Ramona's relationship with Santa got off to a rocky start. She was about 10 months old around the time of her first Christmas, during the throes of the first wave of stranger danger. We foisted her on the very warm-looking Santa (we were in Austin) and now have some hilarious pictures of her and her baby friend screaming on Santa's lap.
|"Get this the fuck off my head, Mom."|
|These people are serious about Christmas. It looks like this all year. Photo Credit: Ken Lund|
We moved to California at the end of 2014 and didn't have the opportunity to go back to Michigan. We did, however, consider going to a different Santa, but Ramona was old enough to remember how scared she was. Every time we walked by the Santa Hut at the local mall, she'd freak out a little bit. We finally decided to tell her that Santa wasn't real. It was something we were already leaning towards but it seemed like a good way to alleviate her fears.
So why were we leaning towards it at all and why have we doubled down on it now that she has teachers and friends and other people she generally trusts tell her that Santa is real?
1. Santa has a social justice problem. We tell kids that if they're good they'll get presents from Santa. What about children from families who can't afford to give them a lavish Christmas? Are they not good too? Santa conflates wealth with goodness. Obviously it's not something you bring up when you tell kids about Santa, but that isn't a deep question, especially considering how competitive kids can get.
2. As much handwaving as you do, telling a child that Santa is real is still lying to them. We work so hard to teach children to be honest with us and each other. We tell kids that lying is wrong. But how do you reconcile this lie? And when they do figure it out or we have to tell them, then what? Either the kiddo figures it out and is upset that their parents and the people they trust have lied to them or they get to the age where you need to tell them and then it's crushing. Why start in the first place?
|Probably what you think I look like|
4. I've spent the past 12 years working really hard to be in the position I am right now. And now I'm supposed to give credit to some old white man for all the presents that I buy her? NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.
- We tell kids to not trust strangers, but it's okay that Santa some how spies on them while they sleep and he knows what they do on a day-to-day basis.
- And then he commits the felony of breaking and entering.
- Also, Santa? Totally breaking the laws of thermodynamics.