What do you suggest we tell our kids about Santa Claus?

As loving parents you should actively play with your children, nurturing the fun and imaginative spirit of your little ones. Parents, however, should never lie to their children (Colossians 3:9). It sets a dangerous precedent and leads to confusion. Neither should parents be callused with their children, denying them their childhood fun (Colossians 3:21). With that being said, there is a wonderfully real story behind Santa Claus that all moms and dads should know and share with their kids.

Saint Nicholas was a real person who lived several hundred years after Jesus was born. He was humble and kind-hearted, always looking for ways to give to the poor. Saint Nicholas knew of a poor man with three daughters, all of whom wanted to be married. Their father, though, had no money for a dowry, without which they could not be married. Saint Nicholas, who was touched by their need, secretly hid money, enough for the dowry, in the girls' stockings as they were drying on the mantel. His selfless act of kindness brought great joy to the entire family. This story has been passed on for hundreds of years, eventually leading to the myth of Santa Claus.

Please don't lie to your children - about anything. If you wish to present Santa Claus as a fantasy figure and "play the Santa Claus game" with your children, make sure they understand it's make-believe, and whatever you do, don't let Santa replace Jesus as the focus of Christmas. Make sure that materialism and greed don't become the idols of your Christmas. Teach them the joy of giving. "For God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). The real "Santa Claus" story is a wonderful way to share God's principle of giving, and point them back to the real meaning of Christmas . . . the gift of Jesus.

Taken from Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column. 

Used by permission. 2001 The Commercial Appeal.