Myths of Childhood Part 2: Santa Claus

Lying is an integral part of being a good parent. All the best parents have that in common; they can successfully and consistently lie to their offspring. Most lies are to give a sense of hope; to soothe your offspring in stressful situations. Some lies just help you get through the day in one piece without strangling them.

We are going to discuss the more universal and socially expected lies or, as I like to call them, the myths of childhood.

There are several of these myths that we delve into overtime. Today, though, I want to discuss one particular lie we tell our young and that is the biggest myth of them all. Santa Claus.

Here’s the gist of it. Santa is an oversized elf/man/monster that, in a single evening, breaks into every house in the world and accepts sacrificed of baked goods in exchange for presents. Now, that’s an over simplification because there’s been many added nuances to this myth designed to make it even more popular over time. What started as an Eastern European tradition has blossomed into a global event that is highly anticipated throughout the year. This jolly bearded sneak thief’s progress is tracked by NORAD for the love of everything sacred. Yes. NORAD. The same people who are supposed to be guarding Americans against air attacks has a unit dedicated to the tracking of Santa Claus. This is how big this lie has grown.

Obviously there’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s take it one point at a time.

1.       Santa and his wife run a very productive toy sweatshop in the North Pole. Their “help” is really the indentured servitude of elves. Yeah, elves.

2.       He keeps track of who is “naughty” or “nice” all year long via a complicated network of spies, magic, and hidden cameras. Really, modern day security firms look to him for guidance. If you are naughty, you get coal. If you are nice, you get a fairly decent present. If you are neither naughty nor nice, but in the middle of the road, you get socks.

3.       Santa’s preferred mode of transportation is an outdated sleigh and eight flying reindeer. How he gets them to fly. . . well, it’s not really fit for the printed word.

4.       Santa has an eating disorder and is most likely diabetic considering the sheer amount of sugar he consumes on the one night a year we can account for his whereabouts.

5.       Santa has a really good marketing director. Seriously, the Coca Cola deal has gone on forever! Are we comfortable putting our children’s faiths in a lie with corporate sponsorship?

6.       Santa has become a modern day god of materialism. Fact: more people pray to Santa than any other traditional god/dess out there.

7.       Santa wears red to signify the blood of his enemies. This one I can’t prove, but considering his firm grip on the season (and beyond if we pay attention to the shopping mall stores. . .), I don’t think it’s all that far-fetched.

Sure, the idea of Santa is a good behavior modifying tool to use on your offspring, but what is the cost? A myth that has grown to such proportions tends to become a force to be reckoned with. It may be too late.

   Save Your Cookies.


***Disclaimer***Azra has been around children for centuries. While not having any of his own, part of being an exiled angel means blending in on earth. As he traveled the earth, he picked up on a lot of parenting practices across the globe. This blog is meant to share his parenting wisdom with a new generation. And to win a bet.

*Note: any advice given is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally. Please do not exercise it upon any living being, child or otherwise.*