There’s a lot of debate in the parenting community about Santa. On social media, a plea has been circulating about the gifts Santa gives to children. The anonymous Facebook post reads:
“Not all parents have a ton of cash to spend on making their kids [sic] Christmas special, so it doesn’t make sense to have Santa give your kid a PlayStation4 [sic], a bike, and an iPad, while his best friend at school gets a new hat and mittens from Santa.”
The post argues that “[y]ou can explain the value of money to kids, but you can’t explain Santa’s discrimination to a heartbroken kid.”
And that’s just the beginning.
I’ve read nasty (but passionate) arguments from parents who are totally against telling kids the truth about Santa. “It’s part of the magic of being a kid! You only get to experience it once!” one poster wrote.
But I’m committed to telling my kids the truth about Santa, and that won’t make their holidays any less magical. Why?
Well, take a second and think about all the amazing, magical moments you have in real life. Your baby’s first smile. Your child’s first steps. Landing your dream job. The list goes on.
There’s also things we enjoy – we find magical – that we know are not real.
Take your favorite sitcom or TV drama, for example. Or a movie you love. A great book. Harry Potter at Hogwarts. Meredith Grey at Seattle Grace. Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project. Does the fact that these things aren’t “real” make them any less entertaining? Any less fun? Any less real in our hearts?
The imagination is a big, bold, beautiful thing. When we give ourselves over to imagination, anything we can think of or dream about becomes quite real.
People from all over the world spend thousands of dollars to go to Disney World every single day. They know Disney World isn’t “real”. They know it’s all just a charade. But they harness the power of their imagination and Disney World becomes the “Most Magical Place on Earth”. Disney even calls some of their employees Imagineers (Imagination Engineers).
You see, I don’t think I should lie to my children about fairytales, but I don’t think they should go without imagination or magic in their lives. So, I’m going to tell my kids the truth about Santa: Santa is a fairytale. Santa is a holiday tradition. No, Santa doesn’t shimmy down our imaginary chimney, but despite all of those things, that doesn’t make the spirit of Santa any less real.