For many young children that celebrate Christmas, the holiday season is marked by going to the local mall, waiting in a long line to enter the makeshift North Pole, and sitting on Santa’s lap, telling him what you want for Christmas. However at a certain age, doubts begin to set in and kids begin questioning his existence, leading many to try and stake out on Dec. 24 to catch their parents taking on Santa’s role.
So, the Foghorn asks: should kids be taught to believe in Santa? Should the season be centered so greatly around a fictional character? How much should Santa be giving to kids? The Foghorn staff doesn’t see any harm in teaching kids to believe in Santa, however there should be some limitations.
Believing in Santa is a cute addition to the magic of Christmas, and we believe kids would be more heartbroken if they didn’t get the whole Santa experience, rather than later finding out it was a ruse. And besides, learning that he isn’t real is a part of the whole growing up experience. The idea of Santa gives young children something to look forward to, and oftentimes encourages kids to behave. Who would want coal in their stocking?
Taking away Santa would also take away from a lot of the Christmas culture, for Christmas songs, such as “Here Comes Santa Claus,” and the majority of holiday movies, like “Elf” and “The Polar Express” center around his existence. Eventually kids will naturally grow out of believing in Santa, whether from cousins, siblings, TV shows, that one classmate who was never taught to believe and takes pride in ruining their peers’ beliefs, or nowadays, a quick Google search. Many of our “Santa isn’t real” transitions were very much,“What if Santa isn’t real? lol just kidding…….. Unless?”
Some argue that teaching your children to believe in Santa (or the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy) is lying to them, however if it adds a little joy to their life, is it really detrimental? There are even Santa Track websites nowadays to get children more excited to wake up and see presents under the tree the next morning.
With that said, we believe there should be some limitations or moderation in how many or what types of gifts come from Santa. Every household has different Santa traditions; some kids get almost every gift from Santa, some have their stockings filled by him, some get one big gift from him, and others receive a few small things from him. It can be easily overlooked, but seeing specific presents coming from your parents or other loved ones can be subtle reminders of how much they care for you.
Christmas should be a time when you can be thankful for your family, and loved ones should get some credit for what they provide for their children. Also, because of the nature of Santa’s workshop and the idea that elves create all the toys, many kids don’t take money into account, which adds a lot of stress to parents, and they end up surpassing their budget or disappointing their kids.
Santa also shouldn’t take away from the true meaning of Christmas, whether that be religious or just celebrating family and joy. Santa shouldn’t take the place of Jesus, as a holy figure, nor should he draw attention away from the season of advent. Christmas is also a time for families and friends to come together and not only receive, but also give. The holiday shouldn’t revolve around what gifts Santa is going to give you – it’s important for children to be taught to give back and appreciate what they have, too.
Santa adds another magical layer to the holiday season and provides the opportunity to turn away from reality, which can be harsh and depressing. Seeing the optimism and joy in kids’ faces is special and oftentimes unique to December. Santa kind of embodies the meaning and spirit of Christmas because, after all, he is a senior citizen who wants to bring joy to the world by giving gifts to children and expecting nothing back. Perhaps we should all take a lesson from Santa and try to take on his selflessness and gratitude this holiday season.
We want to acknowledge that not all families celebrate Christmas, nor do any members of the Foghorn have children of their own.