Caution: Bahumbug post with Santa spoilers you may not want your kids to see
Internet. I need help.
How do we explain to children that Santa brings big bountiful presents to some while others are living lives of misery? Starving. Cold. Neglected. Abused.
And not just in far-away lands.
Probably someone they know doesn’t have enough to eat. Or warm clothes that fit. Their parents can’t afford heating oil or electricity despite working three jobs. But sure, Kiddo, go ahead and ask St. Nick for an Xbox. No big deal. (Full disclosure, there will be an Xbox or some such thing in this house this year.)
How do we teach them gratitude when we’re telling them that they’re entitled to expensive gifts simply because they tell a magic man wearing a red suit that they want it? And because they tell him they were really, really good this year. (Ha. More lies.)
I have lived this lie through five children, two of whom are still believers and it gets harder and harder each and every year. Is this the kind of magic we really want our kids to believe in?
My seven year old said this week he’s going to ask Santa for $50,000 so he can just buy whatever he wants. Yes he has no concept of how much money that is, but still. He is literally the sweetest child I know. He is kind. He shares. He is a good boy. But, Mom, Santa is magic.
How do we place rules on what they can ask the magic present man for? When my little kids have asked for expensive electronics, I’ve always said Santa doesn’t bring stuff like that. And if I decide something of that nature will be under the tree, the tag clearly says it’s from Mom and Dad…Not Santa. But he does bring that stuff to their friends they are quick to tell me with confusion. Why did friend x get an iPad mini from Santa. *You said Santa doesn’t bring those.*
It’s just a shitty lie and I hate telling it. There, I said it. I can’t wait for Littles four and five to know that the presents under the tree are from us and they are privileged to receive them – not entitled.
I know, I know. Gaggles of people will say we need to let them be kids, let them believe in the magic of Christmas while they’re still young… But someone tell me why we have to do this? What good comes from this big fat jolly lie? Is it really Santa and his sack full of toys and electronics that makes Christmas awesome? No. It. Is. Not. It is time that makes Christmas great. Presence not presents.
Some parents literally go in to debt buying expensive crap they can’t afford so their kids can believe that they’re entitled to a boat load of gifts from the big guy. It just seems counterintuitive to me.
Why can’t we focus on spending time with loved ones? Why can’t we teach our kids to give to those less fortunate instead of asking for stuff? Why does it have to be all about the things?
Santa is a lie that causes more harm than good in my opinion. Tears when they don’t get the thing that they wanted but all their friends did. Riots in stores while parents fight over the last trendy must-have toy. Yuck. That’s just the beginning.
I know this post is not very jolly, but this Santa stuff and all the pressure and lying that goes with it brings me down.
So, while the imaginary man will surely visit my home again this year, I’m hoping it’s the last damn time. And, I’m resolving that I am going to focus on the things that actually make this holiday awesome. Time with my family. Love. Good cheer. Good food that we are blessed to have.
And booze. Lots and lots of booze.