As a family of Unitarian Universalists, we try to explain how all the world's religions have something to offer. And to not confuse the kids. Especially at Christmas. Do they get mixed up? Maybe. Last year I asked for a menorah for Christmas. I made (awesome) latkes, but thoughtlessly served them with pork chops. And had Santa Claus placemats that night. Every year we play dreidel games and save the coins to donate to the UUSC through the "Guest at Your Table" program. Still, I make a bigger deal about Christmas and consider Hanukkah a dabble in the exploration of world religions.
On the way home from church Wednesday night, after celebrating the first night of Hanukkah, (yes, that could potentially be confusing) Bug says, "I guess Santa and God are kinda alike."
Um? Oh my. I braced myself. I have tried to make sure that Santa is a feeling of love and unselfishness. Each year each child has helped fill xmas stockings for everyone else. They still get a big unwrapped gift from Santa, but if they wanted to put two and two together it wouldn't spell Fat-Man-in-Red-Suit.
So I went with that. I decided that yes, God and Santa were kind of alike. Both, to me, are symbols of love and generosity. Neither one is something we can see, but we can choose to believe anyway.