Is It Ok for Kids to Believe in Santa?
Father Christmas, now widely seen as the Santa Claus figure, dates back to the 16th century in England during the reign of Henry VIII. He’s pictured as a large man in green or scarlet robes lined with fur. He symbolized the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, bringing peace, joy, and good food.
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop. He was recognized for his generous gifts to the poor and was very religious from an early age, devoting his life entirely to Christianity. During the Middle Ages, children were bestowed gifts in his honor.
In 1821 New York, the book, A New-Year’s Present, to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve, was published. It contained an anonymous poem, Old Santeclaus, describing an old man on a reindeer sleigh, bringing presents to children. Modern ideas of Santa Claus came to be after the anonymous publication of a poem in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823. The poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas (better known today as The Night Before Christmas) was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore.
Lots of people these days seem to think that Santa Claus is no longer politically correct. WOW! Did that shock you? Many won’t tell their young children about Santa because they say they don’t want to lie to them. REALLY?
I’m a grandmother in my fifties and I believed in Santa back in the 1960s. No harm came to me and I did not suffer from believing in a magical person that came delivering a bundle of toys he had flung on his back:
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
I will admit that I never saw Santa in person and I didn’t ever get a chance to sit on his lap and tell him my wishes but I did write letters to him. Talking about Santa wouldn’t be complete with mentioning the North Pole, elves, reindeer, and sleigh. I have fond memories of Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. They’re all from my childhood and believing in any of them did not damage me.
My adult children knew about Santa when they were children. They knew even more about him than I did. They got to see him during the month of December in a store or mall. They got to sit on his lap and talk to him to tell him their wishes. Sometimes Santa would come to their school or show up in a parade. They have photos taken with Santa that they can look back at and recall their memories.
Now with modern technology, my grandbabies have received phone calls from Santa, received personalized videos from Santa via the computer, and have tracked him online the night before Christmas via NORAD’s Santa Tracker. This techie Grammy (yes, I love new tech, gadgets, and awesome computer software) always manages to take a photo of the Christmas tree at night, all lit up with guess who standing next to it? YES, Santa himself. The grandbabies are so surprised when they see the photo the next morning on Grammy’s iPhone – proof that Santa was here! Of course they also check and see if he ate the milk and cookies they left for him.
Having Santa absent from Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas. Santa doesn’t take away from the real reason we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus.
Is it ok for kids to believe in Santa, what are your thoughts?