Fairy Tales or Truth?

As moms sit around and chat, especially during holiday times, they often wonder what other moms think about… fairy tales.  Moms probably don’t call them fairy tales, but I do, the Easter Bunny, Santa, leprechauns, and the tooth fairy (even though that isn’t a holiday thing, it goes with the others). So the big question is, do we tell the truth and ruin our child’s innocence and fun? or do we let them enjoy their child hood fairy tales?

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Teaching Honesty

As a parent, I believe it is our responsibility to teach our children the commands of God, striving every day to be more like Jesus in all we do. It is clear in the bible that, as Christ-followers, we are to embrace honesty:

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices”

Colossians 3:9

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

1 John 3:18

The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

Proverbs 12:22

“For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”

1 Peter 3:10

“The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

Proverbs 3:11

In light of these verses and other foundations of the Christian faith I believe it is my responsibility to teach my children honesty, honesty in ALL things. If this is one of my many responsibilities the Lord has entrusted to me, how could I lie to them? Am I not teaching them first by my example, by my actions and second by my words? If I lie to my child about something small like Santa, how would they trust me in larger matters, more abstract matters, like God, and Jesus, a man who is also God that came to Earth to die for our sins? 

Holiday Time Crunch and Wasting Time

Holidays and days in general have a limited amount of time, and I have a limited amount of energy. I feel like there are way more valuable ways to spend my time than to waste it on fairy tales. Instead, I could be doing fun advent activities with my children at Christmas, or playing with them with the nativity set, or reading one of their favorite Christmas stories. At Easter we could be spending time making resurrection rolls and learning about what Jesus did for us. To me, fun memories based on learning our ultimate purpose in life is time much better spent than worrying about fairy tales.

Overcoming Ignorance

While I do not believe that I should be spending any time telling my children about holiday character fairy tales, I do not want my children to be ignorant. My children go to a secular preschool and will one day go to a secular school. They will be surrounded by kids who are worried about what Santa is bringing for Christmas. If I want my children to be able to shine Christ’s light in the world, they need to be able to relate to the world and understand the world. I therefore talk to my children about these fairy tales, I do not just ignore that they exist.

Do I worry that my children will go around telling everyone Santa or the Easter Bunny isn’t real? Nope. When I talk to my children about what other people believe and practice, I teach them that it is up to their daddy and mommy to tell them differently, and that it can be fun to pretend. Also, since a high emphasis is not placed on holiday fairy tales my children are not often thinking about them or stressed out about telling others they aren’t real. My children are too busy enjoying family memories and celebrating the real reason for the holidays.

From toddler-hood I have told my children the truth about the holidays, we have talked about what other’s believe and practice in both the United States and other places in the world. We place a high emphasis on the spiritual reasons and traditions behind holidays, teaching our children about God and their purpose here on Earth.  During holidays we have made fond memories celebrating God and what he has done for us. My children have had joy, excitement, and have began to prepare a foundation for their theological beliefs.