Discussion on whether or not you encourage children's belief in Santa.
Those pro-belief talk about the wonders of fantasy and imagination and how childhood is getting shorter, and how children believing in Santa is good for the imagination etc.
The problem with that is that it is just fantasy and imagination, but only the adults are let in on that fact, the kids believe it's real, until they find out otherwise. So it isn't just fantasy to them, it's a reality suddenly shifted by finding out they've been lied to, in order to make them "be good"
So this goes particularly sour in a few of ways when someone like me is slapped in the face with the truth.
Here's how. All my emotions and thoughts when finding out...
1. There goes that whole lovely magic section of the world and its main character - poof! It was never real. how could I have fallen for this? Gah! And I'll never get it back, because it never existed to begin with! I wish I'd known from the start!
2. All that stuff about "be good or else" just what in heck - I got blackmailed and it was all a lie? Maybe they didn't mean it to come out that way, but even so, it's all over the media, "who's naughty and who's nice". The implication is definitely there. Even the song "Santa Clause Is Coming To Town" cute as the music is, however much I like the tune, "Better watch out, better not cry" why is crying at the top of the list? I know, because it fits the rhyming scheme. Still... Little kids can't help crying once in a while, and it's no good taunting a crying kid with this lyric to make them "behave" and stop crying. And I've always utterly hated any kind of coercion, even from the time I was little. I was never the sort that could be humoured.
3. What the heck!? here we're taught from when we're little that we shouldn't lie, and here we've been lied to about Santa by these very people who have been pounding it into our heads that we should tell the truth? So much for naughty VS. nice. Since when does lying get overlooked? Yeah, trying to wrap my head around that one gave me a migraine. Maybe that's why they used the word "cry" in the song instead of "lie".
4. What else have I been lied to about? Pretty sure the same goes for the Easter Bunny, though I always thought that tale was rather far-fetched given what real rabbits look like, how small they are etc. But seriously, what else is actually going to turn out just a fairy-tale?
Conclusion: Blast it!
This just sucks!
Yes, it sucked a lot of the fun out of Christmas for me until I had time to recover from the shock and dismay.
It was so unnecessary.
It shouldn't have to happen to any kid.
And it wouldn't, if kids know from the beginning that Santa is make-believe, along with Spiderman, Batman, Superman and ghosts. Everybody will eventually face their share of disappointments and shattered illusions as it is. We just don't need to heap such a needless one on little kids, especially under the misguided idea that we are somehow "letting kids be kids" and "encouraging their imaginations" by telling them this lie.
Somewhere among all the responses on a thread which no longer exists, there was one that told a story about a very young girl who was stressed out because she had gotten so little from Santa one year. How could she have known that the real reason she didn't get much was because finances were tight? Then, there are the naughty, spoiled rich kids who get loads from "Santa" and it is enough to make other kids wonder just what's up with that.
As for the commercialism end of it, I won't even address that since that isn't where my concern lies. Santa or no Santa, there is and always was commercialism, oh well, that's the way it is, you can choose how much or how little of it you want in your own and your kids' lives, if you have kids.
I wish Santa had only been pretend for me, right since I was little. Even a mystery as in, does he really do all this stuff or not - would've been better than all out believing, and finding out one year that my parents were the ones who filled my stockings, and then upon the realization, you also get one less gift, adding to the disappointment. Not to mention the resentment at realizing you were basically blackmailed from all directions, into trying your darndest not to make a wrong step, especially right before Christmas.
Yes, the properties of Santa are magical, and magic is fiction. I wish I had never believed...I have never stopped wishing it could be literally true, but knowing it won't. I can appreciate what my imagination and fantasies do for me now as an adult, because that's just what they are. But they can't make him real. They are however, the only way to give back a little of the wonder I lost, without the blackmail end of it. Making believe, while knowing it is only making believe, is the closest I will ever get to the beautiful magical Santa I once thought was real. I just wish I had never been disappointed and felt like I was made a fool of. True, I wasn't the only kid to go through that, but it's very small comfort.
So, I will leave you with this nice bit of make-believe, a story Beth and I wrote about Santa. It is called A Gift For Santa. We spent many hours writing it out and living in our heads in the wonderful setting of Santa's world of Make-Believe. It contains mature subject matter and some disturbing scenes, not suitable for little kids. If you want to read only to enjoy the lovely Christmas scene at Santa's we wrote about, you can read up to the section called "Danger" but don't read it and beyond until you get to "Magic Sleigh Ride". Then you can read that section and to the end. that's if you want to get all the Christmas goodness without all the drama. If you want to read the whole thing, go ahead if you like, but you were warned it gets a bit deep.
I immersed myself in Santa's world again with this story about a special group of toys and their first memorable Christmas at Santa's. Furby Christmas is for all ages, which is suitable for all ages, the whole way through.
In Naughty Snotty Rudolph, I take on a snarky blog letter supposedly from Rudolph's POV. Yes, it's actually one of my meme-mangles, but it's fine to incorporate those in to stories too where they fit.
A Moving Whobilation is not about Santa, but is a Whoville story about the beginning of restoring the town of Whoville, starting with taking Christmas back.
Back to Holiday Memes page