this post is my rebuttal to all of the comments left on my facebook wall regarding santa, tongue in cheek. just kidding. it’s not really. it’s simply where i seem to stand on the issue at this time.
i see where everyone is coming from. like i said, the article i posted was pretty compelling. and, yes, there is a part of me that longs for my kids to have santa in their lives. it comes from the same place and is a similar sensation to me wanting them to have many of the same things i grew up with, like barbie dolls and mcdonalds. it feels good, doesn’t it? somewhere deep deep down, when you see your kids taking joy in the things you took joy in as a kid (i would argue that that’s how deeply some marketers are able to affect us, to the point where they have sold their product not only to us as children, but through us to our future children twenty years down the line. now, that’s damn good marketing, and a scary amount of power). but, we have to ask the question: should we do things with our children because they feel good? is this the sixties? “if it feels good, do it?” or is that a nike ad stuck somewhere in my subconscious (just do it)? i think it is a knee jerk reaction to try and recreate our own happy childhood memories for our kids. but then if we take a step back, the motivation becomes clear: we are not necessarily doing what’s best for our children. when it comes to things like santa, is there a possibility that we are doing it more for ourselves, to re-live our own childhood memories through our kids? and: is this something we should do for our children?
is that so bad? you’re asking. so what if it feels good? and so what if i am perhaps trying to relive and possibly revive some of my own childhood wonder through my kids. does that make me a horrible person? no, it certainly doesn’t. one of the greatest things about having kids is getting back in touch with the wonder that many of us as adults seem to have lost along the way. but, i might also argue that santa is unnecessary and superfluous when it comes to this childhood joy. kids are joy-seekers and they are so damn good at finding it in every single nook and cranny. i would argue that we don’t have to embody the best parts of humanity and life in a fictional entity. we can simply let them exist alone, freestanding. i have to suspect that something more authentic might take the place of the santa figure, the real stuff we want our kids to understand about the holidays and the goodness of this life. that friends and family are to be celebrated and cherished, that is feels good to give to others, and we can give them that feeling of special-ness and celebration without the lie of santa.
because, you can argue many things about santa. you can say it doesn’t do any harm or that it’s fun. but, you can’t argue that it’s not a lie. it is a lie, simply put. you just can’t argue that, i’m sorry. i really like that lady and i see where she is trying to go with “everything is relative” and “the world is a confusing place and what really is reality?” type of whimsical stuff. and i like whimsical stuff. but, i’m sorry. i just can’t accept faulty reasoning. i like the truth too much. and a lie is a lie is a lie, no matter who it does good to, no matter how much you like it and want your kids to like it too.
i just personally don’t see the need to personify all of that goodness into a fictional character. i say, set it free. believe me, your kids will still love christmas. they may love it even more than you did as a child, because they will be getting the true essence of the season, unfiltered through merchants and consumerism. when we get rid of all of the junk we have accumulated throughout our lives and don’t pass on our materialistic addictions to our children, we set them free, to have the kind of childhood that we didn’t perhaps have. when we don’t lie to them about santa, we set them free from a dependency on an external figure to bring all of the joy of christmas. instead, it arises within them.