Why do parents, ordinary mothers and fathers, give Santa Claus, a ‘made-up’ figure the credit for providing the gifts on the 25th December?
In many cases, these gifts have been a financial burden for them to provide, but parents have a tendency to sacrifice many of their wants… no, sometimes needs… to see the happy smiles of their children.
Most people know that December 25 has nothing to do with Christ, and they do not care. They like the tradition of Christmas, Western style.
Why is the Santa Claus figure credited as the one who brings gifts?
Why do parents, who teach their young children about ‘stranger danger’ – once a year plonk their children on the knees of some strange man to have their pictures taken?
“Never take sweets from a stranger” is another parental protection… or used to be. Yet just the other day, in my small local shopping centre, a man dressed up in a ‘Santa’ costume with a bag of ‘goodies’ (sweets of some sort – that’s lollies for Australians and candies for Americans) – and proceeded to hand them out to migrant children who were delighted. Their mother looked on bemused.
A good article on the origins of this ‘fantasy’ figure is here…
Now that I am old, I can look at all this and wonder – why?
- Why do we lie to our children and give this made-up figure credit for what we have bought?
- Why do we warn children about strangers – and then encourage them to sit on a stranger’s knee and smile for the camera?
- Why allow them to take edible treats from someone dressed up in a Santa costume when we warn them not to take sweets from strangers? And a thought – is this a ‘bona fide’ trained Santa figure, or someone who has noticed that this suit breaks down the barriers of suspicion if they approach young children?
- Why do we lie to our children? They find out as they grow that none of it is true.
Are we teaching them to distrust us, their parents?
Yet the traditions will continue because people like them. In the matter of Santa – let’s protect our children and tell them the truth – at their level of understanding.
Let’s teach them to trust us. It might be important one day!
(Blog republished due to the database being overwritten.)