Today I have been pondering the importance of Santa in the lives of children and our society in general. It has come about from a few discussions I’ve seen on Facebook about people’s children knowing or not knowing about Santa at a certain age. And for some reason it has got me heated up.
To me this isn’t about lying to children. And it isn’t really about Santa either. It is the fact that as adults we seem to guard this piece of wondrous storytelling with so much effort, trying to keep it alive for as long as possible for kids. I have to wonder where else do we deem it imperative to believe the same thing and not tell children anything to the contrary? Where else do we band together to keep a story alive? And where else do we consistently discuss wonder and delight with children?
I have started to wonder if the reason we guard this time for kids so preciously and fiercely is because the adults want the wonder in the story too. We believe that if they find out the truth it “spoils it for them” because then this wondrous time is dead forever.
Are we saying we need to ensure children believe in Santa for as long as possible, because once they know it isn’t true, the wonder and magic of life is over?
But what if we viewed life as wondrous?
The human body is a pretty miraculous thing. As is the development of a child. The universe and constellations are pretty darn amazing as well. Walking through the snow-laden trees and paths here in Canada is like a winter wonderland and I call that magical.
For me the wonder and delight in life happens all the time. Meeting amazing people you connect with is incredible. As is spending your time doing what you love. Finding that person who makes you a better person and you want to spend the rest of your life with; this is all amazing, wondrous, fascinating, astounding stuff!
If we believe and take action then truly remarkable and wondrous things can happen.
It may not be quite in the way we tell the story of Santa, but I believe we are surrounded by wonder and delight and possibilities.
So let’s not be afraid of children finding out that Santa isn’t real. Let’s be afraid that children will stop believing in wonder and stop looking for it.
Children don’t need to be taught this wonder, they have it in spades. What we need to do is help them keep it forever and never lose that amazement in their lives. So come on adults, who is with me in keeping the delight in the world around us and showing kids there is nothing to fear in growing up? Delight, fascination, magic, amazing stories and wonder all around, not just at Christmas time with a man in a red suit.
I feel it necessary to note that I don’t have children of my own, but I am the aunt to five super nieces and nephews. However, I keep the right to change my mind about Santa if one day I do have children of my own!