Many parents encourage their children to believe in Santa; thinking of it as harmless fun. Some want their children to experience the excitement and anticipation of waiting and dreaming of when Santa will visit and what he will leave. Others use Santa as a way to control their child’s behavior.
In examining Santa, we find a joyful character with white hair and a beard that lives forever. On Christmas Eve, he magically flies around the world delivering toys to good girls and boys.
When a child is young the excitement found by believing in Santa is extraordinary, but eventually the child gets older and is told that Santa does not exist.
Encouraging a child to believe in Santa may seem harmless enough, but can have long term consequences.
Research has shown that numerous children begin to doubt the existence of Jesus after being told Santa doesn't exist.
One individual shares her experience of doubting Jesus existence immediately after being told there was no Santa.
She started by saying, “I remember exactly where I was when I was told there was no Santa. I was in my Sunday school classroom when another child told me Santa wasn't real. I insistently demanded that my parents tell the truth about Santa. When they finally told me that he wasn't real, I immediately begun to question Jesus’ existence as well. Santa had so many similarities to Jesus that I thought if Santa wasn't real than Jesus must not be either.”
The young lady went on to tell how important Santa had been in her life and how her parents played up the entire Santa scenario. She talked about how her father had dressed in a Santa suit on Christmas Eve and of the times her family spent making cookies for Santa, stringing popcorn and putting out cheese for the little mice who were Santa’s helpers. One year she remembered finding Santa’s footprints by the fireplace. She ended by saying, “I was devastated when I found out Santa didn't exist”.
Others have shared the same type experience. As a parent one must consider what is in the best interest of their child. The question on many parent’s mind this time of year is should they allow their child to believe in Santa. One must carefully consider the pros and cons of such a decision.