Before you read further I want you to know that I am not wishing Santa an untimely demise. Instead, I am asking about his future in light of cultural headwinds. The more I think about the Santa Claus issue the more I wonder if Santa Claus is not going to have difficulty moving forward. In Chris Altrock’s book, “Preaching to Pluralists” he lays out seven characteristics of postmoderns:
- Uninformed about Christian basics
- Interested in spiritual matters
Santa may have a hard time making the cut with this group. How are you relational with a guy who isn’t real? How practical is jolly old saint Nick? What is more, postmoderns are pluralistic, that means they are open to relativism and less inclined to believe in absolute truths or that one way is the best way over other options. That means they don’t buy into things as a package deal. Instead they pick and choose what is practical (See #4 above). Santa could feel like a relic of a bygone age to many of them who grew up in less than happy, healthy homes.
Besides culture, there is another obstacle to Santa that many postmoderns face. That is the idea of their parents not being transparent and authentic when it came to Santa Claus. To be fair, I agree with the comments on the last post that there are some magical memories of Santa as a kid and that Santa can be healthy for the imagination of children. But what if the family is dysfunctional and lies abound? What if the kids already learned to distrust their parents because their parents were not consistent, abusive, etc? Postmoderns put a big emphasis on being real and authentic. Santa doesn’t cut it.
So how many of out there are postmoderns who have embraced Santa vs. rejected Santa when raising your kids or future kids?