Yep, it is that time of year again and the social media channels (the parenting ones anyway) start on the never-ending debate about who does or doesn't do Santa and who can mess it up for everyone else.
Why do people get all pissy about Santa? Every year I hear puffy people telling me that it is wrong to LIE to your kids and that they will be destroyed and messed up when they find out the harsh truth.
Now unless something really harsh happened to them as kids, I really do not recall being that crushed about the whole Santa thing.
NOTHING polarizes parents more than Santa. It is where religion, idealism and perfection of parenting clashes with more debate and bluster. My son Adam told me that a kid in his class is telling everyone that Santa isn't real.
This boy happens to be of a culture and religion that does not do Christmas. Adam and I feel that no matter your beliefs, you have to respect other peoples beliefs, cultures and origins so I tend to get a bit upset when other parents don't feel the same way I do.
Santa may annoy you for whatever reasons: the consumerism of Christmas, the paganism, etc. It is not your place to tell me or my kids that what I am doing is wrong. I have always considered myself an agnostic leaning towards atheism, but with a Protestant background, I respect the right of others to believe what they believe -- as long as it does no harm, and telling my kid that Santa isn't real is harm in my books.
My kids will no doubt figure it out for themselves, like I did. Like the tooth fairy, like monsters under the bed and so on. Reality rushes into childhood fast enough.
Do I like that Christmas is an insane mass of greed hidden among the glitter? No.
But our family will do Christmas OUR way. They have learned the pagan, religious and cultural significance of the holiday -- as much as they care to learn about at this stage anyway -- and Santa is part of that for us.
I am not lying to my kids. I am not fooling them.
Kids are way smarter than we allow. Kids generally allow themselves to be open to belief. That is how imaginations soar and free play gives them their creative outlets. When people tell them that they are "wrong" for that belief, they are telling kids they are wrong for having an imagination. I find that very, very sad. Without the permission to believe there would be no faeries, no dragons, no space aliens, nothing.
We in our house, wholeheartedly give permission to let our kids imaginations run wild.
Follow Kerry Sauriol on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CrunchyCarpets