancing candy cane - hurrah!


#13 NightSG

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:31 AM

The fact that a modern practice originated as a memorial of something true - and even, noble and holy - does not justify the continuation of the ritual, anymore than (to use extreme examples) a drunken revel on Times Square is justified by the life and ministry of St. Patrick, or a Mardi Gras orgy constitutes a legitimate preparation for Holy Week.


Bummer. Guess I should go re-plan my Spring.

#14 Dravin

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

I think all told I prefer that St. Nicholas got turned into a Coke mascot instead of Christ.
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#15 Traveler

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:28 PM

Personally, I do not like the idea of santa at all. Santa focuses on the commercial aspect of christmas instead of the religoius aspect. It distracts from the true meaning of Christmas.

One of my co-workers chose to not do the santa thing with her kids. I actually really liked that idea. In addition to solely focusing on the religious aspect, they did not want to lie to their kids. They told their kids presents came from them, not santa. If the kids were ever asked they would reply saying "my parents give me presents".

Any thoughts?


The tradition in the Traveler's household was that each child received one gift at Christmas from Santa - this tradition was to continue as long as that particular child believed in Santa - when they came to us to let us know that they have figured out that their parents were Santa we made it clear that the one gift of Santa would no longer be part of their Christmas. To this day they do not accuse the Traveler and his wife of being Santa.

But there was also a second tradition of Santa in the Traveler's home. Each year our family would save $$$ for Christmas that the entire family would become "Santa" for another family that would otherwise not have Christmas. Each member of the Traveler's family contributed some of their own money and helped select the gifts. The family would take the gifts late at night on Christmas eve - leave them on the door step - ring the door bell many times while knocking and running like crazy.

What is interesting - there was one year when funds were very meager and it was decided by the children that we would forgo our gifts that year and only do the Santa for another needy family. It all went very well but to our surprise when we returned home at our door was a pile of presents from another Santa.

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#16 Vort

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:36 PM

I'm not a big fan of Santa, either. If Santa did not exist, members of the Church (and Christians in general) would be appalled at the idea that we might put a God-like but decidedly non-divine figure at the center of a Christmas celebration, in replacement of or even in conjunction with Christ's birth. Having said that, I don't know that Santa is the worst thing ever to happen to Christmas. I think there are ways to incorporate Santa into Christmas that are harmless or perhaps ever somewhat beneficial.
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#17 anatess

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

Frankly, Anatess, I'm not convinced that Nikolaus of Myra would be terribly pleased with the modern incarnation of "Santa Claus", either. The fact that a modern practice originated as a memorial of something true - and even, noble and holy - does not justify the continuation of the ritual, anymore than (to use extreme examples) a drunken revel on Times Square is justified by the life and ministry of St. Patrick, or a Mardi Gras orgy constitutes a legitimate preparation for Holy Week.

My family has been trying to establish some good traditions on Christmas Eve in remembrance of the Savior, and I hope we're succeeding to some degree. But even so, the Lord was not the addressee of the letter my six-year-old snuck into our mailbox this week asking for munificence while promising to be good. And neither myself nor my wife have any delusions about our kids thinking of Jesus as they tear into their gifts on Christmas morning.


The commercialization of Santa in America is not a memorial of something true. It is unrecognizable as such. I mean, you can count with the fingers of one hand the number of people who know who Saint Nikolaus is in your street. That's not Santa's fault, nor the tradition's fault. That's the people's fault for forgetting what Santa is truly all about.

And just because the letter got sent to Santa and not to Jesus for the promise of being good does not detract from Jesus. Well, if we assume that the child knew who this Santa fellow is in the first place and how he relates to Jesus. And if we assume that the child knows who's birthday it is we are celebrating on Christmas.

When my kid promises ME that he will be good, it does not remove Jesus. When my brother who was born on Christmas Day opens his birthday presents it does not detract from Jesus.

It only detracts from Jesus if you don't do ANYTHING to celebrate the Nativity when you celebrate Christmas or if you make something like opening presents so grand that you forget Jesus.

When we open presents at midnight, we open it after we sing our traditional Happy Birthday, Jesus song. And before that we would have just recovered from a whole night of caroling and handing out cookies. Our traditional caroling route is usually 10 houses. All songs about Jesus. All done in charitable service. And before that, we would have just gotten finished with a giant family dinner spending quality time with the whole family. All of which is done in the name of Jesus. So the kids go crazy when they open their presents... I don't see that as detracting from Jesus.

That tradition is handed down from my family's tradition. We have our family dinner (this is the entire clan - a slew of aunts and uncles and cousins, etc.). Then the kids go door-to-door caroling and they have to be home by midnight because every single year growing up in the Philippines, we attend the Christmas mass that is held 3 houses down the road at the village chapel at exactly midnight. Then we walk home at 1AM to the sound of fireworks (it's undescribable - Christmas and New Years is like 4th of July in the US, except the fireworks is not done by the city - instead, every single house is blowing something up). After we run out of fireworks, we open our presents from Santa. We usually don't go to bed until the sun is rising.

Now, the fireworks, the presents - this does not detract from Jesus - it's just all part of the whole shabang. We go door-to-door singing carols every night all the way to the Feast of the Maji in January. All in the name of Jesus Christ, Savior of the World... including the smattering of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Up on the House Top.

Christmas is the awesomest spiritual time of year. Even now that I'm all grown up with kids of my own. The week leading to Easter is very spiritual too, but it's different because it's more somber than joyful. It's a different ambience.

Edited by anatess, 08 December 2012 - 09:34 PM.


#18 Just_A_Guy

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:42 AM

I hear you, Anatess, and given that I am at least an unindicted conspirator in the whole Santa thing at my house, I rather hope you are correct. But part of me wonders . . . Change the name from Santa to Baal. Keep the rest of the family observances - in my case the the mythology of the hidden kingdom where "Baal" reigns supreme with his consort Mrs Claus (Ishtar?) and innumerable lesser gods (elves), the supernatural powers, the surreptitious appearances and gifts left in return for our children's direct supplication (letters), best behavior and food offerings (milk and cookies - and carrots for Rudolph), the songs praising the being's laudable attributes, the carefully stage-managed (and, of course, fake) "appearances" of the being in order to reinforce belief -- How is that not "worship", at least on the part of my children who think it's all real? And is it really OK to make obeisance to ”Baal" in this manner so long as one also renders due respect to Jehovah?

Edited by Just_A_Guy, 09 December 2012 - 09:47 AM.

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#19 Backroads

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

In my eyes, Santa is not at fault for sometimes being the subject of commercializing Christmas. He's the red herring while all sorts of other things are truly working to take Christ out of Christmas. Santa Claus in his current incarnation may be a fairy tale, but that is just fine with me. He is magic, the unseen, faith, hope, and a way to be part of something bigger. If kids are forgetting Christ in favor of Santa Claus, something much bigger is going down.

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#20 mordorbund

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:53 PM

I think all told I prefer that St. Nicholas got turned into a Coke mascot instead of Christ.


Because of the caffeine thing, right?




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