Yesterday my four-year-old daughter asked me the big question. No, not that question. I heard from her car seat behind me, “Dad, is Santa coming to our house this year?”
Many Christian parents of young children, like me, shudder hearing these words. We’re moved by a deep conviction as believers to keep Christ as the centerpiece of Christmas. But we also can’t help feeling the immense pressure from the media, and even friends and family, not to be our kids’ killjoy when it comes to ol’ Saint Nick. How do we deal with Santa in light of the gospel?
I am not necessarily anti-Santa. It’s entirely possible there are God-fearing families who have found creative ways to redeem him in their Christmas traditions in order to point to Christ. What I am against is any message that undermines the unrivaled depth and sweetness of the gospel of grace.
We must be clear, Santa is preaching a message, too. It’s heralded every year on television and in children’s books. On the surface it seems innocuous, but up his red and white sleeves is a worldview that fundamentally competes and conflicts with the good news of Jesus. As Christian parents we must subject every worldview that enters our households to gospel scrutiny. In that spirit, let me point out four ways that Jesus’s news outshines Santa’s this Christmas.