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?