Santa Claus is real, dammit!

Here’s a question for those of you that have children: have you perpetuated the myth of Claus? Did you ever tell your kids that Santa Claus was real, and if they behaved he would bring them presents? I ask because of this article I just read in the Baltimore Sun asking parents to stop lying to their kids about the jolly fat bastard.

I’ve actually thought a lot about whether I would tell my own kids the Santa myth. The reason has nothing to do with the holiday spirit (anyone who knows me acknowledges the fact that I am unapologetically anti-Christmas); rather, I find it a unique opportunity to teach kids a valuable lesson: adults are full of shit.

Now the article in question finds it damaging to lie to kids, and that perpetuating such a lie will ultimately effect their self esteem. Parents should tell the truth, according to the author David Kyle Johnson (a professor at King’s College, a fairly religious institution), ¬†and that this kind of deception will ultimately damage their fragile minds. I would agree with him entirely if it wasn’t for the fact that he seems to be fine with teaching religion to kids, and I want to know what the fucking difference is.

Why is it bad to tell kids that Santa is real, but OK to tell them that if they don’t believe in Jesus they’ll be going to hell? If our criteria for telling the truth is based on objective reality (after all, can anyone actually disprove that Santa is real?), then how can you justify telling your children that a 2000 year old illiterate Jew was a God?

…if someone “just let” their kids believe that “Jack and the Beanstalk” is real, or that Mother Goose literally existed, wouldn’t you think that was morally wrong? Why is Santa any different?

Dude, why the fuck is Jesus any different?

Comments (14)

  • avatar

    Isaac

    Speaking of the fat bastard, a teacher is fired because she told the kids, <11 years old, that there was no Santa.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFGO8heC9Ko

  • avatar

    Paul

    The whole Santa controversy is a joke. My parents tricked me about Santa when I was a little kid and I found it to be delightful and magical (in a good way). When I eventually figured out that my parents were behind the whole thing, I didn’t get all depressed; I just thought it was a cute and fun thing that they did.

    Anyone who feels the need to tell the “truth” about Santa in order to avoid their kids’ falling for mythical thinking is a real stick-in-the-mud.

    If anything, I agree with you that the Santa Claus experience is a lesson in critical thinking that could serve kids well if they apply the same logic to their religious upbringing.

  • avatar

    CybrgnX

    As many skeptx do I let my kids start to question the stories and then had them continue the questioning until they figured it all out. Then had a discussion about myths.
    A religious person would of say there is a big difference mainly jepus is real and the fat inverse burglar is fiction. I did not have the problem in that I raised my kids atheist.
    But as we all know a myth is a myth no matter whose it is!!!

  • avatar

    J.F.Sebastian

    “after all, can anyone actually disprove that Santa is real?”
    Actually, yes, you can.
    Well, at least, you can proove easily that either he is dead, or he is not the one giving presents (which means, he’s not really “santa”, right ?) :
    http://attrition.org/misc/humor/xmas-proof.html

    “Dude, why the fuck is Jesus any different?”
    Well, most grown-ups don’t believe in santa any more. ;-)

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    ^Blasphemy! Santa exists outside of time, so he’s not bound by it!

  • avatar

    Scott

    I have a philosophy professor (hardcore atheist) who gives his 101 students Aquinas’s Five Proofs, but replaces “God” with “Santa” – no one ever recognizes the source text, but when they say that’s not enough proof, he reveals the oiginal text & their heads tend to explode.

  • avatar

    oinonio

    I wonder what the world would look like if the myths were reversed? I.E. people told little kids about some dude name Jesus, but whole gobs of people KNEW that santa was real!

  • avatar

    Brian

    We have been doing the Santa thing with our kids, and it is great fun for them and for us. Like some have already mentioned, it is also a great chance for the kids to start practicing critical thinking skills as they get older. We push them to think things out on their own and come to their own conclusions. Two of the three have pretty much figured it out, but they still play along because it is fun for them. That is what the holiday is really about – fun and family.

  • avatar

    Jim

    abso-fucking-lutely!!!

    fuck santa, fuck santa right off. And fuck parents who lie to their children about him… You people are all assholes.

    Let’s compare that with…..

    abso-fucking-lutely!!!

    fuck god, fuck god right off. And fuck parents who lie to their children about him… You people are all assholes.

    Yep, both work.

  • avatar

    Kevin

    I don’t have kids, but when I do, I’ll probably tell them about Santa Claus. They’ll be inundated by it anyway – Christmas time is crazy with Santa – and besides that, I’m young yet and still remember the joy I had waking up Christmas morning to see Santa had come during the night to leave presents.

    I didn’t feel devastated by the fact that I learned about Santa – I figured it out on my own mostly when I realized that Santa had my mother’s handwriting. I didn’t feel angry at my parents, and they explained very well that Santa was a myth, just a part of the tradition.

    Santa is fun, a childhood joy and a thing to put away when you get older. “Be good or Santa will give you coal.”

    Huh… it does kind of correlate to Christianity. “Be good or you’ll go to Hell.” Guess I put that away, too.

  • avatar

    Vicky P

    There must be a paper written by someone somewhere looking at the similarities of the Santa myth and the God myth – old guy with a white beard that’s been around forever who only gives you nice stuff if you’re good… and he’s linked to Christmas.

  • avatar

    jay

    your all stupid Jesus is real if you dont figure that out your only hurting youself. if you dont belive me ask him into your heart what do u have to loose I dare you

  • avatar

    ken hood

    #an angel visit convinced me that you will finakky be saved akong with everybody else

  • avatar

    Greg Patrick

    Yes, your correct there in no Santa Claus the way kids believe today. However, the was a Santa Claus back in the old times. His name was Saint Nichols and he gave toys to just poor kids but not all over the world. Just locally. Yes, he was a “Saint”

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