I find the message of this picture funny. Many may disagree with me here, and I am way in the minority on this I know. Sometimes people will compliment us on our kids and ask “How” our kids are so solid, well-behaved, and faith-full…..part of the answer is that we were really careful to not mix faith, fun, and truth. For instance, “Elf on the Shelf.” (One could easily insert Santa/Tooth fairy/Easter bunny….here as well.) Take the picture above, 2 elves with the word “faith” in between them. (Original picture changed at request of the photographer)

Are we teaching our kids to have “faith” in a “thing” they can see, but has no power to do what it is credited to do? At the same time, we teach them to “faith” in a God they cannot see . This works until that dreadful day when the child learns there is no “Elf on the Shelf” or “Santy Clause”. It is learned it was always mommy and daddy….did mommy and daddy also answer all those prayers for me? How can I believe in a God I cannot see when I cannot believe in the thing(s) (Elf, Santa etc) I can see?

Remember this revelation is coming when the child still thinks in concrete terms, not yet processing the abstract of faith/belief in things unseen. (Interestingly, a contrast to the above is Halloween where we teach kids to not believe in the unseen -demons, powers of darkness, principalities… is just all fun and games)

We had plenty of fun and traditions around the holidays. Presents did appear overnight under the tree, they were surprised and delighted at the new “present inventory” from bedtime to Christmas morning, Spring baskets appeared sometime during the Spring season, but not on Easter, the “Secret Rainbow Pirate” would leave surprises if the kids drew a “treasure map” for us…..But Christmas was His birth, Easter was His “Resurrection” etc. And birthdays were generally major blowouts!

Is “Elfing, or Santa-ing” a sin?, of course not. (Though Santa is the word SATAN re-spelled, LOLOLOLOL) However it may not be the best way to lay down a foundation for future belief in a God they have never seen physically when things they have seen, and desperately believed in, have proven to be false.

The race of parenting is long, stutter steps here or there may make a huge difference in how successful one hands the baton off to their next generation……………