Ok. So. Here we are in July. And what is July? Well it’s close to Christmas. Well closer to Christmas than June, or May, or. . . Well you get the idea.

So anyway, here is my dilemma. Santa. Yup Santa. Now what kind of a dilemma could Santa pose you ask? I mean just look at him. He’s so puffy and fat and comfy looking. He’s friendly and likes cookies and milk and most importantly. . . . HE GIVES YOU PRESENTS! I mean just look at him. Just look. LOOK!

Oh yeah. You can’t. Why? Well because he’s not there. And I don’t mean in some philosophical way. Or spiritual way. Or in the metaphorical way. I mean in reality. You know, truth. Anyway, my point. The thing I have been pondering over is how do I want to deal with the Santa issue in regards to raising my son.

This is one of those issues where if I don’t think too much into it, it isn’t an issue. You know It’s part of being a kid. It’s fun. It’s “magical“. But the more I let myself stew over it, the more of a problem I have with it. My problem is if I tell him that Santa is real, I am lying to him. You can rationalize it any way you want but that is what I would be doing. And I don’t want to get into the habit of telling him un-truths no matter what the reason. It is my goal as a parent to have as honest a relationship with both my son and my wife. However, if I don’t lie to him about this and tell him Santa is real, some may say I am taking away part of his child-hood and imagination. I don’t think so.

See, the way I see it Santa is not part of his imagination. Santa is a fictional character, based on a real person who has been dead for a very long time. The “wonderful and magical Santa Claus” is from someone else’s imagination. I want him to have a big, wild, crazy, AWEsome imagination. I want him to dream big and explore every thought he has. But I also believe that there is so much wonder, and so many awesome things in our world and universe, that you don’t need false magic to be awed and amazed in life.

I remember being a kid and the way I thought of Santa. I also remember as each year passed my skepticism of Santa grew. And eventually it got to the point where I didn’t really believe, but no one(other than other kids) had told me other wise. I remember being very uncomfortable about this topic as i got older and I didn’t want to talk about it. I also remember the moment I found out the truth for sure. Even though I was pretty sure there was no Santa Claus I was devastated. And my Aunt(who was the one that told me) saw this. She said, “Oh, I thought you knew.” I felt like running in tears. I don’t know why. I guess it’s kind of like getting a phone call that you cat died while you are at work. But even though you know this to be true It doesn’t really hit you till you get home and she’s not there. I guess Santa had already died to me, but I hadn’t had it confirmed yet. Anyway, I shrugged it off, fought back the tears and just said, “Oh, yeah. I knew. Well, I was pretty sure.”

So I guess in the end I am actually going to have a bit of a passive view on this. I will not pull him aside this Christmas like we are having “THE TALK” and say “Son. I have something to tell you. Santa is not real.” But at the same time, I won’t do that when he is 8, 9, or whenever kids start not believing in Santa. I am just going to see how things develop. We won’t give him presents from Santa. He won’t get fewer gifts, he will just know all his gifts will be from the people he knows and loves. I am not going talk about Santa as if HE IS Christmas, but that he is a story that help remind us what Christmas is really about. And when he inevitably ask about Santa on his own I will tell him about the REAL Santa Claus, and explain the idea of him and why we exchange gifts. And that the real purpose of Christmas is not getting presents from a stranger in a big red suit, but to be around the people you love.

I read a letter recently that a mother wrote to her infant son who was dealing with the same dilemma, and I would like to quote her here:

“If I looked at you and told you there was a Santa, and he is watching you, and he flies around the world in a sled and he has presents and he is real; I would be lying.  I would also be telling you that magic is real, that it happens effortlessly, and it is everywhere.  Forcing you to believe in a tired old lie just because it is a tradition is not going to help you to build a world of magical fantasy.  It will stand in your way.   Instead I want you to look at the story of Santa Claus and say, “This may not be real, but I can imagine a world where it is.” I want you to find a way to make it real.  Making it real for you, and then taking it away is not fair.  I refuse to stand in the way of your imagination.  I won’t package someone else’s magical world and hand it to you and expect you to treat it like it’s yours.”

-T

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