The commercialization of Christmas is well noted. It’s pretty unfortunate. It seems as though Santa Claus is taking the blame. I suppose that could be because of the nature of the large, jolly elf…taking gifts to children across the globe tends to give you a bad reputation I suppose. I say it seems that Ol’ St. Nick is getting the blame because there’s this backlash for the last few years (or longer) of not wanting kids to be taught about Santa. Apparently it’s traumatic to kids to find out he doesn’t exist, etc. There is also an emphasis on wanting to remember what the season is really about, which I agree, but I don’t think Santa played a part in why we forgot the reason.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I certainly never had to go to therapy because I realized Santa wasn’t indeed a flesh and blood person or elf as the case may be. I suppose I was lucky in that I never had to have that talk or was horribly disappointed when I found out about him. I can’t even really pinpoint a specific age when I figured it out, I just did. It didn’t change my love of Christmas or what it still means to me.
So many say it’s terrible to teach kids or let them believe in Santa because it’s a lie. You should never lie to children. Generally, I agree, but I don’t think letting kids believe in something that is supposed to be good natured is such a bad thing. Should you still teach kids about the real meaning behind the season, of course, but Santa isn’t standing in the way of that. Actually, to me Santa is about bringing joy to the world and teaches kids about…well karma so to speak. Kids learn that when they’re good, good things come to them; that it pays off to have a good nature and to be kind to others.
I don’t know how anyone else feels, but I absolutely love movies like “The Santa Clause,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Polar Express” or even those often very silly Hallmark movies featuring Santa and his ability to make miracles happen, even delivering boyfriends (let’s have a chat some time Santa). I love the emphasis they put on believing in the jolly round man. Yes it’s part of the season, but I think for me it’s about more than just that. Believing in Santa Claus is like believing in unconditional love. Yes I suppose it’s not totally unconditional in that the expectation is for kids to be good to receive gifts from Santa, but it’s not like Santa really punishes kids who have been ill-behaved (other than perhaps the proverbial lump of coal). Those movies also put an emphasis on believing in the good in the world and Santa is a representation of that. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
Santa is also something, or someone rather, that helps unify us in a way, like in “Miracle on 34th Street.” Sometimes Santa inspires us to believe in ourselves and again, where’s the down side in that? For me, “The Polar Express” touches on the idea of belief. For those of us who believe in God, Jesus, etc., this is a big deal because it’s about faith. Okay so Santa is the vehicle chosen to represent that faith, but the same goes for God doesn’t it? There isn’t scientific proof per se, but it’s about what’s in the heart and soul. When we have faith in something, it usually pays off in the end. Plus, the reality is Santa lives in every parent who buys gifts for their kid(s). Santa is about the spirit of giving to others for the purpose of bringing smiles to young, and old, faces. So he may not have his own body, but to me, he’s very real. Love is magic and Santa is magic. That magic exists in all of us, if we let it. All kinds of wonderful things happen when we believe in a little magic, even if it’s for a season.
With that – Yes, Virginia…I’m a 33-year-old single woman but I still believe in Santa Claus. He does exist.
Merry Christmas WordPress! To those who celebrate other holidays….the very best holiday season to you all!