The second thing I think the real St. Nick would say to his fat fib Santa is this: “Stop lying to children!”
I mean this in two ways. I have often heard people talking as if it’s so important to tell children Santa Claus is real so that they can “experience Christmas” or so their “innocence” isn’t “spoiled.” While I have nothing wrong with reading kids fairy tales or watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or getting their picture taken with Santa at the mall, let’s be clear about one thing: If you tell your kids that Santa Claus is real you are lying. You know he isn’t real. One day they will know he isn’t real. And that raises the possibility that they will begin to question whether other things you told them when they were children were lies too. If you plant Jesus and Santa Claus side by side in your child’s heart and mind, you may not be able to predict what will happen when you uproot Santa. The weed might take the flower along with it.
And there’s a bigger lie. The basic premise of Santa Claus is really a religious one, and it’s not the good kind. In the popular song “Santa Claus is coming to town” children are being taught to view Santa as a god who knows all (he knows when you are sleeping etc), is capable of omnipresent-esque activity and has all kinds of supernatural powers. They are taught to write him letters asking for things (that’s call prayer, folks) and that if they want to receive good presents from him, they better not be naughty…that is work righteousness.
The writer to the Hebrews said, “It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” We humans, children included, have a major tendency to live our lives on a work righteous basis. This is an incipient and deadly condition of our sinful nature. It needs to be rooted out. Santa encourages it. Christian children should be taught only one motivation for doing what is good: to give thanks to Jesus who freely took away their sins! Children need to be fed, to be brought up, to be strengthened by the grace of Jesus Christ who became a child for them, not by work righteousness.
If you explain to your children that Santa is a made up story, just for fun that’s fine. But watch out if you present it as fact! You might not realize it but you are lying to them, you may even be teaching them to worship a false god something the real St. Nick heartily opposed. According to tradition, he tore down idol shrines (pictured on the right) and even the beautiful temple of the false god artemis. Listen to the real St. Nick. Let the only God your children worship be Jesus. Let His grace be the only motivation you give them for doing good. Let him be the one they “write” to.