Christmas Is Not for Kids

Christmas traditions focus heavily on children, but they actually teach many negative character lessons. Discover why Christmas is bad for your kids.

Even though Christmas is technically celebrated on Dec. 25 by the majority of the world, people start preparing for it months in advance. Shortly after Thanksgiving children start sending letters off to Santa Claus, who also starts appearing in stores and malls. Parents start shopping for presents on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and may start setting up Christmas trees and lights around the same time. Most popular Christmas traditions revolve around children.

There are many problems with Christmas, which we explain in detail in many of our materials. But many people will counter those reasons with the excuse: “But it’s for the kids!”

Well, here is a proposition that may be surprising: Christmas is not for kids.

Christian parents should keep in mind the instruction to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). When we really analyze Christmas traditions, we discover they teach children lessons that lead them in the wrong direction.  

Four reasons Christmas is not for kids

1. Christmas teaches children it’s okay to lie.

While children should be taught about the birth of Jesus Christ, it shouldn’t be taught alongside a holiday based on many lies about His birth. You can learn about those lies in our article “The Birth of Jesus.” Simply put, if children are taught about Christ’s birth from Christmas, they are being taught a totally inaccurate story of what really happened and when it happened!

But the facts of Christ’s birth aren’t the only lies surrounding Christmas. Christmas traditions emphasize the story of Santa who lives at the North Pole, of elves who make toys for him and of flying reindeer that help him deliver toys to the world’s children in a single night. These are all myths—lies!

Parents teach these lies while also expecting their children to be truthful. They fail to see that “harmless” lies teach children that some lies are acceptable. Instead of teaching myths, it’s much healthier for parents to teach what God says in His Word about lying and why it is forbidden in the 10 Commandments. When parents actively teach the values of truth and honesty, it doesn’t make sense to teach the various Christmas myths.

Christmas Is Not for Kids
2. Christmas teaches children greed and selfishness.

Commercials entice children with the latest toys, electronics and fashion during the Christmas shopping season. The words “I want” and “mine” are often the first words that children learn, but during this time of the year those words are magnified! Children are not really focused on Christ during this season that is supposedly all about Him, but instead on what they will get. This leads to covetousness (which breaks the 10th Commandment). Are we seeing a pattern here?

Jesus warns us, “Beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). Teaching children to give and be content with what they have is a good antithesis of the getting focus of Christmas.

3. Christmas devalues faith.

Millions of children around the world request gifts from Santa Claus and wait for their request to be answered on Christmas morning. Sometimes they are then disappointed by not getting what they asked for and then later learning that Santa really doesn’t exist.

Not only do Christmas traditions ask children to put faith in a nonexistent man, but they also set them up to question God. How can they develop true faith when their original faith was built on a lie?

When we really analyze Christmas traditions, we discover they teach children lessons that lead them in the wrong direction. 4. Christmas is used as a bargaining chip.

A 2009 survey by asked kids, “What does Christmas mean to you?” A 15-year-old in Kansas responded, “A time where we pretend that our good behavior for the day will carry over to the rest of the year.”

Think about it: Christmas teaches children to be good because “Santa Claus is coming to town.” In other words, be good so you will get presents.

According to the Bible, we should choose to do good because it is the right thing to do. Ecclesiastes 12:13 teaches us to “fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” Children must be taught that they shouldn’t just obey God to get—but instead because it is the right thing to do all the time.

Teach truth, not lies

Christmas compromises some of the most basic and essential biblical principles: honesty, generosity, and faith. Along with its unbiblical and pagan origins, parents should reconsider exposing children to Christmas and instead teach them how to worship and live according to the Bible.

We have recently published a parenting resource manual to assist parents who are serious about teaching their children about God’s way of life. You can download free lessons at “Encourage, Equip & Inspire.”

To learn more about improper and proper worship of God, request our free booklet From Holidays to Holy Days: God’s Plan for You.

About the Author

Chant'a Collier

Chant'a Collier and her husband, Rodney, are members of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in Atlanta, Georgia.