Our baby boy was 2 months old. We adored him and were trying very hard to be perfect parents. As I put up our Christmas decorations, my husband busied himself wrapping our son's first Christmas presents. When he asked what he should write on the tag, I quickly replied, "From Santa."

He looked at me for a minute, then carefully replied, I don't think we should introduce him to Santa.

I have to say I was shocked. I thought everyone believed in Santa. This was definitely not outlined in our dating months. Although in that moment I wanted to point my candy cane at this Grinch and demand he write Santa, I restrained myself. After the shock wore off we sat down and wrote out a list of the pros and cons of Santa, here are a few points.

Cons of the Jolly Old Elf

  • At the top of my husband's list was the day they find out he isn't real. He did not want to look into their little trusting eyes and explain why daddy didn't tell them the truth to begin with.

  • Santa sometimes competes with keeping a Christ-centered Christmas. My husband wanted to keep materialism out of Christmas. I didn't blame him it was one of my goals, as well.

  • We knew we didn't want to go over-the-top with gifts at Christmas. So our other question was how do you explain why Santa brought the neighbors four times as many gifts?

Pros to believing in St. Nicholas

  • Magic at Christmastime can glow like a hot ember in your heart. Santa is part of that magic. Letting your children believe in that wonder can bring joy to their hearts.

  • Santa as a representation of the symbols of Christmas. Growing up, we went over the symbols of Christmas every year. Santa always reminded me of Christ, giving to the world and bringing joy to everyone.

  • The gift giving at Christmastime, no matter how small or large, brings happiness to everyone. I wanted to encourage my children to follow Santa's example and give to their siblings and friends. Some of my favorite gifts growing up were handmade with love.

It has now been 13 years since that Christmas. My husband and I decided not to discourage Santa, or encourage him. We let our children choose for themselves who they want to believe in. We left the "from" section of the gift tags blank.

Maybe I wanted to have "Santa" because my mother, Shannon, didn't. Shannon marked our gifts from, "blessings." Every Christmas, she reminded us that everything we had came from our Heavenly Father and the Savior.

When asked why our gifts were from "blessings" she said, "During my first Christmas as a single mother, I really worried about being able to provide any Christmas at all. By the time Christmas arrived, I knew that we had been blessed. I couldn't bring myself to give anyone but God credit for the bounteous blessings I saw laying under our tree.

My overwhelming gratitude for being able to provide my children with a Christmas that year began a tradition. Frankly, I never thought you noticed."

When my children were older, we realized they chose to believe in Santa. Over the years, I sometimes get the question, "Is Santa real?" Not wanting to crush their joyful souls; like my mother, I gave them the option. I reply, "Santa is a belief in someone filled with love who brings joy to all the world, he is as real as you believe him to be." This always seems to satisfy them.

We choose to focus on Christ during Christmastime, and try not to make Santa the focus of the season. This works for our family. You get to decide what works for yours.

We hope this list helps you in your decision about Kris Kringle. No matter what you choose, make sure you let the joy and happiness that comes with Christmastime and the birth of Christ light the flame in your spirit. Let that light glow for your family to see, and watch how Christmas becomes a time to grow together, and love each other more deeply.

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