Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Mommy I'm Afraid of Santa Claus
She said, "Mommy, I'm afraid of Santa. I don't want him to come in our house while I'm sleeping. Are you sure he's nice?"
I reassured her that Santa was really nice and I would protect her, but internally I was speechless. I'd never thought of it like that before, but really, what a bizarre custom! Think about it. We are essentially saying, "Some night soon, a strange man will enter our house while we are all sleeping. Yes, he is a stranger, but it's okay that he sneaks in through our chimney. Oh, and little people called elves are locked up in a small house making your presents and then Santa will FLY in the sky to bring you presents, even though no one else you know can fly. Then in a few years we will break the news that he isn't real at all and there are no elves and no reindeer."
I remember when I found out Santa wasn't real. I was so hurt and betrayed. I don't know if I ever trusted my parents in the same way again. It was the first time that I realized my parents maybe aren't always truthful. When I remembered how hurt I was as a kid, there was a small part of me that wished I could protect my kids from this, but at the same time, we don't want to be the weirdos who don't believe in Santa Claus. That's not going to win my kids any popularity contests.
I decided to research Santa and this is what I found out:
- There was a Monk back in the 3rd century who used to be known for giving gifts to children. He was eventually accepted as a Saint and legends began to surface about "St. Nicholas"
- Santa Claus wasn't well-known in America until Clement Clark Moore wrote the poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas", published in 1823.
- The red Santa Suit was created for Coca-Cola commercials in 1931. Prior to the Coca-Cola commercials, Santa did not wear a red suit at all, and wasn't fat or jolly
- Rudolph was also created solely for commercial purposes, and in this case, for Montgomery Ward department store in 1939
- Santa the way we know him isn't known all over the world. Countries in Europe all have different customs for Christmas, and none of them include a jolly, fat Santa sneaking down a chimney
*** To research Santa, I used the following websites:
***The above caption is no longer subject to copyright because it has expired