“The Santa Lie”

The last few weeks I’ve seen a picture being shared around social media. This picture is a message to all parents to please keep less fortunate children in mind when shopping for presents “from Santa”. The idea is to make one or two small gifts from Santa and if you chose to spoil your child, do so from yourself instead. It suggests that children will compare what they are given from Santa and those less fortunate will feel disappointed that Santa was more generous with other children.

My first thought was “how dare someone else suggest how I choose to share the magic of Christmas with my children”. My second thought was to read some of the other comments being shared around social media. Yes, I can see there may be some benefit to each child being treated equally by the big guy in the red suit, but do children REALLY compare gifts? How about we teach our children a little humility and discretion instead? Isn’t talking about “what you got” the essence of bad manners anyway? And not every child wants the same thing, so how can we all possibly try to keep on the same level in terms of size or price of gifts? The whole suggestion that we need to be mindful of how much we spoil our children at Christmas seems a little ridiculous to me. Let’s teach our children to be mindful of others and not brag instead. They then learn a lifelong attribute and are better people for it in the long run.

I’ve also noticed a whole new debate being argued by some people: the “I wouldn’t dare LIE to my children, so my kids know that Santa isn’t real” debate. I am in shock. I’m not talking about children who are old enough to have figured it out on their own or even heard the rumours in school, but I’m talking about parents of two and three year old children. Since when is it so bad to create a fantasy and give our children a little bit of magic once a year? Do these people HONESTLY live their lives not telling one single white lie? Do they answer “yes” when their partner asks “Does my butt look big in this?” When their five year old child comes to them asking when they’re going to die, do they honestly answer that they could die at any moment, or do they console their child and respond with a comforting “You’re not going anywhere as long as I have anything to do with it”? Are we really THAT concerned that we shouldn’t lie to our children, that we’d sacrifice such a magical experience which won’t last forever? Since when is working hard and spoiling our children with a little white lie once a year so bad?

If you think it’s such a bad thing, then perhaps you need to watch “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and do a little soul searching.

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