December 6, 2008

Santa - Friend or Foe?

A long time ago, I vowed that if I ever had I children, I would NOT teach him or her to believe in Santa Claus. I feel quite strongly about this, though I honestly don't know if the hubby necessarily sees eye-to-eye with me on the matter. I have a feeling that he's just playing along. I'm sure that some people will read this blog entry and be absolutely appalled. Before you pass judgment hear me out:

Fact: Outside of storybooks, and malls at Christmas time, Santa Claus DOES NOT EXIST.

Fact: Most kids are taught by their parents that Santa Claus exists. Said parents often go through great lengths to convince their children of this fact. Not only that, the media also go through great lengths to keep the kiddies believing in Santa Claus, with Christmas episodes of sitcoms and the like always hinting at the fact that Santa is in fact real.

Fact: All kids are eventually told that Santa Claus doesn't really exist.

So here's my question to parents who propagate the Great Santa Lie. Why oh why would you go through so much trouble to convince your kid that Santa exists, only to tell them a few years down the road that Santa doesn't really exist? When you break it down into its simplest form, you are basically lying to your kid - for SEVERAL years. Not only that, you're teaching your kids that lying is okay. So how is that a good thing? What exactly does a kid gain by believing in Santa, only to have his entire world shattered when he is eventually told that Santa isn't actually real?

Of course, my decision to not teach PK to believe in Santa Claus at all will be interesting to deal with on a social level. First of all, PK has two cousins, and I have a feeling that both cousins are going to be (mis)led to believe in Santa. Secondly, PK will eventually go to school, and in school she will be around kids who believe in Santa. I remember that when my sis was in grade 1, she had a little friend named Emily who believed in Santa, and every time Emily talked about Santa, my sis would try to contain her laughter. Even though my sis was told by my mom to be tactful around Emily, I guess my sis found it silly that Emily was so convinced of Santa's existence. I'm sure that no matter how much I tell PK to be tactful around her cousins and around her classmates and friends, she may react the same way. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

So, what's the verdict? Am I an evil bitch for taking the magic and wonder of Christmas away from PK?


Meandering Michael said...

What you say makes sense. With that being said, I am really glad that I was raised with the "Santa lie". Figuring out the truth helps kids develop some critical thinking skills and, besides, it's fun to believe (even if it's just for a little while) in something altruistically good like Santa.

Anonymous said...

Like you, I didn't grow up believing in Santa Claus. I also don't remember ever having the debate at school, though. Strange that it never came up. I don't think I was deprived of anything, but I also don't feel strongly about it like you do. Michael's already started lying to Jade, and I'm okay with it. :)

Meandering Michael said...

When did I lie? About what? I don't remember telling her anything about Santa yet...