We have a couple of Santa's in the house. After reading James Melton's tract on it, should we throw them away; and also, should we not give them as gifts to the nursing home residents?
Thank you so much for sending this question. It is really a blessing to see folks start questioning some of the things that we do as a part of tradition (Colossians 2:8). I will give you four areas in which I have trouble with the practice of recognizing or displaying Santa Claus.
Letters To Santa
Below are some excerpts from letters that were emailed to Santa. What you read is exactly what was written, with the exception of omitted names, I even left the spelling errors in tact.
- Santa, i want to ask you to help us. Daddy has been really mean since my Mommy died last year. he drinks lots of beer and that makes my big brothers sad. They get in lots of fights with Daddy. My sister is sad too and she doesn't like to be home and my little sister doesn't know what's going on but she is sad too. Please help us. Please can you make Daddy better so he's not sad? My Big brother is helping me write this. He wants Santa to help too. he didn't think I should ask you this stuff but i wanted to anyway. i love you santa.
- Dear Santa! It doesn't important that, you bring me presents which I wish. Most important is that you bring our planet peace and happy.
- Dear Santa, I'd prefer you bring us love and happiness not only during Christmas holidays, but also throughout the whole year!
- I just want to have someone to love me. Can you find that for me?
- All I want for Christmas is for my Big Mama to get better so I will have her in my life as I grow up.
- All I want for Christmas is for my husband to love me.
Every year all over the world people are writing to Santa and asking for things that they should be going to God in prayer about. Little children believe that Santa has the power to restore families, to make Dad’s quit drinking and to bring peace to earth. Jesus Christ said of himself that He was sent to heal the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18). Isaiah prophesied of Christ that He would be the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and when our Lord came to this earth the angels declared peace on earth, good will toward men (Luke 2:14).
In addition to this we have the fact that Santa Claus is not real. I know that most adults realize this but adults have told children that Santa is real. Please don’t take this as a harsh statement because I am not at all trying to be harsh, but the fact is that this is a lie. If we agree on this fact then we need to next look for the origination of this lie and according to the scriptures, Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). As Christians we are exhorted over and over again not to lie. The Bible says a faithful witness will not lie (Proverbs 14:5), the Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Lie not one to another” (Colossians 3:9). You and I know that there is only one God and we don’t have a problem knowing that Santa is not God, but there are children all over this world that cannot make this distinction and in a sense they, with their innocent hearts, are admiring and longing to see Santa (Romans 1:25). I have been in churches where they would have a Christmas program telling about the birth of Jesus Christ and they would present the gospel only to follow the program by telling the children that there was a special visitor and all of the sudden the doors would open and in would come Santa Claus. There are at least two problems with this. First, do you think the children were more excited about Santa Claus who brings them gifts or God manifest in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ? Second, what happens when the child finds that the Church lied to them about Santa? Then wouldn’t it make sense that the Church also lied to them about Jesus?
Similarities to Christ
Now if we agree that Santa Claus is an imaginary character and that Satan is the one behind the scenes then it would only make sense for Santa to be a counterfeit of Jesus Christ. So what are some of the things that the two have in common?
Who is the Christ Child?
- Another name for Santa Claus is Kris Kringle - which comes from the German term "the Christ Child".
- Two times in the scriptures we find the phrase “thy holy child Jesus” (Acts 4:27,30) and many times we read of Him as the Christ.
Both Know Everything
- Santa knows whether you’ve been good or bad. We have heard that ever since we were children. He knows where you live even if you have moved. He knows what you want for Christmas even though he has not seen your list.
- Jesus Christ knows everything. He knows all men (John 2:24), all things (John 16:30, 21:17) and all the hearts of men (Acts 1:24).
Both Are Everywhere
- Santa Claus is at Wal-Mart, Target and the Mall all at the same time. How does he do that? Not only that, but how does a fellow deliver presents to the whole world all in one night? It is because he can be in more than one place at a time.
- Jesus Christ has that same ability. If you are saved then the Lord dwells in you (Romans 8:10; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Colossians 1:27) and at the same time He is in Heaven at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22).
Both Sit on a Throne
- It has been my experience that Santa is always sitting on a seat that looks much like the throne of a king. I personally do not remember ever seeing Santa sit in a regular chair.
- We know that Jesus Christ is seated on a throne in Heaven (Acts 2:30; Hebrews 1:8).
Both Say Ho, Ho, Ho
- Every year we hear the words of the jolly old Santa Claus as he says “Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas”.
- Just out of curiosity I checked a few days ago to see how many times God said the word “Ho” in the scriptures. I found that the word actually occurs four times in the scriptures (Ruth 4:1; Isaiah 55:1; Zechariah 2:6) but one of those times was when Boaz was speaking (Ruth 4:1). Can you guess who said “Ho” three times in the Bible? You guessed it, God the Father. Coincidence? You decide.
Both Bring Gifts with Them
- When Santa Claus appears on Christmas Eve, he will be bringing gifts with him.
- When Jesus Christ comes, He will bring gifts with Him (Revelation 22:12).
Both Live in the North
- It is a known fact that Santa Claus lives in the North Pole.
- Sadly to say it is not a known fact but the Bible says that the Lord rules on the sides of the North (Psalm 48:2) and when Satan was trying to usurp the throne this is where he went (Isaiah 14:13).
Both Will Come in Red
- When you see Santa (at least the ones I’ve seen) he will be wearing a red and white suit.
- According to the scriptures Jesus Christ will be wearing red when He comes (Isaiah 63:2).
Both Have White Hair
- The jolly old Santa has white hair and a white beard.
- The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ has hair that is white like wool, and as white as snow (Revelation 1:14).
Both Have Flying Animals
- You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, The most famous reindeer of all? Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. But how do these reindeer get Santa to the chimneys of all the little children in the world? They fly of course.
- However, according to the scriptures it is God who has the animals that can fly. (Revelation 19:11).
Both Will Come as a Thief in the Night
- The children go to bed on Christmas Eve. They listen for Santa for a little while just maybe they will hear the sleigh bells jingle. The next thing they know they wake up Christmas morning and Santa has been there. He came just like a thief in the night. You don’t know that he has been there until you see the evidence the next morning.
- The funny thing is that the Bible says that Jesus will come as a thief in the night (Revelation 3:3, 16:15).
Both are Eternal
- When was Santa born, when will he die, when is the last time he missed a Christmas due to sickness? Oh sure we have the answers to these questions but ask a child and see what they say.
- When was the Son of God born? Most would answer that He was born in a manger in Bethlehem but that is not true. A body was prepared for Him and God was manifest in the flesh in Bethlehem but the Son of God has always been. Notice in Genesis 1:26 that God said “let us”, whom was He talking to? The Son of course. Also notice in Isaiah 9:6 that the Bible says a child was born but a Son was given. Something that is to be given is already in existence. What about the question of the death of the Son of God? Did He die on the cross? Yes He did, but then He rose on the third day to give us eternal life and said in (Revelation 1:18) “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
Now could all of this be a coincidence? Sure it could. Crazier things have happened. But if we agree that Santa Claus is a made up character and that for years we have been spreading the lie to children that he is real and we believe that Satan is the father of this lie then it kind of makes you wonder if it really is a coincidence or not. Bible students have known and proven that Satan is the greatest counterfeit of the Lord Jesus Christ, so it would only make sense for Satan to create such a character to do his work.
Replacing Jesus Christ
To wrap things up, let us combine all of these things to show the worst part about the whole Santa thing. Children all over the world are so excited about Santa bringing them presents. Even today while shopping with my family an older man asked my children if they were ready for Santa or something of that nature. No talk of the Saviour coming to this world dawning a body of flesh that He might come and save His people from their sins. I talked to a young child a while back and in that child’s mind it was not able to make a distinction between Santa and God. We give false gods like Buddha and Allah and Mary and others a hard time because adults all over the world are placing them on the same level or above our God, but shouldn’t we cry out much louder when the false god is aimed at the pure, innocent hearts of our children. I know, I will be labeled as Scrooge, or a horrible person but this is a plea to all to put the focus back on the Saviour.
What Should Christians Do?
Now to the question of what kind of things should we allow as far as Santa decorations and other things. I am not in the business of trying to convince everyone to take my stand on issues. I know that by passing out Santa’s to adults you are not deceiving children and when you put them in your yard it doesn’t prove that you are wicked. However, I do think we are in danger of violating (1 Thessalonians 5:22). My recommendation would be to get rid of them for the sake of being separate from the world and trying to avoid the slightest possibility of aiding in the deception of children. However, there is no verse of scripture that says “thou shalt have no Santa’s in your home”. The Holy Spirit will have to guide you into the right decision that will bring the most glory to God. Thanks again for asking this question and may God Bless you for looking into this tradition one more time to seek the will of the Lord.