There’s a growing community of parents who are ditching antiquated ideas of Santa in favour of letting Christmas evolve into something new, different, and more reflecting of the twenty-first century.
We all have our own reasons why Santa doesn’t fit into our lives. For some of us, it’s pushback on this societal expectation that we do A, B and C, without any valid reason to why we need to play out the elaborate skit that is Santa because of the Christian undertones that unfortunately dominate society.
For other’s, it’s the financial concerns that come with meeting the Santa expectation. And for some, it’s just freaking creepy to allow a story of an old man entering your house in the night to continue to live on in the minds of children. I’m sure there are even more reasons for why Santa isn’t right for you.
Not all families believe in Santa…
This isn’t even a modern challenge because families have been doing their own thing for generations. The advent of technology, globalisation and diversity in our communities, we begin t learn people do things differently and that’s scary when it could maybe impact your life.
As people begin to learn of our families decided to not do Santa, and just do Christmas our way, we begin to get some pushback about how we are ruining the magic of Christmas… First, of, that’s your perception of this weird holiday and not a universally held belief.
And then, once they realise they can’t convince you Santa and Christmas is the best darn thing to ever happen to society, the panic sets in. Holy shit, if your kids don’t believe in Santa, they might tell my kids that Santa isn’t real… and then the hoax is up, and CHRISTMAS IS RUINED.
It’s not my job to protect your kid from learning the truth about Santa.
I am just going to go about my life this Christmas season being me, and I don’t need to put in that extra effort, that honestly, I don’t have, to protect the “the magic of Christmas” for all the other kids. That’s your job.
My job is to teach my kids that there are different cultures, religions, and family traditions that differ from ours and that we do things this way, and others do it differently. There’s nothing right or wrong in any of these decisions unless they deny our basic human rights.
It’s my job to teach my kids about our traditions and beliefs. It’s my job to raise them in our own culture and religion to become curious adults of the future. None of that has anything to do with telling them they need to play along with the other kids who believe in Santa. That’s not the tradition I want to encourage.
If you want your kids to believe in Santa, that’s entirely your responsibilty and has nothing to do with me and my family’s decision to not do the Santa thing.
We believe in Santa as we believe in Marshall from Paw Patrol, or Olaf from Frozen. They are characters in a book that tell an important story about the human condition and how we can be better people
If you want your kids to believe in Santa, teach them about the different traditions, cultures and religions of the world. Let them know that other kids and families celebrate differently in December and that not every kid is going to believe in Santa. Let them know that just because my kids don’t believe in Santa, doesn’t mean Santa isn’t true for you and your family.
I will raise my kids to be good and not malicious, just as I would if we did believe in Santa.
But please stop telling me it’s my job to protect your Santa lie because it’s not. I don’t have to play the game to help you win the game of Christmas. If you can’t be a that strong voice for Santa magic in your family, maybe it’s not the right narrative to believe in. Maybe it’s not the right tradition for you.
Your traditions are yours. Mine are mine, and I don’t need to go out of my way to protect yours. I will give you the space to practice your traditions, but I will not tell my kids they need to pretend Santa is real because other kids believe in Santa. I will raise my kids to understand there are many different ways to celebrate in December and that we are are kind, accepting, and gracious of those differences.
That is it.
If another internet mom wants to scream at me for not believing in Santa, then go at it. I promise I won’t tell my kids to crush your kids dreams, but it’s up to you to build that kinda belief, and not mine.