Sadly, I grew up with this Santa Claus figure posing as a kind of saint that would fill your wish list if you were good. Sad, because such a figure outshines our true Savior. Santa as a children's fairy tale has become a kind of false religion. As I said, I grew up with Santa Claus. Ironically, at the same time, and thankfully, I was a member of a Christian church where one could find only the baby Jesus in the manager. Yet, by attending public school along with social media of the time shaped by consumerism, Santa Claus crept into our Christmas.
Probably, because I went to church with parents and attended Sunday school, I as able to judge this Santa character and follow the truth light of the world ~ Jesus Christ. Being the oldest child, I realized that it was parents who left the presents, not Santa. Honestly, I was hardly disappointed... in fact, I was overjoyed and relieved to know that my parents were the 'saints' leaving gifts for five kids under the tree. It made more sense to me than an elf called St. Nick who went around the world in one night using flying reindeer.
However, upon having my own children, I fell back into the popular culture with its tradition of Santa Claus. I think that they realized too as I did as a child that it was I (parent) and not the elf making our Christmas memorable. Is it a sin to have taken part in that and including having kids pose with Santa for a picture or watch a movie where people ironically find the truth of the light in their hearts by believing in something they cannot see? Yes and No. At the time, even though I knew that 'Santa' was not real, I thought it was an innocent tradition (everyone was doing it and I had grown up with it) bringing joy on the day of Jesus's birth. In retrospect, I would say that participation in such things believing 'magically' in a 'fake person' is a false religion... it is believing in a false god~ the god of consumerism = idolatry of things.
Today, I would rather do as some European's do. Have the Christmas angel (mysteriously) leave a gift by the tree on Christmas Eve to be opened on Christmas Eve. This way, Christmas Day is for Jesus, a day for all of us to celebrate His birth together and consider our walk in the light of the Lord (for He is the Light of the World) and; thus, help each other to be mindful of our walk with the Lord throughout our life.
I highly suggest moving away from today's consumerism and the idea of Santa Claus bringing gifts. If you opt for the Christmas angel, you should be careful about the gifts you give or allow others to give your children. Especially, the kinds of toys and or products in our popular culture that are hardly Christian nor godly in any way. Toys that lead children down dark paths.
Tell your children the truth ~ The light of the world is Jesus Christ ~ John 8:12. And tell them ....not to love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of
the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the
world...~ 1 John 2:15-16. Our destiny is in His Kingdom! How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an
eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation ~ Daniel 4:3.