I know its only the middle of October, but if you go shopping its very evident that we are in the “Holiday Season”. I think this is total crap and a sign of overloaded commercialism, but it brings up some decisions soon. Do I, as a parent, want to be a liar? What I mean is this, do I want to follow tradition and tell Levi about Santa Claus as truth? Do I then want to do the same with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy? This is something I’ve thought about numerous times, and I don’t think Kendra agrees with me on it.
To me, telling your child a lie, for no other reason than to try to illicit good behavior, or because everyone else is doing it, goes counter to everything else we try to do as good Christian parents. We want to instill honesty and good behavior in Levi. We want him to behave because its the right thing to do, not because some obese elderly gentleman living in another country has some sort of magical big brother system watching his every move. If you really think about Santa its quite a scary and creepy premise. This guy is watching you all the time and keeping track of what you do. He’ll reward you if you’re good, but give you nothing, or something not wanted if you act poorly. This is all rather Orwellian. Add to this his being surrounded by elves that he works year round to produce the things he gives away. Then add the idea that he lives at the north pole and is hauled around the world by eight or nine flying reindeer, one of whom has a bizarre glowing red nose. Its all very odd.
The tooth fairy and the Easter bunny are more of the same. They are lies you must perpetuate until the child finally realizes you are lying. Then you can give up or, like my mom try to keep you convinced. It can be pretty frustrating to be a kid who knows better and to still get lied to. I just don’t want to do that. Like the article linked above mentions, it also just increases the wrong focus for the whole holiday. It goes from being focus to Jesus, a person who came to die for our sins to some guy who’s more worried about works than faith. The worst part of that is the guy Santa Claus is based on was a bishop and probably wouldn’t like what has been done with his legacy. It all seems very wrong.
I know this is a subject I’ll be thinking on a lot, especially as Levi gets older. This year he’s only going to be 10 months old, so the impact isn’t quite as severe, but it still sets a foundation. I’m hoping to have him grow up knowing the truth. Santa Claus is based on a man who worked hard to do God’s work and was a very giving man. Stories say he gave away money and gifts in the night to avoid the publicity of doing it. He didn’t require anything in return, and certainly didn’t watch people all the time. To me he provides a lot better model to teach children about.