Last night I did the unthinkable for many Americans. It was not intentional. It happened so quickly. One moment I was telling the greatest story ever told to a room full of eager children, and then the next moment, I announced, “Santa is not real.”
Gasps from the children and adults assured me I had made a huge mistake. It went something like this…
Me: An earthquake shook, the soldiers fell as if dead, and the stone rolled away. Guess what Jesus did?
Kid: He walked out of the tomb.
Me: He is alive! God raised Him from the dead. He died for our sins so that His perfect blood could save us. He rose from the dead so that we could have new life. Isn’t that the most wonderful story ever?
Boy: But how did He die again?
Me: He didn’t! He’s still alive!
All Kids: Really? Where is He?
Me: He’s in heaven sitting beside God the Father. Guess what he’s doing?
Kid: Watching over us?
Me: Yes, He’s watching over us but He’s also praying for us. Right now, He’s praying that each of us will open our hearts to Him, love and obey Him.
Same boy: Does He watch us in the shower?
All kids: giggles
Sharon, other teacher: He watches your heart.
Me: Jesus loves us so much that He died so we could be free from sin. He prays for God’s children and He watches over us.
Girl: Just like Santa.
Me: OH, He’s so much better than Santa. Jesus is real and Santa is not.
It went downhill from there. A perfect moment when the kids were so engrossed to my words that they are almost in my lap with anticipation. How did Santa come into the picture and ruin everything? It was a God moment. Everything in me cringed when I heard Jesus compared to Santa. I couldn’t let it stay in their minds like that.
I wanted the kids to leave there knowing the amazing love of their Savior, instead they left wondering about Santa. And of course within 10 minutes, I had an irate parent rebuking me for my ignorance. Shaming me for what I did. Informing me that though her daughter loved coming to Kids Club, she would never be allowed to return.
Then the mom said, “I know Santa is not real but it’s my place to decide when to tell my children the truth.” Yes, it is the parents’ responsibility to tell their kids the Truth, not mine. Someday she (and a million other parents) will stand before Almighty God and before His Glory they will wonder why they ever chose to lie to their children.
I struggled all night. The people-pleaser me was devastated by her attack. The fearful me was afraid of more attacks. The insecure me shamed myself for not having more control over my tongue and ruining everything. The Spirit in me prayed.
Father, take my blunder and make it wise. Open the hearts and minds of the children to see Jesus as Real. Your name being honored is all that matters. Heal the hurts. Crush the lies. Bring us into unity with You. Protect the children and the truths stored in them. Give me wisdom to face the attacks. May everyone involved see Your glory. Amen
How has Santa become such a force that when exposed for the lie that it is, rage ensues? That young girl’s simple statement showed me that in her mind, Santa is a god equal to Jesus. Has Santa become an American birthed religion?
How is this child going to feel when she realizes she is banned from hearing the truth? How do children cope once they learn every adult they trusted has lied to them? I was never taught to believe in Santa so I have no experience to relate.
Will you share?