“The children should know that they’re made up and they should know why parents tell children made-up stories,” Piper explained. “It’s a good thing, I think, to tell children made-up stories.”
The biggest objection Piper cited against Santa Claus is its distraction from the “thrilling truth” of God's gift to the world:
“Why would a Christian who has found in Jesus Christ the greatest treasure in the world trade it for anything else? Why would they — who see in the incarnation and life, death, resurrection, and reign of Jesus the most amazing story in the world — tell another story?”
“Why would they replace it with such a non-gospel, pathetic myth like Santa Claus, whose message is ‘You better be good, and you better not cry’? I just can’t imagine it,” Piper continued.
Piper also contended that superimposing Santa Claus mythology over Christmas reveals a cultural compromise that can confuse kids: "It’s a syncretistic compromise with culture: ‘Poor Jesus. He’s invisible. Santa Claus is not. You can see him at the mall. Poor Jesus doesn’t make any rounds on a sled in the sky, leaving toys under the tree.'"
Ultimately, Piper says, Santa Claus can do real damage in the form of obstructing a parent's mission to share the gospel with their children.
"If Christ cannot compete with Santa in the hearts of our kids, we don’t know the real Christ or there is no real Christ," Piper concluded.
"Your children have Christ-shaped empty spaces in their hearts. They don’t know this. You must show them, but it can’t be done with Santa Claus, only Christ.”