Death to Santa Claus – Don’t Lie, Kids Can Handle the Truth
Summary – Who says it’s all right to convince your kids Santa Claus is real? Childhood shouldn’t be a hazing ritual perpetuated by their own parents.
What if you knew a parent who told their child Star Wars was real. Like real as in a historical document. That Darth Vader patrolled the galaxy in a giant Death Star looking for rebels. People fought with real light sabers and The Force could absolutely be controlled by both the good and the dark side. To further trick the child the parent would periodically point to the sky and shout “I think I see the Death Star, I hope it doesn’t destroy our planet!”
When you confronted the parent on their manipulative behavior, they explained that they grew up thinking Star Wars was real and they want their children to grow up having the same experience. They reasoned that it makes the movies and the toys more fun if their children think it’s real. Plus using the threat of Darth Vader destroying the planet is a great tool for getting their kids to behave.
You would probably think that parent was cruel and deceitful at best, and bat-shit crazy at worst.
Yet, this is exactly what most parents do to their children every year. Except it’s not Star Wars, it’s Santa Claus.
“Oh, but Santa Claus is different!”
Really? OK, explain. Go ahead. Think hard.
Can’t really justify it can you?
The only reason parents think it’s OK to jerk their kid around by tricking them into thinking that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny is real is because it’s a culturally accepted form of deceit. That’s it. Try that with any other fairy tale and you’ll get dirty looks and maybe even a visit from child protective services or a school counselor.
Teacher: “I’m a little worried about your daughter.”
Parent: “Really, how so?”
Teacher: “Well, she claims that the reason your house is made of bricks is because you had two other relatives killed by a wolf because they made their homes from straw and wood. She’s telling all the other children that they better make sure their homes are made of brick too or they might get eaten by a wolf. It’s a little disturbing.”
Parent: “Look, this is how I grew up. My parents taught me the Big Bad Wolf story was true and I want my child to grow up with the same tradition. It makes the Holidays more fun. Kids grow up so fast you know and there’s no need to push it any faster. Why crush their innocence? She’ll find out it’s not true soon enough, so just back off and don’t tell her any different!”
Sounds a bit nutty doesn’t it? Would you want your kid hanging out at the Big Bad Wolf house? How about the Stars Wars house?
My daughter has been told from day one that Santa Claus is just a fun story and that we bring the presents. Know what? She still loves Christmas! She loves decorating the tree and the windows. She loves touring the neighborhood for the best Christmas displays. She has all the Christmas specials on DVD and absolutely loves them. Yet, she knows Santa Claus is not real. Enjoying Christmas has nothing to do with thinking Santa is real. Just as I can enjoy watching the Terminator or Ghost Whisperer without believing in time travel or spirits, so can my daughter enjoy Christmas without believing in Santa.
So if the idea of a parent visiting their child at night in a DarthVader costume and in a deep breathy voice telling their child to be good or he will unleash the power of his Death Star on the planet is creepy, then the idea of taking your child to visit Santa, having them write letters addressed to the North Pole, putting out cookies and milk for Santa to eat, and telling them that if they aren’t good Santa won’t bring them any presents, should be as equally creepy.
You know how you tell your child that just because everyone else is doing something, it doesn’t mean you should or that it’s right?
Good advice isn’t it?
That’s it for now.
File Under: Santa Claus Lie – Tricking You Children Into Believing That Santa Claus is Real – Lying To Children About Santa Claus