Can You Have Christ and Santa In the Same Holiday? A Family Activity.

What a wonderful time of year. The Spirit of Christmas is all around us. We can see it, and smell it, and taste it.

It can also be a tricky time of year for parents who are trying to navigate Christ and Santa. In our home, Christ is the reason for the season, but, what about Santa? Can you have Santa and Christ at the same time?

We are not against Santa. My husband and I both grew up with Santa, and are just fine with our kids "believing", but, we don't want Santa to be more important than The Birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ.

We always think of Christ and Santa as opposites, but do they have to be opposites. Here is a fun activity (inspired by a recent Sunday School lesson) you can do with your families to better navigate the two.

You Will Need...
  • A picture of Christ wearing Red or White. Which is most pictures of Christ. A couple pictures would be great. My favorite is the picture of Christ knocking at the door with no door knob. 
  • You can also round up pictures of the following, or the real objects if you have them. (Wreath, Evergreen tree, Candy cane, star, gifts, and any other symbol of Christmas you want to include)
Hide the picture of Christ so that your kids can't see it. Even better, put it behind something your kids can open.

Then begin to explain that...
"A very special guest could visit our house soon. I am going to give you some clues about him and you guess who it is."

- this visitor has a beard
- he loves children
- he knows if you are sleeping, he knows when you are awake, he knows if you have been bad or good
- you usually see pictures of him in Red and/or White clothes
- he has special gifts for all of us
- he can come into our homes even when the doors are locked
- you can never see him, but you can feel him
- he hopes we will be good so we can be ready when he comes.
- he gives us a wonderful warm feeling inside
- he has special powers

It will only be natural that your kids will guess that your visitor is Santa. At this point, have one of your children uncover your picture of Christ, or "open" what ever is hiding the picture.

The kids will be very surprised to see a picture of Christ, and more surprised to realize all the similarities between Christ and Santa. Take a few minutes and talk about how the clues apply to both.

Take some time to teach your children that we can be reminded of Christ through lots of different Christmas symbols, even Santa. (Think love, service, kindness, faith and hope and believing in things you can't see). Yes, Santa can remind us of Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. Talk about other symbols of Christmas that remind us of Christ and his birth. (Evergreen trees, candy canes, wreath, star, gifts, etc...)

Your kids will love this activity, and you will love its ability to focus on Christ, yet include the idea of Santa during this Holiday season.

Is Santa part of your Christmas celebration?
Would this work at your house?
How do you keep your kids focused on the true meaning of Christmas?


  1. Love this thanks so much for sharing! Yes Santa is a part and yes this would work! So going to be the next lesson I give my kids thanks for sharing, We have a little box that goes on the tree and we write things that we are going to try to do better for a gift for Jesus. Although Sunday at church a lady shared something their family does and I want to try it out this year. They get a birthday and sing happy birthday to Jesus and kind of have a party for Him. I think we'll do the cake part but sing silent night instead. It will get the kids excited and remember why we celebrate Christmas.

  2. This is a great idea for highlighting the similarities. We also do the birthday cake too. :-)

  3. I {LOVE} {LOVE} {LOVE} this idea. I'm am for sure doing this. Thanks so much!
    We also do a FHE lesson on what gifts we can give to Jesus, write down our service ideas and put them in a beautiful box under the tree. We then briefly talk about them at the next FHEs til Christmas.

  4. WOW. I have been thinking about this alot lately, and you pulled all my thoughts together and organized them in the perfect way! Everything was so jumbled in my head and I wasn't sure how to teach this kind of lesson to my kiddos. THANK you so much for sharing!!!!!!!! I'm pinning on pinterest for all my friends!

  5. My best friend doesn't do Santa at all and her very young kids know the truth. But she threatens them with certain death if they ever tell another child. I love doing Santa, it's so fun, but I have always felt a little bad about it. I don't want them to find out the truth and then lose faith in all things they can't see. So this is a great way to remind them. We still talk every day about how Christmas is about Jesus's birth, so I hope they're getting the message anyway. Thanks for the fun idea!

  6. I'm totally doing this. Thanks for sharing. I think santa is great and we will never stop believing in our house. I love how it's incorporated.

  7. What a great FHE lesson! Thanks for the idea! We have a book about Santa and Christ that we read each Christmas. It is by a local author: Diane Adamson. She describes the similarity of Santa and Christ and it has beautiful pictures! Merry Christmas!

  8. Love that so many of us feel that Christ and Santa can coexist in the same holiday. Let me know how things go with your families. Were your kids surprised to see a picture of Christ after the descriptions?

  9. Can you say, "sac religious"? Keep Jesus in charge of the holy, and Santa in charge of the fun. Blurring the distinction between the two is a disservice to your kids. Don't confuse them. Jesus and Santa can coexist without telling your kids how they're practically the same. They're not. Instead, tell them something true, like, "Jesus is the reason for Christmas, and Santa is the reason Christmas is fun."

    1. Hey Michael you sound like some kind of expert there... relax just a bit, and please don't accuse parents of doing a disservice or confusing their children for doing this activity. When you learn to respect people in your speech and the way you put things, then you can be more equipped to give advice and more importantly, have your advice count (even if you are anonymous, you'll even have more respect for yourself). Your statement about "Jesus is the reason for Christmas, and Santa is the reason Christmas is fun." is just fine, and can be incorporated into the activity. But all that extra stuff you stated, it's really unnecessary and undermines the individual writing this. When we grow up we are reading for food, when we are babies we need it broken down. We need to get to the level of our children for them to comprehend things. They don't complicate things like us adults, thank goodness. The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs to begin with, we can learn much more about Jesus from them, than they can from us.

  10. Did it tonight for F.H.E it went great!

  11. This definitely gave me much to think about. I like that there are similarities and Santa is a type of Christ or even a symbol of Christmas, but Jesus is truly the reason for the season. If our kids get that then Santa is just fun, like Michael said.

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