Does the truth take the magic away

Christmas… What is it all about? Do we really need a Santa to make it a good Christmas?
Even if children get scared of the thought of a stranger entering their house in the middle of he night?
How can we teach a child to be careful about strangers if it is ok for Santa to sneak into our house? And what if a burglar, dressed as Santa, would do the same around Christmas time? And how is a child supposed to know not to go with ‘Santa’, when ‘Santa’ approaches the child and ask him if he would like to see a present that he has in the back of the van? I am just saying… Have we thought this through?

Children do have a natural warning system.

Unfortunately this is frequently ignored by adults, when they don’t see the problem. Take ‘visiting Santa in the grotto’… Sitting on his lap… Why do some people find the picture more important than the child’s feelings. A child crying his eyes out because he simply doesn’t want to sit on this man’s lap. And why would he? He doesn’t know him and even if he did, he is likely not to recognise him! The internal alarm goes off, the child let the parent know by crying and the parent ignores it. What does that tell the child? Your warning system is wrong! Your feelings are irrelevant, which then will be translated to you are irrelevant. No respect!

Yet the parent expects the child to respect them.

Why is it ok to lie about Santa’s existence? Are the historical facts and myths not interesting enough?
When I was growing up we didn’t have Santa, we had ‘sinterklaas’ who would arrive with presents on the 5th of december. My parents also let us believe that he was actually a real man. When we were told eventually that this was all fake, I felt quite cheated on. I definitely did not appreciate it. If I think about how we celebrated Christmas, it wasn’t about the presents (we didn’t have any). Christmas was about family, peace, warmth and being nice to each other (… and food, lots of food). Christmas music in the background, watching Christmas films, playing games together etc etc and then a lovely meal that seemed to last for ages while we talked and laughed.

It felt magical and lovely. Presents weren’t missed!

No need to add a lie!

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