The Santa Cause


santa_claus_10Seasons Greetings to everyone!  Hope you had a special Christmas with your families, especially if it was your first!

After reading Literary Feline’s post on Holiday Traditions, it got me thinking about the Santa Claus tradition.  Does it contribute the magic of Christmas, or is it a retail money making scheme? Please do not be offended, my intention is not to spoil all Christmas fun, but rather to open an objective discussion.

Growing up in England and Australia, my sister and I probably would have been one of very few children that grew up not believing that Santa Claus was real.  In retrospect I do not feel that I have missed out on anything or that my childhood was any less complete than anyone else’s.  So why has Santa Claus become such a big part of our children’s Christmas and why do we perpetuate the myth,  buying extra presents every year and putting out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve?  Perhaps the wonder of Santa contributes to the development of a child’s imagination?  Or maybe we do it simply because it is what we did when we were young?

One might argue that having your children believe in Santa Claus is the same as telling them a lie and runs the risk of losing their trust when they eventually learn that Santa Claus is not real.  It can potentially be a traumatic event.  So when is a good time to break the news to your children?  Do you wait until they find out at school or from an older sibling?  How do you continue to keep it a secret?  How old were you when you found out, how did you find out and how did it affect you?

How does Santa visit you?  Does he come down the chimney?  Do you leave out a glass of whiskey and chocolates, and maybe something for the reindeer?  Does Santa bring one present for each child from himself only, or does he bring everyone’s presents that magically appear under the tree on Christmas morning?  Does Santa leave clues that he has visited during the night?

Then what of other beliefs?  Do the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy exist too, and how long for?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. caspette
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 21:28:33

    Honestly i dont think either way is wrong. I was never particularly scarred by the whole finding out Santa is fake thing, and plenty of cultures dont celebrate Christmas and they turn out fine.

    I dont think telling kids beliving in Santa is any different to believing in say fairies or monsters. It is all about how you approach it and the lessons you can teach. For instance Christmas is about good will to all, good behaviour, and being with your family.

    Personally I will encourage Santa belief but wont lie if my son ever says “does Santa not exist?” but hopefully that is a long way off!


  2. Literary Feline
    Jan 01, 2011 @ 09:41:23

    I can’t say I’ve ever heard of anyone being traumatized by discovering the myth of Santa Claus is untrue, but you never know, I suppose. Like Caspette, I don’t think going either way is wrong. It’s really a personal choice.

    Growing up, my brother and I always left Santa carrots for the reindeer and cookies and milk. My poor mom thought my brother and I would search the house to make sure the goodies were actually eaten and so she made sure they were. We never thought look. LOL Santa never left clues at our house, but I do remember the elaborate efforts our neighbor went to–reindeer tracks on the roof and lawn . . .

    I honestly don’t remember when I found out Santa wasn’t real. It’s not a memory that has stuck with me.

    I have thought about whether Santa will appear in my daughter’s life. I was leaning toward no, but my husband’s so excited about carrying on the tradition. So, I imagine we will. I’m sure my parents will want to too–after all, my dad and grandfather were famous for giving us updates about Santa’s whereabouts Christmas night when I was a child. I imagine it’ll be the same with the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.

    My reason for not wanting to . . . I suppose I fall in the category of not wanting to perpetuate a lie, but I can’t say I feel strongly about it. There’s so much fun that comes with playing along. And I’m not too worried about ruining a trust.


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