First off, let me say that this post is not about whether parents should or should not pretend with their kids that Santa Clause is real. Rather, it is a post suggesting that parents use the story of Santa (whether in pretense or not) in order to more clearly reveal the glorious reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Parents, spend some time this season showing your kids the differences between the gospel and the Santa Clause story. Let the gospel speak for itself and it will make known it’s vast superiority in contrast. Here are three very fundamental differences between the two that you’ll want to bring to their attention:
- You have to work for Santa’s gifts, but the gift of salvation is free – Santa requires good works in order to be put on the nice list of kids who wake up on Christmas morning to find presents underneath the tree. On the other hand, through the sacrifice of Jesus, sinners who believe are saved by God’s free gift of grace; it is “not a result of works” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The gospel says we don’t have to work (our works are unworthy anyway) because Jesus already did all the work for us.
- Santa brings gifts that will end up in a dump some day, but Jesus brings eternal gifts – As fun as it is to get presents at Christmas time, we all get tired of them before too long… if they don’t break first. For believers, the gospel of Jesus Christ gives the forgiveness of every sin, entrance into God’s eternal family, perfect joy in heaven with God forever, and the list goes on (Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 4:4-7; Revelation 21:3-4).
- Santa gives gifts one night out of each year, but because of the gospel, we always live in God’s blessing – God is not limited in giving to his people. In fact he is always working everything together for our good, his mercies are new every morning and never come to an end, and he saved us in order to show us the immeasurable riches of his grace in the coming ages (Romans 8:28; Lamentations 3:22-23; Ephesians 2:5-7).