By: Roze Ahna
This strange cultural habit is often excused as “cute and innocent”, but a lie nonetheless. The big parental lie is the SANTA lie.
Think about it. You have children who totally trust you and they believe everything you say. When you say ‘I believe in Santa’, they believe he is real. You taught them to focus on what they WANT for Christmas (often being impossible for you to fulfill.)* You set them up for frequent disappointment and confusion. Then at some age, either on purpose or by accident—the kids find out Santa is not real after all… Thus setting up a situation where the children no longer ‘trust’ what their parents tell them.
Now for the creepy part:
Parents start taking babies to go sit on the lap of some big fat guy, a stranger, with a scary beard, all decked out in bright red and bellowing “HO HO HO”! Frequently these first early visits have a photo to record the terror the child is experiencing. Yet, the practice continues, eventually desensitizing the youngsters of their original good intuition and replacing it with the wants and desires of acquisitions beyond parental means. Once the “I want” has been reinforced, the expectations and disappointments have increased as well.
Let us continue to look at the lap again. “Come here little one- tell Santa what you want for Christmas.” After hearing the requests, this man may say “You have been a good child, you will find your desires under the tree.” as though he could actually provide it. Often giving a piece of candy to seal the deal. The child believes ‘Santa’ will make it happen. The child does not know that it is just a guy getting paid minimum wage to lie and pretend.
So, for decades now, a strange man makes promises he cannot keep to children and this behavior is ENCOURAGED ANNUALLY by parents!
To add to the child’s anxiety regarding this experience, one of the most prominent songs of the season tells the child: “He knows when you are sleeping, He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good…etc.” Quite similar to the concept of “GOD is watching over you”. (Yet a bit creepier- keeping a list etc.)
For some children, the love of Santa is a major part of their lives, a part of their reality of which they are deeply, emotionally connected to.
Then at some point the fantasy is taken away. The secret is out.
Parents then think “It will be OK, the kid is old enough to understand”….but the lie has been revealed. For many, the child/parent trust has been shattered forever, never to be regained.
For what reason do parents create and perpetuate this fallacy? Most parents are unaware that it is all an ADVERTISING PLOY. To sell more stuff for Christmas. Supposedly to try to please, yet often ending in frustration and sadness.
Generations ago, folks told stories of St Nicholas or Father Christmas. A kindly fellow who made and delivered gifts to the children quietly in the night. Gifts from the heart, not demanded or expected.
So, where do you think this red suited guy came from?
In the 1920s the Father Christmas stories depicted a wide variety of elf-like and human-like characters. But the refinement of today’s Santa came from the drawings that were commissioned for the Coca-Cola Company.
Yup, he was an advertising creation-to promote the soda pop in the winter months. (Coke was being marketed as a summer refresher previously). And it worked very well.
Soon the red and white bearded image became the symbol of retail Christmas. And it was taken worldwide via marketing ads.
I have to pose the question: What about the CHRIST part of Christmas? How have so many people been swayed to ignore the “Reason for the Season”? To add a Santa to the side of the manger scene on a Christmas card is deplorable!
Lastly, scramble up the letters and SANTA becomes SATAN. Do you really want your little darlings sitting on his lap?
Think about it. Please.