The Christian Parent VS. Make Believe.

My daughter believes in Santa Clause.  She believes in magic, that the tooth fairy is real, and that Pixie Hollow is an actual place.  In her world, toys really do come to life when you leave the room.  She sings to our animals, feeds the birds, has themed birthday parties and (gasp!) watches Disney movies.  And you know what?  I support all of it.  Now, I know you'll need a minute to scoop your chin off the floor, so I'll let ya.....

Composed?  Good.  Let me explain.

Ask my daughter what Christmas is all about.  She will tell you all about the birth of Jesus.  She will tell you the story of his birth in a stable.  She will also tell you that Jesus was not likely born in December, more realistically, in the spring or autumn when the shepherds would have been out tending their flocks.  She'll inform you that "Christmas" is a holiday that was created by the Catholic church to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  It was chosen in December to "redeem" the celebration of the winter solstice.  She knows the truth.  She is fully aware of the true meaning behind Christmas.  We never introduced the idea of Santa Clause to her.  Society did that for us.  But do we go out of our way to kill her imaginative spirit?  No way.  Our world is chock full of harsh realities for her as she grows up, and when the time is right, it won't hesitate to unload them on her.  She has never asked me pointedly if Santa is real.  I think when she is ready to know, she'll ask.  The day she does, I'll tell her honestly.  She knows her presents come from us, as they are under the tree early in December.  We have stockings for Christmas morning from "Santa"... that's it.  We're not super invested in perpetuating it ourselves, we're just letting it run it's course without intervention.  As she grows and understands reality better, she'll naturally come to the correct conclusion.  I agree with this statement:

"I’m convinced that the roughly six percent of kids who feel “betrayed” when they find out Santa isn’t real most likely had their belief perpetuated beyond its normal course, usually by the parents. I advise parents who do Santa to use a light touch and allow kids to find their way out naturally."  ~Dale McGowan

In a world where young girls are growing up too fast, I'm happy to keep my daughter young and innocent as long as possible.  When she asks questions like, "How does Santa get into houses without chimneys?"  I ask her, "Well... how do you think?"  and she'll come up with her own answer.  I'm content to let her work it out in her own head.  When I look ahead to see what society puts on the mind of the tween age group, I'm in no hurry to make Santa clear out and give room to Lady Gaga.  No thank you.  And I hate  loathe despise when Christians judge those parents who allow their kids the freedom to make believe.  I don't care if you don't allow your kids to believe in such "nonsense".  You are not a holier parent than me.  My daughter knows the true meaning of Christmas just the same as your kid.  And news flash... if you put a tree in your home, you are the epitome of hypocrisy.  The Christmas tree is Pagan in it's origins.   

Many Pagan cultures used to cut boughs of evergreen trees in December, move them into the home or temple, and decorate them. 7 Modern-day Pagans still do. This was to recognize the winter solstice -- the time of the year that had the shortest daylight hours, and longest night of the year. This occurs annually sometime between DEC-20 to 23; most often, it is DEC-21. As the solstice approached, they noticed that the days were gradually getting shorter; many feared that the sun would eventually disappear forever, and everyone would freeze. But, even though deciduous trees, bushes, and crops died or hibernated for the winter, the evergreen trees remained green. They seemed to have magical powers that enabled them to withstand the rigors of winter. 
("The Christmas Tree as a Symbol of Pagan Baal Worship," The Ellen White Research Project, at: http://www.ellenwhite.org/ *)

So next time you feel the need to comment on my kids believing in Santa Clause, open your bible to Jeremiah 10:2-4

Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

Now, is this saying that we shouldn't have Christmas trees in our homes?  No.  Jeremiah is simply saying that to vainly worship such a thing is a waste.  That's what the people were doing.  Constructing an idol.  Do you worship your Christmas tree?  No.  BUT, you put something with pagan roots in your home and look the other way regarding it's pagan meaning because it's become tradition.  And you allow tradition because you know that it doesn't take away from the truth and biblical celebration of Christmas.  That's just what I do.  I allow my kids to enjoy the make believe that is traditionally part of Christmas, because I know it does not detract from their understanding and focus on of our true celebration of Jesus' birth.  Here's where I draw the line for us.  We don't allow works or characteristics of the Lord to be attributed to make believe characters.  Disney will tell you that the fairies make the flowers bloom.  Ballerina knows that the Lord is the artist behind the beauty of creation.  She believes the fairies are real, but I'm not sure what she thinks their purpose is.  I think she employs a bit of "willing suspension of disbelief" and chooses to not think to hard on it.  While "character focused" play seems, on the surface, to be contrary to our parenting philosophy, you'll find that fostering a healthy imagination and ability to make believe is actually very minimalist of us.  Our daughter plays with her mind... not with toys so much.  Give her paper and crayons and she'll create entire worlds rather than me spending money on plastic ones that take the need for imagination and toss it out the window.  She spends more time drawing Tinkerbell on various adventures than playing with her Tink doll.  You should see her new line of "modest fairy clothing" she's come up with.  She's becoming very good at creative writing.  She writes letters to the tooth fairy.  How many kids do you know that would rather spend their time writing a letter than playing a video game?  And our tooth fairy isn't the only one who gets letters.  In fact, if you know our family personally, you've likely at some point been given a letter, picture, or homemade card from our daughter.  Our tooth fairy has a name and a back story.... and somehow, even with the self righteous proclamations of her peers to the contrary, she still believes 'Pearl Brushbottom' is real.  "Make Believe" is not the enemy.  Evil is the enemy.  That which would rob our children of their innocence is the enemy.  Pretend play does not do that.  She has her whole life ahead of her to discover how harsh reality really is.  I'm not going to rush her.  In fact, I want to live in her world for just a little bit.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have a silver dollar to put glitter on......we have a tooth loss in our home. 

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