I’ve seen parents who proudly declared that they have stopped lying to their children about Santa and Christmas. There is no Santa, we are giving you the presents, and so on. Some also say that they have been traumatised in their childhood when they found out Santa is a big fat lie because they were so disappointed that the news abruptly ended their fairy tale childhood.
I prefer to see things differently – as a kid I was amazed by the magic of each Christmas morning when I woke up to an incredible Christmas tree full of shiny and colourful decorations, tree that seemed to me that filled the living room with joy, laughter and love. The magic was that the tree was no where in sight a day before. Imagine the troubles my parents had to go through to pull this together.
As I grew older I understood that Santa cannot possible perform this magic trick in all houses and that smaller children have priority so I immediately joined in in helping my folks setup the Christmas tree eagerly waiting for Santa to arrive during the night. The magic was still there – as the empty carpet under the tree was filled with presents in the morning.
Then I realised that magic was also the joy of getting something you’ve been longing for or saving nickels to buy mom some pills that would maker her stomach pains go away – the joy of giving. Santa taught me that.
While telling a dear friend that my daughter will get a kitten for Christmas she told me how thankful and loved she felt when she got her first kitten from her dad and that I’ll win major points for that but then I realised that I won’t because Santa is in charge with bringing the kitten. But let’s remember that making people happy and not waiting to receive credit for it is so much more valuable.
Is Santa a lie? Maybe. Will children become traumatised when they find out he doesn’t exist? Not really as long as they grasp the concept and they take on Santa’s role as they grow older.
One more thing – I’ve been telling my older daughter that in our family, the Christmas tradition is to prepare the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. We always kept the tree for a long time – sometimes even until 16 Feb – which is my parents wedding anniversary. So – no reason to put it up early so she can enjoy it longer – she will enjoy it quite for a while even if the setup is done on Christmas Eve. I’ve also tried telling her that there is nothing wrong if other families decide to do it earlier and that we should respect that – but I am a bit worried – because my Facebook newsfeed has been showing me erect Christmas trees for 2 weeks now. Does nobody care about tradition anymore? Are we so overwhelmed by consumerism and Santas in shopping malls and much to early corporate Christmas parties?
Keeping the magic alive, together with some dear friends, we launched this year moscraciun.rocks – an online service that allows you to get a personalised video message from Santa. It was launched only 2 weeks ago, we sent over 20 video messages and feedback was great. I am looking forward in doing more magic next year with much more time available before Christmas. If there is interest I would be happy to post a case-study of how we did it.