santa

Santa

Parenting //

Tis the season. FOR SANTA.

Recently, a mom from church asked how she should handle telling her child about Santa. Here’s the story: she doesn’t want to lie to her kid {good parenting!}, BUT she doesn’t want her kid to be the one who spoils the fun for all the other kids, AND she wants the grandparents to have their own fun spoiling the kids with heaps of santa gifts.

Oh SANTA.

My thoughts {for parents}:

1. YOU’RE the expert of your children. You know what is best for them. Don’t be parent-peer-pressured to do what all of the other parents are doing. Consider your child, specifically, and do what’s best and right for your kid. Santa or not.

2. It’s easy to get caught up in the activities of the holidays without first determining the values we want our family to experience. Before landing on the Santa decision, decide what you hope for your family during the season. Maybe you’d like your family to experience meaningful times of togetherness, or for your kids to grow in their mindfulness towards others, or for your family to extend generosity, or for your family to simply have more fun with each other. Determine your values, then make the Santa decision as a result of your hopes for your family.

3. If you decide TO celebrate Santa — do it in a fun, truthful, meaningful way. I’m a fan of sharing the historical context for Saint Nicholas with children as a great way to connect Santa with the holiday. This video and book are great resources to watch and read together as a family.

4. If you decide NOT TO celebrate Santa — empower your child to be a good friend to those who celebrate a variety of traditions. Help your child notice others, and affirm the differences they see. and, explain the values behind the traditions your family does celebrate.

Bottom line. Spend time thinking about how you want the season to be for your family. This is what’s most important. Don’t experience the season passively. You have the opportunity to create traditions that align with your values, and to make the season very meaningful for your kids.

Cheers to Christmas! And SANTA.

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About the Author

Amy Dolan is founder, leader and blogger for Lemon Lime Kids, a children’s ministry consulting company that seeks to encourage churches to consider a fresh approach to leading and teaching children. Amy started the company in 2005, as a way to empower and encourage fellow children’s ministry leaders, and since that first day has had the opportunity to work with leaders & organizations committed to the spiritual growth of children. Amy believes that the church fully empowered, combined with the commitment of the family, and the compassion of the community has the power to inspire children’s faith for a lifetime. In addition to her consulting work with Lemon Lime Kids, Amy leads the strategic curriculum development for Phil Vischer’s new curriculum What’s in the Bible? (whatsinthebible.com), and serves as Director of LOCAL, a Chicago-area children’s ministry collaborative (kidmin.com). Amy is the former Executive Director for Children’s Ministry at the Willow Creek Association, a former Children’s Ministry Director at The Chapel in Libertyville, IL and a Curriculum Writer for Promiseland at Willow Creek in South Barrington. Amy is proud to be married to her husband Kelly, and loves living in Chicago. Amy blogs at lemonlimekids.com and tweets at @adolan.