Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa Truthers

Over at NRO's The Home Front, they're talking about kids, parents, and Santa:

How Should Parents Deal with Santa "Truthers"?

You can see my comment about telling my kids the truth about Santa at a young age.  As I post this, I have another comment awaiting moderation there, in response to someone telling me and other truth-tellers to lighten up about Santa.

What do you think?  Is is lying to tell kids that Santa is real?   Does telling kids the truth about Santa ruin Christmas?  Is our cultural heritage in danger of disappearing if we treat Santa the same way we treat the Wizard of Oz and other great imaginary characters?


Sandy said...

My kids knew the truth about Santa from the beginning. Reading kids a story about Dorothy and the Tin Man, which they know is fiction, is very different than telling them that Santa is actually going to come down the chimney and is even watching them to see if they're being good. It's never been a problem for us. They learned about the real St. Nicholas and enjoy Santa ornaments on the tree, movies with Santa and stocking hung by the chimney with care, filled by Mom and Dad. We also didn't do the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny and my children appear to have come through this deprivation without scars. It hasn't injured their imaginations or taken all the fun out of childhood. Most kids know by five or six that none of it is real anyway. I did tell my kids that some families do enjoy the Santa myth, so they shouldn't discuss it with their friends and ruin the family fun. (My brother gave someone a bloody nose in Kindergarten for just such an offense. Sigh.) We enjoy Santa as a cultural icon. We don't think he's evil, but we don't make more out of him than he really his- a nice story. If my children choose to have their children believe in Santa (not likely), then I will go along since it isn't my place to tell a child differently than his/her parents.

Maria said...

We perpetuate the lie.

My husband and I discussed this when our first child was little. I wanted to be a "truther" but my husband really wanted to follow the tradition of his childhood of believing in Santa. Whenever I recount the story of this conversation to my older kids they always give me a hard time about my view. I don't believe they are scarred or mistrust us because of the Santa myth.
That being said, we also don't promote the "Santa is watching you" thing. We do emphasize the true St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra.
Another note and then I'll end the long comment. My brother has been telling his kids (ages 7,5,3) there is no Santa and Mom & Dad provide Christmas and they don't believe him! They insist it's Santa! I laugh at their "evidence" and theories of "proof" to their scientific dad.

Merry Christmas :)

Amber @ Classic Housewife said...

Well, you've "liked" my two blog posts on Facebook so I'm going to assume you know where I stand. ;)

Is it just me or does it feel like the main message we hear is that it's okay for parents to tell their kids that Santa is real but it's not okay for parents to tell them the truth? (I mean, as a whole, from our culture.) My bottom line opinion, as with everything else, is that the parents can raise their kids however they want --so just like I can raise them telling them about God, schooling them at home, not allowing them to date until a certain age or have cell phone until they NEED one... I can also tell them the truth about Santa if I want. And the same goes for everyone else, too. Don't you think?

DADvocate said...

I regard Santa as a harmless fun myth based on a real guy. When my kids got old enough to understand that, I told them that. The ages varied. Even now, with the youngest one 15 years old, they enjoy the "feeling" that Santa is coming.