Do You Lie to Your Children?

Well, do you? One of the areas of mass deception in our society today is in regard to the existence and identity of Santa Claus. This is one area in which it is not only culturally acceptable but also commonly expected that you lie to your children. In fact the deception is so complete that it made news last year when a 1st grade music teacher told his students that there is no Santa Claus. If you don’t believe me, read the following:

Texas Teacher Tells First-Graders There Is No Santa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

RICHARDSON, Texas — Guess what, kids? There’s no such thing as Santa Claus!

That’s what a suburban Dallas music teacher told first-graders on Monday — and the school’s been hearing from parents ever since.

The angry phone calls prompted the Richardson school district to issue a pro-Santa statement.

The district announced that the offending teacher had heard from Santa Claus himself — who assurred the teacher that “the spirit of the holidays is alive and well.” And Santa asked the teacher to pass that message along to students.

A district spokesman says the teacher won’t face any disciplinary action.
http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,178708,00.html

News flash (Spoiler Warning): Santa Claus is not real! I’m at least glad that the teacher wasn’t disciplined for telling the truth!

The Santa Claus legend has roots in history. Dr. James Parker (Professor of Christian Philosophy at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) has done a good job of uncovering some of those historical roots in an article playfully titled: “Remythologizing St. Nick: The Search for the Historical Santa“. In this article he shows that jolly ole St. Nicholas was in fact a Bishop of Myra in Lycia (Turkey) who lived from A.D. 280 to A.D. 350. This year, how about giving your children the truth for Christmas? Then maybe they’ll believe you when you insist that Jesus Christ is really the Son of God!

7 comments

  1. Little “white” lies like this subtly undermine our attempts to teach our children truthfulness and, indirectly, objective truth.
    It’s not popular (as demonstrated by the news story), but it doesn’t ruin a child’s Christmas to know the truth.

    Thank you for being “bold” enough to post this. It is so unpopular to call beloved holiday “icons” inot question.

  2. It amazes me that parents, including many Christians, flip out over someone telling their children the truth–not some potentially harmful truth, like where babies come from or “you’re fat and ugly,” but just that no jolly fat man lives in a place where, incidentally, there is no land, and sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake.

    No, since you asked, I do not lie to my children.

  3. For several years I downplayed Santa. I didn’t discuss him, or encourage the myth, I just let it pass. That worked for a time, but eventually I told the kids the truth for three reasons:

    1. It’s about Christ, not Santa.

    2. I did not want to lie to them.

    3. How would I be able to teach them the truth about Christmas if I continued for years in a lie?

    I wonder why do parents WANT to teach this lie? Is it because non-believers need a reason to give gifts?

    David

  4. You and I are totally on the same page with this one. I have always told my kids the absolute truth about SC. My husband tells them the story of the real person, Nicholas. We assure them that there is no one coming down the chimney. The presents are from mom amd dad. This doesn’t make it easy for primary grade kids at a public school, but oh well. I will not lie to them about it and then expect them to believe me about another unseen person – God.

    Good post!

    (My first grade son once took his disbelief too far by telling a classmate that Santa was a big fat idiot. oops)

  5. David (not thirsty),

    I wonder why do parents WANT to teach this lie? Is it because non-believers need a reason to give gifts?

    That’s a great question!

    Rose,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. Why do parents who tell the truth to their children feel pressured to reinforce the lies of other parents to their children?

  6. OK, I’ll bite. I disagree not only with the tenor of the discussion but possibly the whole premise.

    I am unsure the “lie” characterization is the best way to deal with this issue. For if it is a lie, it is a lie designed to undermine the significance of Christ child as some of you have said. Where are the reprimands from the pulpit and the private mettings with parents who continue to lie to their children? Where are the meetings with elders about the need for discipline? Sounds preposterous because it is.

    Call me crazy but maybe we should settle down on the Anti-Santa crusade and deal with the fact that so many of our church members are blatant Christ-ignorers every other season. Christ has nothing to do with sports, TV, school, music, decorating, leisure, food, family or friendships. This is a much harder target to hit and yet very harmful. Santa? Easy target, not very harmful.

    If those of you cannot be convinced of my brief argument, at least don’t beat other parents over the head with your convictions over the issue.

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