The Santa Myth: Should we perpetuate the lie to children?

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posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:19 PM
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Recently, a friend posted on FB how pissed off he was because the mall Santa didn't ask his 6 y/o what she wanted for after waiting 45 min in line. Even his daughter new something was up when she asked if Santa was even real. So now what do you do? Tell another lie or tell the truth? If you chose the former, well, you'll be lying again next year. But more sophisticated lies.

Now, I have never had the pleasure of raising kids, but I'm sure I would never endorse the Santa . For one, while it may seem like a fun white lie at first, I can clearly see the conundrum to follow with re-enforced lies to perpetuate the originating lie. It doesn't sit right with me.

Second, the whole "be good or Santa will forget you" concept is disturbing to me. As a parent, no one would take precedence over me other than the police and only I should be in control of how my child behaves. Not Santa. Resorting to this can not only undermine a parents authority, but what happens when a child doesn't get what they want? Another lie? I don't know, never been there but I can imagine there will be some explaining to do.

The consumer application is an obvious one. Children are asking for ipads for crying out loud lol. Santa has now turned into a consumer's nightmare and used as a merchant to peddle products for corporations.

Who is Santa anyway?

According to a tradition which can be traced to the 1820s, Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, with a large number of magical elves, and nine (originally eight) flying reindeer. Since the 20th century, in an idea popularized by the 1934 song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"


en.wikipedia.org...

While Santa is a secular character adopted by Christians, he never played much role in my memories as being a fantastical magical being. I always knew gifts the next morning were from my parents and I always knew where they were stashed beforehand. I do believe in the magic of Christmas and how Santa was a great story back in a time where things were much different, but I think it may be time to let go. Unfortunately, we can't and we are forced to go along with the myth. Forced to continue this lie for the sake of others even if we don't agree. Forced to shop for Santa.


It looks like I'm in the minority according to the link below. 31% no 69% yes. I don't know and please, I'm not a scrooge. Just I think I can see clearly past the Santa bit and it's really lost it's charm. I'm curious about what some of the parents think?


www.helium.com... ng-the-myth-of-santa-claus-good-for-children

Edit to add: This image was floating around my facebook today
To those who have children asking about Santa, how do you explain this?

I guess I started this thread because of this today.
edit on 22-12-2011 by FlySolo because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:24 PM
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well if i had kids id wanna be as honest as i could to them, the reality is that they'll figure it out eventually. so if u teach ur kid to think right they'll figure it out quickly, besides santa or no santa, all they want are the presents.

edit on 22-12-2011 by vjr1113 because: (no reason given)


+46 more 
posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:30 PM
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The belief in a Santa Clause by children should be encouraged. They're children. Let them stay innocent as long as possible.
This whole "War on Christmas" thing is ridiculous at best.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by FlySolo
Recently, a friend posted on FB how pissed off he was because the mall Santa didn't ask his 6 y/o what she wanted for Christmas after waiting 45 min in line. Even his daughter new something was up when she asked if Santa was even real. So now what do you do? Tell another lie or tell the truth? If you chose the former, well, you'll be lying again next year. But more sophisticated lies.

Now, I have never had the pleasure of raising kids, but I'm sure I would never endorse the Santa myth. For one, while it may seem like a fun white lie at first, I can clearly see the conundrum to follow with re-enforced lies to perpetuate the originating lie. It doesn't sit right with me.

Second, the whole "be good or Santa will forget you" concept is disturbing to me. As a parent, no one would take precedence over me other than the police and only I should be in control of how my child behaves. Not Santa. Resorting to this can not only undermine a parents authority, but what happens when a child doesn't get what they want? Another lie? I don't know, never been there but I can imagine there will be some explaining to do.

The consumer application is an obvious one. Children are asking for ipads for crying out loud lol. Santa has now turned into a consumer's nightmare and used as a merchant to peddle products for corporations.

Who is Santa anyway?

According to a tradition which can be traced to the 1820s, Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, with a large number of magical elves, and nine (originally eight) flying reindeer. Since the 20th century, in an idea popularized by the 1934 song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"


en.wikipedia.org...

While Santa is a secular character adopted by Christians, he never played much role in my memories as being a fantastical magical being. I always knew gifts the next morning were from my parents and I always knew where they were stashed beforehand. I do believe in the magic of Christmas and how Santa was a great story back in a time where things were much different, but I think it may be time to let go. Unfortunately, we can't and we are forced to go along with the myth. Forced to continue this lie for the sake of others even if we don't agree. Forced to shop for Santa.


It looks like I'm in the minority according to the link below. 31% no 69% yes. I don't know and please, I'm not a scrooge. Just I think I can see clearly past the Santa bit and it's really lost it's charm. I'm curious about what some of the parents think?


www.helium.com... ng-the-myth-of-santa-claus-good-for-children




I think that while children live in the realm of imagination and fantasy we should let them continue to do so. The reality of life come along fast enough for them without us needeing to speed it up. I guess that if your child asks then it might be time to tell but there'd be a nice way of explaining it.

My daughter didn't ask me she told me one day that he wasn't real which kind of made me a bit sad that she was groing up but it's all part it. I think it's a good idea that Santas don't ask the children what they want as the parents might not be able to get it.

Anyway imagination and fantasy is important for a kid. I think let them believe for as long as they can.

Btw. Santa, or the core idea, is actually pagan. It had a sidekick and in some europen countries Santa still has the sidekick which has survived as a chimney sweep
edit on 22-12-2011 by steveknows because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:34 PM
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"WHAT!!!!!!!!" Santa is a myth.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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A philosophical examination of the Santa intention is available here

Here's a quote:

"The Santa intention is perpetuated because we find it fun and cute to trick our children into becoming consumers and seeking objects as rewards. Of course, as kids, we wouldn't understand why these fabrications are manipulated into our little heads. If we're lucky, we might be intrigued when we find out they were and take it from there."

Merry Crimbo!



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:39 PM
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my parents never told me anything about santa. i found out about him on my own and doubted his existence from the very first moment. my friends hated me because i'd always say he wasn't real



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:40 PM
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Originally posted by steveknows

I think that while children live in the realm of inagination and fantasy we should let them continue to do so. The reality of life come along fast eenouhg for them without us needeing to speed it up. I guess that if your child asks then it might be time to tell but there'd be a nice way of explaining it.

My daughter didn't ask me she told me one day that he wasn't real which kind of made me a bit sad that she was groing up but it's all part it. I think it's a good idea that Santas don't ask the children what they want as the parents might not be able to get it.

Anyway imagination and fantasy is important for a kid. I think let them believe for as long as they can.

Here here. I think the OP should chill out. I was brought up with the myth. I can't remember when I realised the truth but I don't believe I was mentally scarred
. I do remember the Christmas AFTER I had found out. I lay awake in bed waiting for my grandfather to tiptoe in and leave the presents. I didn't want to upset him by letting on I knew!
A bit of fantasy and myth - love it. Life hits us soon enough with mortgages, bills and all the other mundane realities.
edit on 22-12-2011 by starchild10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:40 PM
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reply to post by steveknows
 


i dont know id say critical thinking and a sense of rationalism would be more beneficial to a kid instead of fantasy and faith in the long run.

kids can be innocent without bogus beliefs, and if that's not the case then would santa-less cultures have less innocent children?

i never believed in santa or tooth fairy so maybe its just me



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:40 PM
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When I was a kid, I loved the Santa myth. I believed in Santa. Now that I have long been an adult, looking back I am very glad the adults of my parents' generation perpetuated the myth. I think it really helps children to begin their belief in God. God is necessary for many of us to make it through hard times. We want to believe that there is a greater purpose, a greater control, than our own. When it comes to Christmas, there is absolutely no harm in it.

Watch the movie "The Santa Claus" and try not to be like the psychiatrist....

Also, it's not so much a lie as a myth. Call it a lie and it has negative connotations. Take it like a perpetuated bedtime story and it is more palpable.
edit on 12/22/2011 by Jim Scott because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by DarknessMatters
The belief in a Santa Clause by children should be encouraged. They're children. Let them stay innocent as long as possible.
This whole "War on Christmas" thing is ridiculous at best.



I agree, but it should have a purpose other than letting kids remain innocent...


Push the Santa story big time, so when you tell them that god and jesus don't exist, they still have something to hold onto for a few more years before that bubble bursts as well...




+11 more 
posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:44 PM
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What harm does it do? None. Who can sit here and honestly say they were harmed by believing in Santa?

Kids have great imagination. It is fun and helps to teach the spirit and goodness of giving.

Let them believe.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by Jim Scott
 

I challenge anyone to watch the grand daddy of all Santa movies, "Santa Clause: The Movie" from the 1980's and NOT get choked up at the end when the Sheena Easton song "It's Christmas all over the world" starts playing.

I have watched that movie on every Christmas Eve since I was a child. This will be my 30th year (I am almost 34) watching it.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by FlySolo
 


Santa is real as far as being the Spirit of the holiday season. I have always told them (my kids) that mall santas were really his helpers, and santa is the spirit of the season who uses the heart of others to do his work since he is no longer on this Earth.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by DarknessMatters
The belief in a Santa Clause by children should be encouraged. They're children. Let them stay innocent as long as possible.
This whole "War on Christmas" thing is ridiculous at best.


I think the fantasy and magic of Santa is ok....I think how the parents present Santa to their children is important though.

When I was growing up I was told the true historical account of (Nicholas)......... www.stnicholascenter.org... and that the men dressed as Santa Claus were representative of the giving nature of (Nicholas).



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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We actually had exactly that discussion last night, fueled by quite a number of wine bottles.


I was just about the only one who thought that lying to our children about Santa was something that we, in fact, should absolutely NOT do. I actually found the perfect example of why I hate the idea of telling my hypothetical children that Santa exists in The Santa Clause (with Tim Allen, who else
). When his son asks about how Santa can get from house to house in such a short time despite logical flaws with the story, and how his reindeer can fly, Tim Allen replies "That's just how he gets around. Sometimes believing in something means that you just believe."

Bam. Couldn't have explained the problem I have with "The Santa Myth" (and organized religion any better). Instead of letting children question the nature of things and encouraging rational thought and skepticism, more and more elaborate lies are created to keep up a false image.

Apart from the "faith"-based problems I have with Santa Clause, I think that modern-day Santa is the worst possible personification of Christmas. Christmas should be about spending time with your loved ones, taking a break from day-to-day stress and just enjoying life as it is. Instead of focusing on this, we perpetuate a myth about an old man who runs a sweatshop filled with generations of workers who were bred to work 364 days a year, who never experienced life outside of the factory, and who can reduce a child's entire character and personality over the course of one year to "good" or "bad." Great. Let's make Christmas about materialistic gifts.

Don't get me wrong - I have no problem with telling children about "the story" behind Santa Claus or St. Nicholas. I grew up with the story, too. I also grew up with the story of the tooth fairy. As much as my parents are conservative-leaning Catholics, they never shoved any beliefs or "facts" in my face. they maintained that it (whether it's Santa, Jesus, the Tooth Fairy) is just a story, that doesn't have to be true, that simply stands for something.

What I think many people falsely believe is that by calling something a story and not the true, factual story, you take away the magic. To quote most of my friends last night "Santa is about the magic, it makes it nice for kids. Without Santa, it wouldn't be magical. By not making them believe in Santa Clause, you ruin their Christmas."

How can you even say that? how dare you say that Christmas isn't "magical" without Christmas"? Christmas is "magical" because of the relaxed and intimate atmosphere, special food and drinks, spending time with your family... and fancy mood-lighting.
How is that not enough? Why do some people believe that you need to make up a character that makes it more magical, regardless of how illogical and false it is?

Isn't this enough? All this?



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by facelift

Originally posted by DarknessMatters
The belief in a Santa Clause by children should be encouraged. They're children. Let them stay innocent as long as possible.
This whole "War on Christmas" thing is ridiculous at best.



I agree, but it should have a purpose other than letting kids remain innocent...


Push the Santa story big time, so when you tell them that god and jesus don't exist, they still have something to hold onto for a few more years before that bubble bursts as well...



When the innocence of Santa Clause fades away, the dark, cruel, reality of this sick world, creeps in. Is why I say, let them be innocent for as long as possible.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:48 PM
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I certainly believe that we should encourage children to at least learn how to spell that mythical character's name correctly.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:51 PM
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Santa Claus is actually Saint Nicolas, a third century Bishop who gave gifts to the poor. Christmas should be St Nicolas Day. Too bad it's so commercialized today. Christmas should actually occur in June, closer to J.C.s actual birthday.

Here's a quote:

www.stnicholascenter.org...

Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).
edit on 22-12-2011 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added Quote

edit on 22-12-2011 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added last line



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:56 PM
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I remember when i still believed..
As a matter of fact, i think i still do, just not in a physical sense.
I dont know why, i just do?
I think it comes from when i lay awake at night, too excited to fall asleep. And then i heard from my bedroom window (we lived in an apartment), the sound of what sleigh bells would sound like, i got up and heard it coming from the sky, or possibly just above me.
But at the time, i almost had a heart attack
So excited.

Thats the year i got the star was box set too, loved it.





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