Naughty or Nice

"I wouldn't do that.  Santa's watching."  Sound familiar?  All over the place, parents are reminding their kids daily that Santa is watching them.  Like the song says, "he's making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice." 

Do you remember growing up as a little kid worrying about which one of Santa’s lists you would be on?  Would you be on the “Naughty” list or the “Nice” list?  It just so happens that kids today don’t have to wonder about that anymore.  They can just go to Santa’s web site to find out which list they're on.

What's the big deal with Santa?  Does it really matter if we include him in our Christmas?  Does it really influence our children?

Noel Piper, in her book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, says that perhaps the biggest reason why her family has chosen to never include Santa Claus in their Christmas is that Santa is so much like what we're trying all year to teach our children about God.  Think about the "attributes" of Santa:

  • He's omniscient-he sees everything you do
  • He rewards you if you're good
  • He's omnipresent-at least, he can be everywhere in one night!
  • He gives you good gifts
  • He's the most famous "old man in the sky" figure

Noel goes on to say,

But at the deeper level that young children can't comprehend yet, he is not like God at all.  For example, does Santa really care if we're bad or good?  Think of the most awful kid you can remember.  Did he or she ever not get gifts from Santa?  What about Santa's spying and then rewarding you if you're good enough?  That's not the way God operates.  He gave us his gift--his Son--even though we weren't good at all.  "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).  He gave us his gift to us to make us good, not because we had proved ourselves good enough.

I couldn't say it any better myself.  By the way, I ended up going to Santa's site and took The Incredible Elf-omatic Naughty or Nice Determinator and passed with a B+.  Santa told me, "Way to go, Doug!  Your halo may be a little bit crooked but you're definitely on Santa's "Nice List"!