Answer by Michelle**
So once you know that Mormons do celebrate Christmas, a follow-up question could be what Mormons do about Santa Claus.
First of all, make no mistake. The name of our church — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — reiterates that Jesus Christ is at the center of our religion. As such, we as Mormons seek to keep the Savior, Jesus Christ, at the center of our Christmas. You can read more about different Christmas traditions to help keep a focus on Christ during the Christmas season. More ideas for keeping Christ in Christmas can be found here, and a wonderful list of 10 ideas can be found at lds.about.com.
I think it’s safe to say that a good majority of Mormons’ traditions include Christmas trees and stockings and gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. How and where Santa plays into that process will vary depending on the family.
When I was a young child, Santa Claus was “real” and was part of our Christmas celebration. There were always presents “from Santa” under the tree in addition to presents from my parents. My mom is one who loves Christmas with a childlike giddiness, so I’m pretty sure that gifts were signed by Santa long after I knew Santa was actually Mom and Dad.
My husband, on the other hand, grew up always knowing that Santa wasn’t the one doing presents. This was a deliberate choice made by his parents.
As you might imagine, having such different experiences growing up, my husband and I had a few interesting conversations about what we would do in our home.
I think the different experiences my husband and I had illustrate that you can find a range of opinions about Santa among Mormons. Some feel allowing children to believe in Santa provides some magic for the holidays. Others worry about whether it might be traumatic for children in some way to find out that Santa isn’t real. Some are perhaps a bit indifferent about it all.
And others will tell you that they do believe in Santa Claus. For example, read “I Believe in Santa” to see what I mean. You’ll be glad you did. It’s a beautiful post that I think sums up how we feel about the spirit of Christmas and what we hope to capture in whatever traditions we may choose.
What have you done in your family about Santa Claus? What do you do to help keep a focus on Christ during the holidays?
**Please note: The answers in “Ask a Mormon Woman” reflect the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of individuals. Although here at Mormon Women: Who We Are, we strive to have our content consistent with the Church’s doctrine and teachings, we do not speak officially for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For official information about or from the Church, please visit www.mormon.org/faith or www.lds.org.
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