How Can we Teach our Kids the Differences Between Santa and Jesus?

How does your family handle differentiating between Santa and Jesus? It's easy for us to get swept up in the ways of our culture and not even address the differences with our children. Ashton gives us great talking points to clearly point out the truth of Santa and Jesus.
Family at Campsgiving

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you ask kids what their favorite thing about Christmas is, they would probably say, “gifts!” And for most families with young kids it’s Santa who brings those.

Children at a young age tend to blend Santa and Jesus together as one person, so how can we teach kids what the differences are?

  1. Santa is only for a season, Jesus is forever. We talk about Santa a lot during this time of year but what happens after December 25? We stop talking about him until this time next year. Jesus however, has no season. His coming was told in the Old Testament in Isaiah 9:6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Jesus surpasses all seasons, every day we’re trying to spend time with Him, and praising Him exceeds the season.
  2. Santa brings us gifts, but Jesus is the good gift. During Christmas, gifts are left under the tree but are only good for this world. Also, if your kids are anything like I was, I’d love my new toy for one day then it would be old news the next. Ephesians 3:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Explain to your kids the gift Jesus is to us and how His coming as a baby is the gift we all need.
  3. Their messages are different. In order to get a gift from Santa we must be good. Will our good works get us on the nice list instead of the naughty? We are on a works-based relationship with Santa but with Jesus it’s all about His free gift. The message Jesus embodies is one of grace despite our works. There is no reward system put in place, all we need to do is accept salvation through His sacrifice on the cross. In return for accepting this good and free gift we mirror His goodness because we know it’s something we could never earn.

As we are entering this Christmas season, we can focus on who Jesus is and why He is the reason for the season. Santa and Jesus may seem similar to young kids, but there are several differences between the two. Let’s be intentional to have these conversations with our kids and continue to make much of Jesus.


Camper Corner:

What do you say the difference between Jesus and Santa are? Ask your parents what the differences are.  Then you can talk confidently with your friends about the truth of us not needing to earn our way into Jesus loving or liking us. 

About The Author

Ashton McDonald

1. Where are you from?

Houston, Texas (Cypress)

2. Alpha or Omega?

O M E G A forever

3. What’s your favorite local New Braunfels place to eat?

Comal Taco

4. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

5. What’s the most inspiring thing about your job?

I started coming to T Bar M as a camper in 2000 (...

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