Yes, We Should Tell Our Children that Santa is Real

A feature by G-FUNK.

When I was on my way to becoming a parent my wife and I had a discussion about whether or not we should participate in the charade of Santa Claus and, by extension, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, etc, etc. We didn’t come to a resolution at the time, but looking back it seems somewhat naive thing to consider. Of course we should indulge in this fantasy!

Seriously, how you not like this guy?

The argument against it is straight forward. It can be viewed as having lied to your child and they may be pissed off when they find out about your evil deception. I don’t buy into this idea. Children can be given a bit more credit. By the time they get to school age, there is part of their brain, deep down, that tells them that Santa Claus is completely impossible. Children understand that Santa isn’t going to get to every house in the world in one night. They notice that the ‘ritual’ surrounding Santa’s visit differed from house to house, and they can look past this. During my childhood years I noted that my cousins received personal messages from Santa and we didn’t. I knew something was amiss, but brushed it aside to indulge in the fantasy.

Then you have to explain that he doesn’t make Coke.

Unless you catch them at a particularly young age, the big reveal that Santa is going to be a confirmation of suspicions (usually never spoken aloud) rather than a shattering of dreams. By the time most children are told straight up that Santa isn’t real, they’ve pieced together that Santa’s magical workshop full of elves aren’t really turning out copies ‘Modern Warfare 3’ for the X-Box for the reindeer to carry to all the good little boys and girls.

On the flip side, some people claim that you should go along with the make-believe because other kids will be at school. I’m not one for letting other parents set the agenda, but this shouldn’t be ignored. Nobody likes feeling left out, and if you’ve been telling your child the ‘truth’ about Santa you risk them becoming ‘that’ kid who tells the other children that Santa isn’t real, pisses off their parents. Besides, there’s better reason to go along with the Santa fiction.

If you’re reading this, you’re a geek. Or you’re lost. As geeks, we like fantasy, superheroes, science-fiction – a wide range of make-believe that we play along with for fun. Fun is the key word here. Santa is pure fantasy and we should allow our children to play along with it because it’s pure, simple fun. It’s fun for us, it’s fun for the kids. It’s no different to playing with Transformers toys and pretending they’re real, or a child strapping on a cape and pretending to be Batman.

The only gripe to be had with the game of Santa Claus is the threat of not getting presents if the kiddies throw a tantrum in the grocery store or set fire to the cat or whatever. Any form of discipline requires consistency, and this ‘punishment’ only gets spun out in December, and most parents won’t follow through on it. Plus – it’s just mean! Deal with misbehavior as it happens, not bydangling a bogus boogeyman who’ll deprive them of a new Pokemon.

“Him? Nah, he’s a wanker.”

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to wrap some presents for ‘Santa’ to put under the tree for Funk Jr.