Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santa and Me

My beloved was asked to play Santa at the ward party last night. He had fun with it.

I have mixed feelings about the whole Santa tradition. As it says on Wikipedia: "There has long been opposition to teaching children to believe in Santa Claus. Some Christians say the Santa tradition detracts from the religious origins and purpose of Christmas. Other critics feel that Santa Claus is an elaborate lie, and that it is unethical for parents to teach their children to believe in his existence. Still others oppose Santa Claus as a symbol of the commercialization of the Christmas holiday, or as an intrusion upon their own national traditions."

I don't mind the idea of Santa in the cartoon myth sort of way - having a character that represents jolliness and the magic of Christmas. But I've always questioned the wisdom of telling kids he is REAL. Last night as the Primary children came onto "Santa's" lap one by one it was very evident that many of the younger ones totally believed he was the real thing. One little girl looked up at him in all seriousness and said to him: "I have to ask you a question. Am I on the good list or the bad list?" I felt so sad for her to have such uncertainty and doubt about the miraculous little person she was.

Some say that believing in Santa is part of the magic of childhood. I dunno. It doesn't really make sense to me.

I do not recall ever believing in Santa as a kid and therefore there was never a moment of disillusion for me when I realized I had been lied to for years. But for some kids this is a big deal. How about you? Did you (or do you) believe in Santa? What do you tell children now?


Rozel said...

I never believed in Santa. We were still always very supprised at the amount of gifts we received Christmas morning because we were quite poor. My parents would say "God always provides".

In the event I have Children, I wont teach them to believe in Santa. I just can't do it.

Jess said...

I believed in Santa and do not remember being upset when I found out that it wasn't true...more or less I was absolutely amazed at the awesome ninja like ability of my parents to make the magic real! When I have kids they will believe in Santa until the day they ask the question and then I will explain.

Mimi said...

I remember it kind of being a big deal when I 'found out' - we taught our kids about St. Nicholas, and while they have stockings, after I became Orthodox, the stockings were just part of Christmas morning, but not a "Santa thing"

Mimi said...

ps - I forgot to say how cute you and your hubby are!

Jen said...

Funny, I was just reading through this post I did last year about Santa. This might be the last year my son believes.

At our ward Christmas party, my daughter walked right past Santa and sat on Mrs. Santa's lap to tell her her Christmas wish. She wanted nothing to do with Santa himself.

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