We’re going to tell our boys there’s no Santa Claus. I convinced Kasper to raise Skas with the belief that he’s real even though he was always against it. I don’t recall when or how I came to know that he wasn’t real but I know I believed for a long time. Kasper says he found out early. One day his mom was like, “No, dude, that’s bullshit.” Meanwhile, my mom’s all, “Santa doesn’t need a chimney!” It’s weird because his mom is super Christian, you’d think she’d want to keep other fairy tales alive, too.
My mom always went out of her way to decorate for Christmas. The inside of our small apartment would be decorated with colored lights and red and gold themed accessories like runners for the coffee table and holiday rugs. She even had a handmade manger and we were a non theist household. She had this huge collection of hand painted ceramic decorations she would replace all of her pewter and crystal knickknacks with. She made the holiday feel like something to remember. Kasper said he never had this and thought Santa is a stupid idea. They stopped setting up Christmas trees while he was still a kid. What?! Am I the only one that’s like…but it’s a thing, you’re supposed to have a tree. 10 years with me he’s now starting to enjoy decorating and decorations.
Skas is 8 now and he asked me about Santa the other day and I felt like a complete asshole for saying yeah, he’s a thing. I mean what a stupid concept! We go out of our way to lie to our kids. I felt guilty afterward and really started to question the whole Santa thing. First of all, it’s really creepy.
Behave children so a fat man can sneak into your house while you’re sleeping and leave you a bunch of cheap, purposeless items under a dying tree that is 24 hours from becoming a fire hazard. Oh and by the way, he watches you every second of everyday, waiting for you to misbehave.
Then I started to think about how forcing them to believe is pretty much telling them to dismiss every logical thought they have at this time of year by manufacturing false arguments as the questions come. Magic flying deer? Little people living in a place typically uninhabitable with a fat overload dressed in red? Oh and apparently he can only get to every single house by manipulating time. Because a large magic sack of every kid’s dream toy and a sleigh being toted through the air by 8 flying reindeer just isn’t enough lies to carry on for your kids.
To make it even weirder I’m supposed to tell my kids Santa does this because it’s Jesus’ birthday? I’ve made it no secret I’m Agnostic but that has no bearing on the fact that the whole story makes no sense. Not to mention that aside from going to church at midnight, the word Christmas and a few Jesus and Mary decals and decorations, there’s really nothing Christian about the holiday at all. I like to think that if I were as Christian as these people claiming there’s a war on Christmas want us to believe they are, I wouldn’t need a holiday to remind me to feed the hungry and give to the poor. I like to think I’d do that year round, oh wait… I donate everything extra we get. We don’t go to the food bank because we know there are hungrier people in this city. We don’t sign up for every donation center; we only sign up for the toy drive that comes to this housing complex when there are multiple drives we’d qualify for. I save all of my kids socks they grow out of throughout the year and donate them at wintertime because that’s when they’re needed most. I donate money every time I’m asked at the register or through charity events outside of stores. I’m poor but I don’t need a holiday to remind me that there are people more in need than my family.
And the mass consumerism and obligatory gift giving. I’m poor, I’m not going to give people gifts just because the calendar tells me too. I celebrate Christmas because it’s a family tradition and I want my kids to experience what I experienced on Christmas mornings but I’m going to change the message behind the tradition. It’s nothing to do with Santa but revelling in the joy of having the people we have in our lives. I love my kids and I love building up to Christmas morning with sayings like “we’ll see what’s under the tree that morning” and the decorations throughout the house that remind them there’s going to be a super awesome day in the near future; but, I think it means less if I spend the whole season lying to them. I really don’t want my kids to learn to dismiss their inquisitive nature every time they think accepting what they’re told without question results in rewards. I guess no more Easter bunny either. We can do both without the fictitious characters anyway.