Santa Claus is a Big Fat Jerk
I don’t understand why parents lie to their kids about Santa Claus. I can’t do it. I know what some of you are thinking; this must be some religious stand I’m taking, right? No, surprisingly, it isn’t. This is just a parenting style. I made the decision when the boys were born that I would try my best to always be truthful. Christmas is no exception. Thus, when that first Christmas came around (before the kid even understood anything about anything) Mely and I exchanged presents and we gave a few to Neil, too. It’s been that way ever since. We give each other presents, and the kids have never had any reason to think that the gifts come from anywhere else. I never said there was a Santa, and never acted like he exists. The kids have never had any reason to think he does. Easy Peasy!
Except For When it Isn’t Easy
Ah, if only we lived in a world where I don’t have to undo the nonsense they pick up from TV and friends. I say that we’ve never had Santa in our house, but that isn’t entirely accurate. It’s true; we haven’t ever led on about Santa. However, I have had the Santa-doesn’t-exist talk because, over the years, their friends have talked about Santa, and they see Santa themed movies on TV. It was a brief talk, and it went like this: “Dad? Does Santa exist?” And then I said “No, he doesn’t. All your presents come from family and friends… .” There’s a bit more of course, but that’s the idea. The thing I really want the kids to understand is that economics is a real thing.
Economics: Santa’s a Little Bit of a Dick.
Does anybody want to live in a world where one, all knowing guy, determines your overall value as a person based on your economic status? Because that’s what Santa Claus does. If you’re good, he brings you presents, but the presents you get will always be just about at the value your parents could afford if they were to buy the presents themselves. Thus, no matter how good you are, Santa will never see past your parent’s bank account. Rich kids, therefore, must be better people. If the kid next door wants a $25 Lego set and a $3,000 dollar go-kart and gets both things, that’s fine. But, if my kid wants the same things but only ends up receiving the $25 Lego set, the only determining factor left, in a world ruled by Santa Claus, is how good the two kids were during the year. OR – rich kids are just better people. Sorry, but Santa is a dick.
I love my kids no matter what they give to me in return. If all I can give them is a $25 dollar toy, they should know that they got the toy because I love them, not because they sucked up to an all powerful arbiter who values rich people more. Santa perpetuates economic inequality because, unwittingly, parents are telling their kids that they are worth only as much as the value of the gift they get. Remember, no matter how virtuous, kind, loving and generous your kids are, they will never have been as good as the rich kid who got more. Do you really want your kids growing up with that baggage?