Santa Claus is anyone who loves another
and seeks to make them happy; who gives
himself by thought or word or deed in every gift
that he bestows; who shares his joys with those
who are sad; whose hand is never closed against
the needy; whose arm is ever outstretched to aid
the week; whose sympathy is quick and genuine
in time of trouble; who recognizes a comrade
and brother in every man he meets upon life's
common road; who lives his life throughout
the entire year in the Christmas spirit.
EDWIN OSGOOD GROVER, Vicki Howard's The Book of Santa Claus
I used to struggle with the decision to "let" my children believe in Santa. I wanted the holiday to put the the Savior first, to put aside the commercializim that is so prevelant in our society. It was so hard for me to decide to allow Christmas to be commercialized by the world.
I have learned as I have gotten older. I have learned that we get to decide to put Christ back into Christmas. It is a choice that we make. We can't totally escape the world views of Santa and Christmas, but we can change what our children remember and celebrate for the season.
We never have a season in our family where we don't talk about the meaning of Christmas. Where we don't teach the true meaning of Christmas. We share stories, songs, and love. We talk about he Savior and the wonderful gift that He is to us. We talk about symbolism and how to keep Christ more in our hearts and our minds.
I have always taught my children that Santa Clause is the spirit of giving and he lives in the hearts of all men. If they want to believe the Spirit of Giving wears a red suit and says, "ho, ho, ho", that is just fine with us. At some point in time they put it all together and it is not a big deal. We try and teach them to believe in the Spirit of Giving. It is essential for us to have that Spirit within our hearts all during the year.
I think that part of Christmas is making it fun and memorable for my children. It is teaching them to treasure their memories and to feel the love and joy that comes with giving.