The good lie
to you whether Santa really exists
By Niki Tehranchi
December 22, 2003
Christmas time is here again and as usual, Santa Claus is taking
a beating. The age old question is debated fiercely across households
on the planet: Should you let your children fantasize about the
myth or hit them with the harsh reality of truth?
The fanatical St Nicholas haters have a variety of reasons to
play the Grinch: Non-Christians consider good old Papa Noel as
religious intrusion. But many Christians will tell you they abhor
Kris Kringle precisely because he has pagan origins. Rumor has
it that the Church "dressed him up" as a Christian
Saint because he was competing in popularity with Jesus Christ.
Then there are those whose hostility to the Bearded One stems
not from religious conviction but from being bombarded by modern-day
child psychology quacks who blame every adult shortcoming on
childhood episode", starting with the Big Lie of Santa Claus.
Last but not least, there are those who cynically decry the fairy
tale as nothing more than a ploy by capitalistic pigs to force
unwilling consumers into a shopping frenzy at least once a
So after all this, is there anyone left on earth to champion
the cause of Rudolph's poor owner?
Well... I for one will step up to the plate.
For those religious types, let me tell you that children
do not adopt Santa Claus because he represents this or
transcends all religions. He is more of a children's
folk hero than a religious figure. And he touts values that
would be welcome in any religion: Warmth, kindness, giving
goodness to name but a few.
As for those parents who think Santa Claus will be responsible
for their kids' mental breakdown, let me just say:
CHILL!... These are probably the same types who think buying Barbies
will turn their little Chrissies into Stepford wives;
Or that every
single item in the kitchen should be organic. You know,
children are not made out of glass. In fact, they are
often much more
resilient and matter-of-fact than their hapless parents,
who often run to
their analyst before choosing the color of their bedroom
I remember the day that I found out Santa was a fake.
There is always that ONE kid in class, the know-it-all
it for everybody else. It was almost as if she was
holding a conference, with kids gathered around her
in a circle
explaining that it was our parents and not some jolly
old man from the North Pole who deposited gifts under
Was I upset? Yes of course! I went through all the
grieving process starting with denial ("You're
lying!") then anger
etc...but guess what? At the end of it all came
acceptance. And I didn't stop trusting my parents. Quite the contrary.
At that young age, kids' past-time is to play pretend:
whether it is pretend doctor, or pretend tea
parties. I was just
so surprised (and impressed) that my parents
had been playing a pretend game
with me all along. And I was grateful to them
for playing it
so well. I wish I could go back to those days
when the world was so
magical that you could actually believe in flying
and red-suited elves.
It was an all too short
time. Don't rob
of it. When it is time for them to confront
the harsh realities of life, there will be plenty of time and
plenty of concerns
for them to stress over.
For those cynics who
don't want to shell out the big bucks to Macy's or Toys'R'Us
you don't want to buy into the consumerism
aspect of the holidays (pun intended), you
creative. Especially since children do not
care about the price
on those expensive toys and clothes. What
they crave most of all
time and attention. Have you ever thought
that the best gift you can give a child on Christmas
you wrote yourself with them in mind?
I remember for one Christmas, my aunt took
the trouble of actually writing an original
and she had
illustrations, while another lent her his
stereo so she could record the words.
The result was so professional, she even
bound it like a real book. The result?
A unique and
it after all these years aren't I?)
these times where time is money, and no one has
any to spare,
it is tempting
to throw an expensive gadget at a child
and run as
fast as you can
next appointment. But the best gift you
can give kids is your time. The sky is the limit,
an afternoon at the local children's
museum, to giving them personal ice-skating lessons.
I am sure
that Santa would approve. After all, it is not whether he is
is what he represents, which is the
spirit of giving. It's up
to you whether Santa really exists.
Why don't you breathe life into him this
this page to your friends