Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Santa legend

This report I read from Manchester brought up for me what really was going on here. 

Parents are upset that a lie they tell children was contradicted by a teacher telling the truth.

So here is the perennial seasonal issue - is it ok to convince children Santa Claus is real?

I believed in the legend when I was a child, until some kid at school said I was an idiot for believing in it, and then it started to make sense. I felt foolish for a while, wondered why my parents would lie to me, and got over it. It isn't a big deal at all. After all, if you can't figure out by a certain age that a big fat man with a flying sleigh and reindeer delivering presents to 2 billion children over 24 hours isn't bizarre, then you're not going to be able to know how to use cutlery, dress yourself or be a functional adult.

So what should parents do?

The choice is a little complicated.

You either run with the lie and let the child find out, and complement the child for being smart (or console because someone told the child first and explain why you lied). OR
You can run with the lie and then tell the child later the truth. OR
You can say Santa Claus is a myth, but lots of kids believe it and don't spoil it for them.

I'm not a parent, so I'm quite open about the idea.

It's beautiful to see kids enjoying Christmas, the sights, sounds and the celebration of this time of year.

However, what does Santa Claus teach? "He" teaches that you can get presents from someone far far away, who knows if you've been naughty or nice, so you better be good or he will deny you presents.

Hmmm. Not quite socialism, as you "earned" the presents. However for what? Being good? Sounds a little like Kim Jong Il dishing out presents to the little people.

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