There are lots of voices that speak into our lives that challenge a biblical world view. As a parent and as a pastor I cannot block out every voice that speaks to my family and to my congregation nor should I but I have spent my life pointing out that God’s word contains truth and the truth of the Word is what will set us free. God’s word is the filter we should view the world through! Years ago I learned that all a stronghold is believing wrong information. When we take captive every thought and make it obedient to the word of God it produces right thinking that creates right actions. Our actions come from our thinking that’s why we have to be intentional about the voices we listen to and the actions we do, regardless of our age. When my children were small we limited the voices and the “traditions we planted in our children.” Just because a movie or TV show was animated or geared for children didn’t mean we allowed our children to feed on it.”
This led us to the big question what were we going to do about mythical traditions?
Julie and I both grew up in Christian households. Both of our families attended church on a regular basis. Our parents also told us both about the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. We also both grew up watching all the disney “fairytale movies and reading traditional children’s books. When Julie and I found out that our parents were really “Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy it affected us differently. Julie just kind of went along as long as her parents wanted to play the game. I felt betrayed. It also made me question was Jesus real too or did they make Him up too?
One thing Julie and I knew was we wanted to do whatever we could to help our kids know the difference between fiction and truth.
We decided to do something that might not have been popular but we felt it was what was right for us as a family. We chose to not tell them there was a tooth fairy, Daddy bought their teeth. Oh we still to this day give our kids Easter Baskets but they don’t come from Peter cottontail hopping down the bunny trail they come from Mom and Dad.
But the most controversial decision we ever made was to say say no to Ho Ho Ho!
We never told our girls their Christmas presents came from the north pole or that they where made by elves. We told them the stories as stories not as truth. The truth was their presents came from Mom and Dad with love bought with money Father God provided to us because He loves His kids and wants us to love ours. We told our children that Father God started the whole gift giving tradition by giving the first Christmas present His one and only son. I don’t think our girls could have been more excited about Christmas than they were growing up. They went to bed wondering what Mom and Dad were going to give them in the same way other kids were excited about presents from Santa. The funny thing that would happen was when adults would ask Yancy what Santa was going to bring her she would answer nothing. Those adults would look at use like we were the worst parents in the world. I’ll be honest with you at first I was guilty of being somewhat of a Santa basher. Some of you might have heard a song I wrote for an early Puppet Trax tape that said “Santa Claus never died for anybody’s sin and the Easter Bunny never rose again.” I remember walking through the mall around Christmas time and saw a mall Santa. I remember saying something about there he is the God of this world and I remember Yancy as a very little girl saying Dad it’s just a man in a suit like your gorilla suits. After that I just took a chill pill I had done what we wanted to do we had taught our girls the difference between truth and fantasy.
My kids loved Disney. They were big Snow White fans, Big Little Mermaid fans. They loved puppets all my full bodied costumes and clowns. They even have had their picture made with Santa. But more than anything my girls love Jesus. They love their parents and are very close to us. Although we are not perfect parents we have never told them a half truth, a white lie or fantasy story as a true story.