What do Sunday School, Children’s Church, or other Bible class teachers do when a student mentions Santa Claus?
Some of your Bible teachers may have strong views for or against this Christmas icon while others remain neutral. Parents of children likewise have differing views. What is a teacher to do?
Key Words for Bible Teachers on Dealing with the Issue of Santa Claus:
Even if a Bible teacher strongly opposes Santa Claus, some of the parents of children in their class could have a very different opinion. If a child asks if Santa Claus is real, teachers could redirect them. i.e., “We’re going to let your parents answer that question for you. What we want to talk about today is …”
Some of the children in a class might think Santa Claus is real while others regard him as make believe. If children start taunting those who believe in Santa Claus, teachers would do well to avoid joining the argument and instead use it as an opportunity to teach how God would have us treat people who think differently than us.
In both of these examples, the teacher reserves his/her opinion: in the first case deferring what to do with Santa Claus to the parents, thus showing respect; in the second situation, using it as an opportunity for teaching respect.
If students have figured out that Santa Claus is not real, maybe they might think everything else surrounding Christmas is not real. Bible teachers need to stress how the Christmas story is a real story that impacts their lives today. — a real God who came to earth as a real baby and really lived on this earth for 33 years until He died on a real cross so we can have an eternal home with Him in a real heaven someday — That’s the real significance of Christmas.
Bible teachers can keep bringing the conversation back to Jesus by doing some comparisons.
Santa Claus? — Let’s talk about Jesus. We hear about Santa once a year. Jesus is in our lives all year long.
Santa Claus? Let’s talk about Jesus. We hear about Santa giving presents. Jesus gave His very life for us so that we can live forever. The Bible calls it an indescribable gift (2 Cor. 9:15) because it is a gift like none other.
Did you notice how I worded the above? There is a big difference between saying “We hear about Santa once a year” and “Santa comes once a year” or “We hear about Santa giving presents” and “Santa gives presents.” Teachers must very carefully construct the way they talk about Santa so as to maintain respect but also not promote that which is untrue. The Bible teacher’s objective is to help students remember Jesus, not to promote or bash Santa.
Teacher Training Resource about the Holidays: Intruders in the Classroom that Steal & Vandalize: Holidays & Other Special Events Download