This was originally published in Issue 4 of The Huntingtonian on December 7, 2006.
If I have my way my kids won’t believe in Santa. I won’t teach them to believe in “him”.
Teaching kids to believe in Santa is lying to your children. I have a problem, in principle, with lying to my children. Do you?
Many believe that children need Santa in order to experience the true meaning of Christmas. Apparently the true meaning of Christmas includes the purporting of an imaginary figurehead of a pagan-influenced tradition.
I don’t mean to come across as a “scrooge.” I only mean to point out that the virtue of honesty is often overlooked for the sake of loyalty to a ritual that may not be the best thing to happen to Christmas – or Christians in general. I’m not saying my kids shouldn’t enjoy gifts at Christmas – giving is a good thing. They should also experience the joys of the season, much like children who believe in Santa. But these good things don’t require bad things – i.e. lying to children – and lessons of gift giving and being good can be taught through better, honest means. In other words, should we use dishonest means to reach desirable ends?
On the other hand, if we’re going to use Santa to benefit children why stop there? Why not endorse a campaign to create a fleet of imaginary characters to push children toward potty training or sleeping through the night?
I recognize that I may be wrong. Maybe these traditions are necessary. But I do mean to encourage those who are wiling to question the influences of culture and remove those which may not help us as we attempt to raise our children in a good Christian manner. That’s all.
Oh, and Merry Christmas.