Is Santa Claus Good for Children?

Xmas 006

I am aware of some controversy about that rotund, jolly man who lives in the North Pole. His only purpose is to bring toys to good children. Is this little white lie we tell our children good or bad?
I was browsing the books in Costco in November, three years ago. A child sat in a shopping cart in front of me. I could see he was about six years old. As I looked up for another book, I saw a man approaching down the aisle. He had longish white hair and beard. He wore a green and red checked shirt and jeans. And yes, a pair of rimless spectacles. The boys back was to me, but I saw his little body stiffen. His head turned, following the man, smiling now, as he passed. I saw the boy’s face. It was full of awesome incredulity. He stared after the Santa-like man until he could no longer see him. It was clear, the little boy believed with joy and anticipation. It’s a sweet image that comes back to me every Christmas.
Really good things happen to us in life for which we have no real knowledge of how they came about. Do we ask why our ticket won the lottery? Why our novel won the contest? I think waking up and finding toys scattered around a Christmas tree, where there was nothing when I went to bed, is one of the happiest memories in my life. I don’t feel betrayed or duped. In fact, I told the same tale of Santa to my kids. When I couldn’t answer their questions, like: “How will Santa come to our house when we don’t have a chimney?” My pat answer: “He has magic.”
One day I came home from shopping for Christmas toys and piled them on my bed. Before I could hide them, I went to answer the door. And then I went to make dinner, put in a load of laundry, or some other house chore, and forgot about the presents. My already suspicious kids saw them and figured it out. Bright little things. Just like they figured out the dog didn’t really go to a farm. But I digress. They never held Santa against me or their dad.
I think the Santa myth also makes the parents happy. The story of Santa is no different than the stories we read in books, even as adults. Don’t we believe as we read? And don’t we love it when a book takes us in entirely?
I cannot see the harm. Children will grow up to reality all too soon. I think Santa Claus is good for them. What so you think?

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About Gerri

I'm in my second career. Besides raising my beautiful family, worked as RN. Now I'm a novelist. Have completed five novels and working on my sixth. Way more fun than nursing! Happy hubby and neurotic cat hang out with me.

Posted on December 10, 2014, in Issues of Interest and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Lolly, my 10 year old expat granddaughter, (Gerri’s Goddaughter), says she is smoke-sending her list to Santa this year. She told me that in England the children throw their Christmas wish lists into a mid-December crackling fire and the smoke and their wishes are magically transported from England directly to Santa at the North Pole. Both of her brothers are so excited to send their lists up too! How adorable and special is that?

  2. I totally agree. Santa makes Christmas so special for both children and parents. BB

  3. So… there was a twinkle in his eye? Not Santa’s. The boy who thought he was onto something.

  4. We all need a little magic in our lives……enjoy the holidays and all that goes with them!

  5. I’m with you, Gerri. In this very troubled world, why not take joy in a little myth (common to so many cultures, after all!) BTW, my mother’s explanation for how Santa could in, what with no chimney, was: the front door, with his magic key!

    • Good answer! Magic key. Kids believe in magic and accept it as an explanation. We adults need to believe more in magic, too. Thanks for commenting. I bet someone reading this will use your mom’s idea!

  6. i’ll tell you what I think. Gerri…. I think you’re a wonderful, and wise, writer…..and you pulled me into your narrative entirely. It’s totally awesome and fulfilling to be able to experience….joy, anticipation, images of a stocky, bearded, red coated fellow trying to stuff himself down my chimney if I have one, or someone else’s if I don’t; to be barely able to sleep the night before the morning when I will awake to Christmas morning splendor; to
    Believe into older age that there are many more generous Santa-like people than not in our world; and to share with those who will allow it the many joys such a season can bring. For me, I am hoping that Santa gets my letter in time to answer one or two of my requests. You don’t have to guess whose teethmarks will be evident on the corner of the packages under the tree…nor guess who will be first to rise and greet the day!!! I wish you and yours the merriest making of Christmas memories. Love, Anita

    • Anita, I think you are a wise and wonderful writer, too. I love your comments. They always are so thoughtful and leave me thinking. Ron and I wish you and your family, human and otherwise, a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Love this Gerri. I agree totally! Is that a picture of your house?? Elaine

  8. I think Santa is magical and I’m so glad I’ll be seeing the faces on my grandchildren when they find their stockings this Christmas! Julie

  9. Are u saying that there is no Santa Claus? I remember those days with little children full of excitement and so anxious for Santa to come. Thanks, Gerri for the walk down memory lane.

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