Is Santa Claus Real?
Telling a child that Santa Claus is not real is definitely controversial, but maybe parents should consider why they tell their children about this pretend character in the first place. Even if you do want to tell your kids there is a Santa, it might be good to think of a cut-off point when you will tell them the truth about this legend. I love Christmas for the purposes of fun decorations and spending time with family and friends, but I never believed in Santa Claus. So was I deprived of a great childhood experience? Not from my point of view. There is joy in celebrating holidays, but I just am not big on telling kids about characters they will one day find out do not exist. Upon reading this hub and even before I wrote it I knew my views are of the minority perspective, but keep in mind there are people who have a different view on Santa Claus. When I read on one forum that parents wanted to ostracize a child who told other kids that Santa is not real, it appears maybe some people take things to the extreme when it comes to a made up character. Would people freak out if someone said Mickey Mouse is not real? Most likely not. Thus, why all the passionate and vehement reactions to disbelief in Santa? Of course people who choose not to tell their kids about Santa Claus need to have discussions their kidsabout why this should be kept a bit more private, but the majority of parents choose to tell their kids about Santa need to draw the line when it comes to their harsh judgement Thus, this hub might shine some light on why some people are not telling their kids about Santa, and why parents should not tell their children to ostracize a child with different views on this subject.
The Economics of Christmas
There is a great social and economic divide when it comes to the Christmas season. Of course there are charity organizations that donate food and toys to needy families, but those with less are always going feel the difference around Christmas. So you tell their kids there is a Santa Claus that brings toys to all the good boys and girls of the world, but how will your kids deal with the economic disparities of the kid who only got one toy as opposed to the one who got every luxury item on their list?
This may not seem like an issue to some, but growing up in a community many rich kids, it was definitely noticed. Wealthy kids would bring their new treasures for show and tell after Christmas, and some would often make fun of the kids who did not have this new found wealth. A few kids teased me about how I must be a bad person because Santa did not give me designer clothes, which is quite hilarious, truly. However, I did have a few friends who were not so well to do, and they discovered over the holiday season that Santa did not exist because they did not get as many toys as their friends.
So how can you justify telling your kids that Santa visits everyone's house on Christmas eve when it is an economic reality some kids will get less toys than others? Some families do not accept charity, and what do they tell their children during the one year they cannot get them what they want for Christmas? Some kids are teased when their family accepts Christmas gifts from charity, and yes I have seen this happen. This may not be an issue in communities where there are less economic disparities, but in town with a large gap between the upper class and less well to do families, the significance is definitely apparent.
Bribing Kids With Santa
Not all parents do this, but I have seen a few who will use the upcoming holiday to bribe their children into behaving. Kids are lead to believe they have to be on Santa's good list to get what they want for Christmas, but once the holiday is over, there is less of a reason for doing the chores or taking a dog for a walk. The same can be true about parents who overly rely on economic and material rewards throughout the year, but what is the purpose of telling kids they have to be on Santa's good list? I think it is one thing to encourage kids to behave well, but using Santa as a bribe just seems funny to me. Once again this is just my opinion, so do not get upset because I do not believe Santa Claus bringing toys should be an incentive for good behavior.
Kids Will Find Out Eventually
Eventually all kids will realize there is no Santa Claus, and it is a lot of work to keep up the act. Do you ever get sick of having to say there is a Santa in front of overly sensitive relatives that insist their kids must believe in this character? Okay call me Scrooge, but I told my niece and nephew there was no Santa, but they still believed anyway because their mom made such a big hoopla about it. I do not go around telling other peoples' kids there is no Santa, but my niece and nephew are a different issue. I spent a great deal of my time babysitting them when my brother in law worked or went off to do social things with his friends, so I feel I have a right to share some of my opinions with them. It did not change the fact they still believed in Santa because my sister insists on telling them about this character, but when they asked me what I believed I told them. One day they will find out Santa does not exist, and why not spare kids the disappointment now?
By the way, I think way too much is made out of those who are bold enough to share with kids that they do not believe in Santa Claus. Personally I would not tell kids there is no Father Christmas because people do not like it, but I really could care less if others do. A substitute teacher in the UK was asked not to come back to one school just because she divulged to the students that Santa was not real. Okay that was probably a mistake, but I really think this is overreacting to get upset just because someone said Santa did not exist. In school I had substitute teachers say God and Santa Claus did not exist, but I never went home to tattle about that. I am a sensitive person myself, but I think it is way too extreme to ask a substitute teacher not to come back just because they did not say Santa's sleigh is real.
In the end I just believe it is easier tell kids the truth about Santa initially because they will find out anyway. My sister teases me that if I ever have kids she will make them believe in Santa because of my stance on this issue. However, I still think it is a big act to keep up since children will find out there is no Easter Bunny and Santa Claus anyway.