A family member told me that the way we celebrate Christmas is sinful because:
1. Lying about Santa is a sin that should prevent a recommend as it is willful and ongoing.
2. Celebrating anything other than the gospel is a waste of time
3. Christmas trees and Santa are pagan and detract from the true meaning of Christmas
Is there any talk or reference you know of that can refute this? Taking Santa and Christmas trees out of the holiday just seems wrong. He also applies the same logic to the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny. How can you spend a childhood without birthdays and Santa? I do not see how these are sinful. Please advise.
In my experience, I have come to notice varying opinions within our church membership regarding the celebration of Christmas and mentioning Santa Claus and other celebrations. This is similar to the varying opinions also regarding other doctrines, activities, and entertainment a church member may participate in.
I would recommend the following readings in order to answer your question appropriately:
1. President Harold B. Lee and his experience with Christmas as a Stake President (I don’t believe he lost his temple recommend for celebrating Christmas).
2. Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone and one of his experiences with Christmas and Santa Claus.
What holidays a family decides to celebrate is really up to each family and the feelings of their hearts. As such, if a family feels they shouldn’t celebrate Christmas, or celebrate Christmas while not mentioning Santa Claus, then the choice is purely up to them.
I would recommend for any family who celebrates Christmas, Easter, Tooth Fairy, etc., or any other holiday which mentions a fictional character, that when the children come and ask if he/she is truly real, then the parents should be directly honest with their children in a compassionate way.