Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s feelings about Santa Claus became a topic of discussion on Instagram after Derick posed for a photo holding a small reindeer figurine. Have the former 19 Kids and Counting stars taught their oldest son to believe that Santa’s sleigh-pullers will be making a stop on their rooftop on Christmas Eve?
On Sunday, Derick Dillard took to Instagram to share a photo of himself posing in front of a holiday-themed backdrop that included a Christmas tree, a wreath, and an upright wooden pallet with a “Joy” sign hanging from it. The #ccchristmas hashtag that Derick included in the photo’s caption indicates that it was taken at Cross Church in Rogers, Arkansas.
Derick Dillard and Jill Duggar worship at Cross Church, which held its Experience Christmas celebration over the weekend. Derick seemingly posed for his solo photo before or after the holiday show, and it’s unclear whether Jill attended the event with him.
Derick dressed up for the event in a dark blue blazer, gray button-down shirt, and blue jeans. While posing in front of the Christmas display that the church had set up for guests to take pictures in front of, the former Counting On star picked up a reindeer statuette that had been sitting on the table behind him.
“Haha nice reindeer,” Jill Duggar wrote in response to her husband’s festive photo.
The inclusion of the reindeer seemingly made some of Derick’s followers wonder whether he and his wife take part in the secular tradition of telling their kids that Santa Claus shimmies down the chimney on Christmas Eve to deliver a pile of presents to good little boys and girls.
“Do they do Santa Claus?” wrote one Duggar fan.
“I am a member of the church he is training for missions at. Many members do Santa for their kids,” another commenter responded.
However, Derick Dillard has previously shared his feelings about the fictional jolly old elf, and he made it perfectly clear that he and Jill Duggar will never let their sons, 2-year-old old Israel and 5-month-old Samuel, believe in flying reindeer or toy-making elves. What he had to say about Santa Claus also made some parents very unhappy.
“Hey kids, Santa isn’t real!” Derick reportedly tweeted last December.
According to CafeMom, the Duggar husband later deleted the tweet. However, he didn’t do it fast enough to avoid an avalanche of angry tweets from offended parents. He was reprimanded for not respecting the beliefs of parents who tell their kids that Santa is real, and a few of his followers asked him how he would feel if other adults told his children that Christ isn’t real.
As reported by Romper, Jill grew up in an anti-Santa household. In a TLC blog post, Michelle Duggar revealed that her kids have never believed in Santa Claus because she and her husband, Jim Bob, have always tried to keep the focus of the holiday “on the real meaning of Christmas.”
“And so, we didn’t focus on Santa. We kept that idea out of the whole celebration, we explained to the children who Santa Claus was historically, but focused on his good deeds and his ministering to children.”
However, it looks like Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard haven’t been able to completely keep Santa Claus out of their Christmas. If you look closely at the left side of the photo below, you can see a Santa Claus head ornament hanging on their Christmas tree.