I always just assumed that my children would grow up believing in Santa Claus. Yet, when I read about a lady the other day who is deciding to opt out when it comes to Father Christmas, it really made me stop and think. Now I find myself in a state of confusion, torn between old traditions- both my family’s and society’s- and new points of view.
I just love Christmas! I love everything about it, including the mystical figure of Old Saint Nick. When I was a child, I adored Santa. I have so many wonderful memories of excitedly writing him letters with my Christmas wishes. I was always too excited to sleep the night before Christmas, hoping I might catch a glimpse of the jolly old man. I would love my children to have such wonderful memories of Christmas! I would love them to remember their Christmases as magical events. It would also be great for them to believe in Santa so that they do not spoil the secret for other children. They could all wonder about Santa together and enjoy talks about him, theorizing what he might really be like. Even as an adult, I like to sometimes go back to believing that their MUST be a Father Christmas out there!
Looking at the whole myth in a completely unemotional and rational way, I would be creating a huge lie for my children to believe. The lie would be supported by family, friends, and the rest of our society, but it would be a big fat lie nonetheless. The prospect of having to lie to my children for a number of years, even if it is for their supposed enjoyment, just rubs me the wrong way. The vivid childhood memories I mentioned above were all crushed when I discovered that there was no Santa. I was the last one in my school to believe that he existed and the other children made fun of me when I insisted that he was real. I was so disappointed- both in the fact that he did not exist and in discovering that my parents had deceived me for almost a decade.
I’m not sure what to do. If we don’t have a Santa, then we also won’t be able to have an Easter Bunny, a Tooth Fairy, etc. Is there any benefit to having the kids believe in these mystical beings? Will they be missing something if we don’t create this fantasy for them? I’m completely on the fence. I would hate for them to not have someone like Father Christmas to look up to and to look forward to. However, I also don’t want them to have to deal with the discovery of dishonest parents.
I wish Santa was here to answer the questions for me… What do you think? Are your kids going to be believers?