By Steve Dustcircle ~
I come from a household that pretended there was a Santa Claus when I was a small child. When my parents had “the talk” with me, I don't remember. But I do remember when one of my uncles played Santa and came down the stairs with a large sack of toys. I vaguely remember getting military toys. However, what is clear in my memory was one of my cousins saying, “That's Uncle Jeff!”
My wife and I don't have kids, but the topic eventually comes up in a hypothetical sense: Would we tell our children about Santa Claus?
We both are in agreement: No.
|The big man himself brings up the rear at the 2009 Santa Claus Parade, Toronto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I never forgot. I don't remember the trauma I might have felt, but I assume there was confusion, hurt, disappointment and possibly anger. There had to have been, because of the clarity of the memory of that event (Memories form when you repeatedly chew on an occurrence).
Aside of this unveiling, we also had a lot of baby Jesus belief, with the house intermingled with Santa decorations and Christian nativities. One was supposedly true, while the other is not.
For a while, I was told both were true characters. One brought peace, the other brings gifts. And then you reach a certain age where you're told that one story is actually not true—a harmless prank, a white lie. But you're told that you're not being tricked or kidded about the other story—an equally impossible tale. Coincidentally, both are weaved from older legends and tales.
But is this healthy?
Harmless jokes can come from a good place: playfulness, humor, gentle teasing, or motivation. But can this affect how we view other things our parents tell us? Can this cause problems with how we treat authority? Can this affect how we treat other fairy tales and imaginary characters?
I'm no expert, and I don't know the statistics (if there have been studies), but if my wife and I had a child, I would not tell her or him that there is a real life Santa Claus. I would not tell them that there is a real life Tooth Fairy. I would not tell them that there is a real life Easter Bunny, baby Jesus, or arrow-shooting Cupid.
I do not believe in these things, and I see no point in deceiving my child about these holiday persons. It'd be my child, and my choice. The way I see it: if it were something that could affect my loved one's trust levels and my relationship with her or him, I would avoid what could damage or hinder a good future with my child.
But ALL kids believe in Santa! could be a retort.
That's fine if you want to tell your kids about the impossible and the improbable. I'm sure you have good reasons, and that you're in general good parents. But personally, my heart won't let me lie or deceive a loved one without good reason.