From a very young age, it is a very common thing that children are told by their parents the wonderful tale of the so-called magical Father Christmas. He is a described to be a large and jolly man, who wears a red and white suit. Every year he is thought to come down the chimney to give them the things their hearts most desire. So, from an extremely vulnerable and gullible age, children are being lied to.
There is a huge focus within this story for children to be good, so that they won’t be put on Santa’s naughty list. This is an evil way that many parents hoax their little ones to not cry all the time and to always try to be obedient.
“All children will eventually find out they’ve been consistently lied to for years, and this might make them wonder what other lies they’ve been told,” says professor Christopher Boyle of the University of Exeter.
This collides with many religious beliefs, such as one of the ten commandments in Christianity: Do not lie. There is a connection to be looked at here when deciding whether or not the Santa tradition goes along with Christian beliefs. Christmas Day is the day that Christians celebrate Christ’s birth, and it is also the day that children believe Santa Claus delivers all their amazing presents. Therefore, when telling children, who are bought up to believe in Christianity, the make-believe story of Father Christmas are the parents detracting away from the importance of the religious aspects that they want Christmas to also be known for.
However, there is an argument to be made here, when looking at the amount of imagination the idea of Santa inspires in young children. The picture of a flying sleigh being led by magical reindeer’s is a truly amazing fantasy to behold. It also increases the amount of excitement and happiness they feel over the wintry months, as they are constantly looking forward to Christmas. There are many teachable moments that the tale of Father Christmas, and other myths and fairy tales provide.
Dr. Ariel Kornblum of Manhattan Psychology Group in New York City argues against the negative aspects of Santa Claus, and states: “The Santa myth, while in some ways may be perceived as lying to children, can also be understood as an extension of imagination within typical child development.”.
This statement is supported by Adds Keya Williams, who says “it’s about teaching them an archetype that represents selfless giving, kindness and unconditional love. All qualities that benefit their mental and emotional development.”
Although there are issues surrounding the question of whether or not the story of Santa Claus should be told to children, as they grow up it is inevitable that the truth will be found out, and the children realise it is only their loved ones leaving the presents under the tree. They will look back and remember the amazing Christmases they had, when believing in Santa, with happy memories and gratefulness.