Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reflections on the Man in the Red Suit

It's interesting to hear parents talk about Santa Claus.  Parents who celebrate Christmas tend to include him in the celebration.  Parents who don't celebrate Christmas tend to tolerate him.  It's the few that fall outside those norms that puzzle me.

While waiting for the girls to come out of a gymnastics class, I overheard one mom tell another mom that they won't allow their daughter to believe in Santa.  This mom told her daughter that Santa is the work of the Devil and allowing him into a Christmas celebration condems you to a life burning in, well, you know where.  My first thought was, "huh?"  It's a bit dramatic to say that Santa is the root of such evil.  How about, "Our family doesn't focus on Santa for Christmas?"  Even if you don't choose to include Santa in your holiday celebrations, why he have to be the bad guy?  She said her daughter was afraid of Santa, and she was happy that she kept her daughter from going down the path to evil. 

Wow.  Talk about a dramatic streak.  Let's just say I don't chat with that mom while waiting for gymnastics to end.  I'm happy to let her have her beliefs.  I just don't want to be subjected to them.

I also ran into another mom who told her children that Santa was old and might die before he could deliver presents on Christmas Eve.  It was another "huh?" moment for me.  I understand not having the money or time or interest to pursue the traditional Santa-based Christmas, but killing off Santa?  Really?  She didn't understand why her statement caused her children to sob.  She was mad that they started crying. 

I'm not saying everyone has to include Santa in their Christmas events, but I just don't understand why those who don't feel the need to be so dramatic about it.  After all, what has Santa ever done to deserve such a harsh fate?

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