The fantasy of Christmas
At the same time, few things can cause more controversy in Christian circles during the holidays than talking about what believers should or shouldn't do about Santa Claus. So at the risk of raising some of that controversy, here is how our family focuses on the fulfillment part of Christmas and still keeps some of the fantasy.
We share the history of Nicholas, bishop of Myra, in modern-day Turkey. It is his story that developed into the modern Santa Claus myth, and he was a man who loved the Lord and shared that love with those around him. Our children know that the generosity expressed in the Santa stories comes from an actual man who loved and worshiped Jesus.
We talk with them about love and respect. They know that some families pretend about Santa in a different way than we do, and we teach them not to jump in and spill the beans with other children, if they can help it. (At the same time, they know not to lie, so we monitor this as much as possible to avoid problems!)
We draw a sharp line between truth and error. Some Santa or other Christmas fantasy stories present worldviews or ideas that are opposed to biblical teaching. Santa, for example, has been given a god-like omniscience of who is bad and good. The whole idea of Santa only rewarding those who have been good introduces a "works" mentality instead of the "grace" perspective of the gospel. Angels are specially created messengers sent by God, not people who died or some other kind of magic being. Sometimes we simply use such movies or stories as an opportunity to explain truth and error to our children. Some movies or stories we skip entirely in preference of those we can just enjoy without worrying about contradicting what they teach. There are too many to see them all anyway. We try to choose wisely.
In short, we enjoy the fantasy of Christmas, but always with an eye to teaching our children the difference between real and pretend and between biblical truth and worldly error. We also do not major on this. It is a part of our Christmas, but not a big part, and it is always overshadowed by the bigger - and much more amazing! - story of God stepping into our world as a tiny, helpless baby in order to save us from our sins.
How does your family deal with both the fantasy of Christmas and the truth of the Scriptures?