After writing that post on cancelling Christmas, another controversial thought came to mind: is it right for us, parents, to encourage our children to believe in Santa? We all know (well, adults at least) that Santa is not real, a myth. There are even children who know and acknowledge this; but we cannot deny the thrill that ran through our veins when, as children, we would anxiously await what Santa was going to give us every Christmas.
On the one hand, we know that we are allowing our children to be kids and enjoy the magic of the season. The rationale is that even if Santa is not a real person, he does exist in spirit. Whenever a person exercises generosity of spirit without expecting anything in return, isn’t that something that Santa would do?
On the other hand, perpetuating the myth can be likened to lying to the kids. We already know that this person does not exist as we do, and yet we use him to make our children happy. We might even invoke his name when we want our children to behave.
I am sure that more than one of you guys has had these thoughts at least once. Did you ever resolve the issue?
Me, I think that I shall stick to allowing my kids to believe that Santa does exist. At least for now. They have all their adult lives to know the real deal. They will have 30, 40, even 50 years to spend knowing that Santa is really just daddy and mommy. Why spoil their childhood when they are clearly enjoying the wait and anticipation associated with Santa and his gifts?
I believe that allowing the Santa myth to go on is one way of nurturing their childhood innocence, their sense of wonder at certain things. Again, when they reach the age of 10 (maybe earlier for some), they will certainly learn the truth. It’s just like with many other things in life – children will have to grow up and learn that life is not all roses; but do we hurry up and destroy their innocence before we absolutely have to? I don’t think so. It’s the same thing with Santa. The kids are enjoying the whole idea – let them. When they start getting confused and start asking questions, then let’s deal with it. For now, why not enjoy the wonder and amazement in their eyes?