jamie goode's wine blog: How I killed Santa

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How I killed Santa

Yesterday evening we were asked the question all parents dread. 'Is Santa real?' Youngest son has been struggling for a while with this issue, ever since one of his classmates suggested that Father Christmas is fictional.

Fiona had three hours of inquisition last week, and held out on delivering the killer blow, fending off the questions with, 'what do you think?'. Last night I couldn't hold back any longer. I killed Santa. After persistent questioning, I admitted that Santa is a big old fake with a stick-on beard and a cheap felt suit. I tried to do it more kindly than this, but it was horrible. Will he ever trust us again? I'd rather not have broken the news to him, but he's 9 years old and he already realized something was up.

This leads to the question: is the whole Father Christmas thing justifiable, or is it lying to our kids? Is it harmless fantasy, that children gradually learn to dissociate from reality when they reach a certain level of understanding, or is the crushing blow that some kids feel when they find out it's all made up actually damaging, both to them and also our relationship with them?

The evening was made worse by the fact that after this, I opened four wines and they were all rubbish. And then RTL woke me at 04:40 this morning.



At 1:23 PM, Blogger Peter May - The Pinotage Club said...

Oh Jamie.

Santa is real.

Santa is the spirit of love for children, of a parents concern and love for their children.

When you act in Santa's name, you are Santa.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...

My ten year worked this out for himself a couple of years ago.

He knows damn well that Santa is an imaginary person, but he also understands that there needs to be a bit of mystery in the world, the spice of life.

My boy is probably the complete opposite of me. A very literal person. I majored in what the Americans call "liberal arts". To my knowledge, he has never completed a work of fiction. He thinks fiction is silly. When we had our interview for entry to College last week the Deputy Principal asked him what his favourite book was. All he could think of was a Maths textbook.

AND YET... When it comes to Santa, he understands that plenty of other children in the world believe in him, and that parents hold the secret for a very good reason.

I might add that we are devout Catholics, which may seem odd (pagan Santa), but this informs our belief system and ultimately makes us stronger.

PS - does not hurt that by having Santa he gets twice as many presents at Christmas.

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

I have a 2.5 year old daughter. My wife and I plan to be straight with her right from the beginning. These days it seems like nothing more than marketing, rather than 'magic'. I'd rather she grew up with the concepts of giving and receiving, rather than just receiving; and knowing that her parents had given her the gifts.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger andy said...

A Letter from Santa arriving through the mail at Christmas is a magical moment especially for Children, when you see the look on their face it makes you feel warm inside, your Children are thinking of Santa and friends. what a great gift for Christmas...

Have a great Christmas! Santas Editor


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