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What would the world be like without Santa Claus

Friday, December 17, 2010

When we were children, we all grew up with the same myths and then we perpetuate those same myths when we become parents and grandparents. We were raised to believe that there's a fat, jolly little man who lives at the North Pole with his wife and their elves and once a year, he hooks up his flying reindeer and jets around the world in one night, delivering presents to all the boys and girls.

We were raised to believe that when we lose a tooth in childhood we should put it under our pillow before we go to sleep and when we wake up in the morning the tooth will have been picked up by the tooth fairy and replaced with money.

And then there's the Easter Bunny who hides brightly colored eggs for the children to find, often with prizes inside them.

These are the three great myths we learn from our parents and that we teach to our own children.

And they're all lies.

There's no harm in it, you might say, and it allows kids to be kids by living in a fantasy world for a few years before they have to face the harsh realities of the world.

I think there IS harm in it however because it's a concept that promotes dishonesty. Even when our children get old enough to start suspecting that these myths aren't true and they come to us and ask us about them, we continue to perpetuate the myth. I was seven when my best friend Bobby told me he didn't think Santa Claus was real and I ran home crying to my mom, telling her what Bobby had told me. Mom became upset too and told me that Bobby didn't know what he was talking about and of course Santa was real.

My wife and I did the same thing when our boys, one by one, were either told by friends or began to figure out on their own that the whole thing didn't make any sense.

This is a problem because the foundation for every relationship is trust. Most of us believe people until they give us a reason NOT to believe them. But once the lies begin, we have a hard time fully trusting that person ever again. If our spouse or our friend or our boss lies to us even once, there's always a part of us that questions every thing they do and say from then on.

Why should it be any different between children and their parents? On the one hand, we tell our children that no matter what they do, if they'll just tell us the truth about it, things can be worked out. But at the same time we're asking them to always be truthful with us, we're not being truthful with them. It's a conundrum they eventually figure out and when they do, it's doubtful they ever fully trust us again because they know we've lied to them in the past.

It seems to me we would have much healthier relationships with our children if we always told them the truth too. That doesn't mean that the idea of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny have to go away, it just means we should tell them who plays those roles. Not fairy tale characters based in an alternate reality but real live human beings in the form of us.

If we're going to expect them to always be truthful with us, it only makes sense that we return the favor.

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Dear Mike:

Since you referred to me by name, I thought I'd comment.

My legal name is Santa Claus; so, in fact, Santa Claus does exist.

I'm a full-time volunteer advocate for the 2 million children in the U.S. annually who are abused, neglected, exploited, abandoned, homeless, and institutionalized through no fault of their own.

I'm also a consecrated Christian Bishop and Monk, as St. Nicholas was many centuries ago, and believe that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, not the crass, commercial, secular spectacle it has become in many places. I also believe that the greatest gift one can give is love, not presents.

This winter, especially, I'd like to see parents volunteering at soup kitchens and homeless shelters who bring their children along to learn or rekindle compassion for others. Also, there are many local charities to whom parents can donate, in their child's name, making sure their child knows that is their gift.

Blessings to all, Santa Claus

-- Posted by Santa Claus on Fri, Dec 17, 2010, at 2:31 PM

Wake up, go to work, come home, clean the house and mow the yard, make dinner and clean up afterwards, clean up and go to bed, wake up.....

(Here you go my sweet little 4 year old, here's life!

Ah the heck with it, I can honestly say that I DON'T hate my parents for putting on such a cruel and heartless production in the way of Santa Claus. Does Santa have anything to do with the birth of Christ? No but as children get older and turn into parents, they have learned that maybe we could ALL use a break from the harsh realities of life, even if it is for just one night of the year.

There are plenty of things to be honest about such as "kids, we're broke." Or "yes, the shot will pinch just a bit". Is it such a crime to let the kids look forward to something? REALLY?

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Fri, Dec 17, 2010, at 4:13 PM

Perhaps we could learn to teach our children, and especially ourselves, we do not need to be rich, have fantastic toys, or invent stories to be happy about. Since it is the season, I will, of course, mention Christmas.

Christmas, the celebration (Mass), of Christ, Jesus. To guess, perhaps, small gifts can be given so each person, young or old, can feel a closer part of Christ, Jesus, as a newborn (Reborn) family member, with us sharing a part of His wondrous Love, and the Joy of knowing our future, for Eternity, by being a part of Him.

Some how, some way, there seemed to be someone we felt we had to out-do in the gift giving, until, today, it is nothing to spend over a thousand dollars on each child, since children, ages two or three, feel they have to have their own computer, cell phone, and on, and on... Add the competition up with the invented reasons for the seasons, and we eliminate knowledge of the true reason, and glorify the fake reason to a point mankind does not know who we are, any more (to the absolute JOY of Satan).

Christmas, is the day to celebrate the fact that God came to us, to experience what we experience, mortality, and to give us a means of being clean enough in Spirit to be accepted into His family. Only our God could provide us that path, or love us enough to experience the mortality, He set us up in, so we could mature, develop, and generate an individual personality, some one unique from all others, so through Eternity, God will not be bored with us, nor we with each other, or Him.

If we celebrate Him, we celebrate us, because His birth is truly a celebration of His love for us.

Nuff Said. Merry Christmas, in the truest sense, Love for Messiah, Jesus (Emanuel).

-- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Dec 17, 2010, at 5:48 PM

PS: Thanks Mike. Merry Christmas to you and yours.


-- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Dec 17, 2010, at 5:49 PM

If the complaint is high dollar gifts and out doing the Jones family, you'll get no argument from me. The commercialism of Christmas is out of control. If the point is that there is no Santa, well then take a look at the cause and effect factor shall we?

If one was to tell a child that candy was bad for them, and they couldn't have any...... The teeth would be better for it and the general health of the child would see a benefit. If one was to tell a child the Santa didn't exist..... The benefit would be.... What? Oh yes, a good relationship built on truth. So in comparison, as we're all about the hard truths of life, when your 4 year old walks into the parents bedroom and an inoportune moment of adult activity..... Are the birds and bees spelled out for the youngster or is it just not really relevant in the life of a. 4 year old? Perhaps there might be a better time to Share details.

I have several children that have enjoyed the wonder of Christmas.... Ask them what Christmas was about and all of them including my 4 year old will tell you its about the birth of Jesus. Santa is no more than a tradition like the Christmas meal we have yearly. They also understand that when we go to the movie and watch Shrek, its NOT real, but they probably have as much fun getting around to go see the movie as they have watching it. Its the anticipation. Often times things that we look forward to are much more fantastic than the actual event itself...... Vacations are a prime example. What you must keep in mind is this: without hope, without something to look forward to, things get rather mundane and listless. Why do you suppose there is such a high case of depression during the holidays? Folks that have nothing to look forward to.

Back to my comparison, if one tells a child that Santa doesn't exist, have we saved teeth? Have we cut obesity? Or have we just taken away a mystic event that gives a child "something to look forward to"? How many of us have an obscure view of life because we were told Santa was coming to town? I can proudly say that I haven't one single negative issue in my life that I can trace back to Santa. I CAN say the I can still recall the anticipation that I felt during my childhood at Christmas time and what a great childhood memory to have!

IF Santa becomes the entire reason behind Christmas, things have gone wrong, but is there anything wrong with letting children feel a sense of happy anticipation? In my opinion NO. Also I don't blame anyone else for my troubles. Sure I could excuse my lifes shortfalls on a loveless mother or an alcoholic father (which may or may not have been an issue) or I can just figure out what I can do TODAY to situate myself in a good place. Blame Santa though? Only if your weak willed and looking for something to blame your shortfalls on..... That's getting pretty weak though wouldn't you say?

Merry Christmas,


-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Sun, Dec 19, 2010, at 11:19 PM

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Mike Hendricks
Mike at Night