At a certain point, every parent of a young child asks themselves if they should introduce their children to the concept of “Santa Claus”. Lots of parents think belief in Santa is a vital part of the Christmas experience, while others disagree for reasons ranging from the desire to preserve honesty to religious and cultural reasons. Before your child comes home from school or daycare asking if they can make sugar cookies for Santa, it’s a good idea to think about how you’ll respond!
The Argument for Santa
Why do children believe in Santa Claus, and why do parents perpetuate the myth knowing it’s not true? Simple: as a legendary figure, Santa Claus brings a spirit of magic and wonder to the holiday. Many adults have happy memories of staying up late on Christmas Eve, hoping to hear the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof. Santa is also a great behavioral motivator; the idea of good kids getting presents from Santa has been getting kids to do their homework and clean their rooms for decades.
The Other Side of the Christmas Cookie
When you get down to it, a parent telling their child that Santa Claus is real isn’t exactly telling the truth. Some parents don’t have fond memories of the moment that they found out that Santa wasn’t real. According to some researchers, the feeling of being “duped” by their parents can breed mistrust between the child and their parent, and even endure into adulthood. Also, some parents disapprove of Santa because he distracts from the real reason for the season, which is the celebration of the birth of Christ.
No matter which side of the debate you fall on, remember that it’s your choice and yours alone. Don’t ever feel pressured to change your parenting style to make anyone happy! Every family is different, if we were all the same, life would be pretty boring!
My name is Jessica Cox, and I was lucky enough to be raised by parents that fostered a spirit of independence and perseverance in me that has helped me live a happy and productive life. If you’re interested in letting me tell my story at your convention, meeting, or faith-based gathering, please call me at 520-505-1359 or contact me on my website.