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Dec 9, 2008

Here comes Santa Claus

I've been watching Christmas movies most weekends with my wife in an effort to brianwash her into loving Christmas as much as I do.

One thing about the holidays is that since she was raised in a Daoist Taiwan household, she has no real background in Christmas festivities (other than what she's seen on TV). And she was actually shocked when I told her about the grand conspiracy that goes on to convince children that Santa exists until they're 8-10 years old (8 is the average).

So that brings me to my question here, especially aimed at getting a dialogue going between Taiwanese and foreigners: how do you all feel about Santa? How do you feel about the vast efforts to convince children there's Santa (think: department store Santa, letter writing, NORAD 'tracking' Santa's path, the milk and cookies, having uncles break in to lay presents, adults saying they've spotted elves around, hiding presents until Christmas eve, etc. etc.)?

3 comments:

D. Corey Sanderson said...

Umm...I think to avoid disillusionment in the future, if I had kids I would avoid my child believing in Santa Claus. I've never been a big fan anyway, he is kind of freakish...and promotes breaking and entering. If the Hamburgaler has been deemed "immoral" by American society, why shouldn't Santa Claus? I mean, he is spreading thievery and capitalism!

Yeah...might as well not have a heart to break than have to "break it to them" eventually. Though, I'd miss out on the cookies...but I probably would've bought them anyway.

Tony Pace said...

I feel Santa Claus has a meaningful purpose beyond the commercial one - which is to teach children that adults lie, and much of what people say about how and why things happen is not true. It's a form of self defense against marketing and politics.

When I see the way people buy a lot of obvious political lies both here and elsewhere, I can't help but think a little preplanned disillusionment is a valuable lesson.

That said, Santa Claus is Coming to Town still gives me the creeps.

Thomas said...

Tony, I kind of doubt Santa's purpose is to teach children that adults lie. Even for people who come from loving households, such as myself, you don't need the myth of Santa to prove that your parents, like all humans, are less than truthful (intentionally or not) about many things.

I buy into the argument that it is simply a selfish way for adults to kid themselves that they are preserving the innocence of their children. As long as the little ones know Santa exists, there must still be some good in their world, and therefore I, as a parent, MUST be doing my job to preserve them from harm.