It’s that holly, jolly, jiggly, wiggly time of year, y’all! Time for lights and spiked eggnog and extended family and Jesus and eating your feelings. It’s the most wonderful time of year!
Which is why I don’t understand why some people have got to be hatin’ on my man, Kris Kringle. What did that fat bastard ever do to anybody?
This parenting gig ain’t easy, to be sure. There are a gazillion problems parents encounter and tough decisions they have to make, and that’s just in one day. But there is one parenting dilemma I don’t quite get, and that’s the over-hyped one wherein parents equate playing along with the whole Santa thing to maliciously lying to their kids and instilling in them lifelong trust issues.
I get that there are some parents out there who simply don’t want to do Santa. Good for them. I say do what works best for you and yours. But there are others who are turning the Santa Debate into one about ethics, and that’s just too heavy. Way too damn heavy. Don’t do Santa if you don’t want to, but don’t blame that jolly sonuvabitch for inciting moral corruption. Isn’t that just a bit dramatic?
I mean, if people are truly ethically opposed to letting their kids believe in St. Nick because to do so is to blatantly lie to them and Lying Is Bad, does that mean from the start they’re also straight with their kids about all the other truths in the world, including — no, especially — the not-so-pleasant ones? Do they forfeit the illusion of safety so many of us couch our children in and instead tell them they are regularly susceptible to murderers and rapists and car accidents and terminal illness? Or do they comfort them in times of fear and assure them there’s nothing to worry about?
I’m guessing the latter even though to do the latter is to lie to them and Lying Is Bad. That’s because some lies do more good than harm. Some lies are just that — lies. Things we say and do to keep our children comfortable and happy.
And what about people who are opposed to Papa Noel because they don’t agree with using him to threaten kids into behaving well?
The solution to this seems obvious to me. If you don’t think scaring your kids into submission is right, DON’T DO IT. You don’t have to kill Santa completely. Just don’t use him as a tool for bribery. Nobody’s going to arrest you for it.
Look. It’s Santa, for Christ’s sake — a chunky old guy who just wants to leave presents under the tree in exchange for a few smiles on Christmas morning. It’s not like you’re inviting a criminal into your home to plot mass murder with your children. If you don’t want to do Santa because Santa just isn’t your thing, more power to you. But if you’re banning Santa to make some righteous statement about your moral compass, meh.
For my part, I don’t see anything wrong with letting my kids believe in Santa Claus. It’s fun. It’s magical. It breeds true happiness and joy. They only have a short time before their spirits are tainted with cynicism and real world worries. Why not let them bask in the joy of the spark that believing in Santa ignites in their souls?
There’s a whole lifetime ahead and a multitude of ethical issues to blacken their hearts. But this? This ain’t one of ’em. So why not let them have this?