Dec 22, 2009
Philosophical Phun - The Santa Myth
Perpetuating the Santa myth has at least these moral reasons against it:
1. It involves a lot of lying and deception practiced on credulous people. The lies get bigger as natural skepticism sets in.
2. It tends to foster greed in children and contributes to their false impression that one’s happiness is determined by one’s material possessions. The whole Santa thing has been relatively recent, mid-19th century.
3. In telling children that the quantity and quality of one’s gifts are a function of one’s behavior, when actually they are a function of one’s socio-economic standing and parental temperament, it induces moral complacency in well-off children and false feelings of moral inferiority in less well-off children.
I had never really thought about it in this manner. I remember staying up late Christmas Eve, chomping carrots and putting them out in the snow, spreading baby powder around the tree and putting footprints in it, taking bites of the cookies, and putting the Santa presents under the tree.
Once the magic of belief is gone, the traditions and expectations you established when they were young become perpetuated into late adolescence and the teen years. I think that it is best to practice minimalism from the get-go, even though that is not easy to do when they are filled with wonder and innocence. The key is to instill early that the true spirit of Christmas is expressing the joy of giving and your love for those who you give to.
What are your thoughts regarding this topic?