If you grew up in the West, and your family was Christian (or just not NOT Christian), then there’s a good chance you woke up Christmas morning to find that Santa Claus had visited your home.
Then, at some point in your young life you learned that everyone had been lying to you. Santa wasn’t real, your parents were buying the gifts, etc.
And honestly, most of us really don’t care because we’re still going to get gifts.
This (childless) guy wonders why parents want to give away the credit to a stranger, though. Why don’t family and friends say “this gift is from someone who loves you?”
Why do we give children illusions about Santa etc on Christmas instead of telling them that you get your loved ones a gift? The latter seems more lovely and is actually the truth from NoStupidQuestions
Why the lies?!
Keep reading to find out what these Redditors think about the whole mess!
16. You don’t want to mess it up for others.
I think the biggest problem with telling young people there’s no Santa is because kids have no filter.
When everyone at school is talking about Santa, they’ll blurt out that Santa isn’t real, and they’ll crush all their classmates.
15. Because it’s fun.
When I was a kid my parents would give me gifts from Santa as well as themselves, so it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
She would also write on other gifts from Frosty the Snowman, from Rudolph, and a bunch of other imaginary christmas characters.
My mother even did this long after we stopped believing just for fun.
14. It’s a powerful force.
My mom didn’t raise us to believe in santa We knew it was her.
We still did all the santa stuff (writing letters, leaving out cookies and milk, etc) though just for fun.
13. That’s part of it.
I always thought it was all a way to get kids to behave. You didn’t want to be put on a naughty list.
Kids deal with having to follow their parent’s rules 24/7/365.
They are much more open to the idea of behaving well for a supernatural, omnipotent being that will reward them with presents if they’re good.
12. Things have gotten out of hand.
Aside from the points people have raised about it just being a bit of fun and excitement for the kids at Christmas, the gifts never used to be lavish and expensive, they were usually just small token gifts or treats – so it wasn’t that Santa had gone out and bought you a new Xbox, it was that the small items you found in your stocking on Christmas morning were left there by a magical man who lives at the North Pole/Lapland and visits good children once a year.
Now the holiday has become entirely about consumerism, the idea of Santa leaving all these gifts seems a bit weird and antiquated. I’m not saying we should abandon it (for the most part it’s a nice tradition and just a bit of fun for the little’uns at Christmas), but as others have pointed out it leaves some kids with awkward questions about why Santa likes little Timmy down the road more than them.
Side note, when I was a kid we had both – we’d get some small “stocking filler” stuff from Father Christmas, but the “main” gifts would always be from our parents.
11. It could be practical.
I know when I was a kid my parents weren’t well off at all and loved budgeting so whenever I got a toy or anything it would be something cheap and small.
Every Christmas i would say “Im asking Santa for this because I know it’s too expensive” And “Santa” would get at least one of the expensive gifts and my parents would give me the smaller things.
I think it was good so I never became more entitled and expected more from my parents. As some of the other posts said it made things magical because not only the lore of santa but it was the one time of year I could get a toy that I often saw the kids at school with.
And once I realized Santa wasn’t real it just made the gifts more special.
10. Four months? I think I’m doing something wrong.
“Santa’s watching” is a good excuse to get your kids to behave for like four months.
It also just makes the day more magical and fun.
9. He’s not without issue.
I used to think it was magical or just a bit of fun until I started teaching.
Every year come January the kids would come in and start talking (sometimes bragging) about what Santa had given them.
Sometimes Santa was extremely generous to certain children, others unfortunately not so much.
You could see some of the other children who were “good” thinking to themselves “why didn’t I get as much as everyone else?” It was actually a little heartbreaking.
8. Simpler times.
Historically speaking, the original Santa was a man who gave to the poor and expected nothing in return.
That’s what Santa is supposed to be and it’s supposed to teach children to be selfless and give even if there’s no incentive.
7. Everyone likes playing pretend.
I never really believed my parents about Santa (I think they made some slip-up really early that I picked up on) but I quite enjoyed buying into the fantasy anyway.
It’s a fun make-believe thing and I think actually lot of kids enjoy it even though they see through it.
Most of what young kids do with their friends is pretending anyway.
6. Because wonder.
I will tell my son about father Christmas to have some magic/wonder and I will also give him gifts from family and tell him it’s family because of the reasons you mentioned.
Christmas can be full of magic and wonder and love.
5. Being “in the know” feels cool.
Same, I remember quite early on in life I I snuck down the stairs in the middle of the night on Xmas Eve and saw my Mum wrapping presents.
I stayed up the rest of the night literally watching out my window just to be sure, and sure enough… nary a plump, white haired man in a red suit with flying reindeer in sight.
The jig was up after that, I told my Mum and she confirmed but asked that I keep it an “big girl” secret (so not to spoil it for everyone else) and I did, kept on playing along with it to my siblings and friends…
4. It creates an experience.
I think it’s a few things:
It’s about giving your kids a magical story which is WAY cool when you’re young, and also, it gives them something that they can talk about with their friends.
If a kid is unhappy with a gift given to them, they can blame “Santa”, and not their parents. Also, it is easier to convince a child that they should be grateful for a stranger gave to them, instead of their own parents. “Maybe it’s not what you wanted, but Santa delivers billions of presents to kids all over the world” will hurt less than a kid finding out their parent doesn’t even know what kind of toys they like, and buying them bad ones.
I think the experience of finding out that Santa isn’t real is a good one. Parents + adults lie, is a good thing to teach to kids, especially if they employ their own reasoning skills to understand this.
3. Because it just happens.
This is what I’ve been saying but nobody believes me. I never believed in Santa because my mom was against it (she was super angry when she found out as a kid). Still loved Santa. Children don’t care.
What is real and what isn’t doesn’t matter to children as it does to adults. They see no value in what is real, they play make-believe all the time. It’s only when you get older (to old to believe in Santa) that you start to pick on how adults differentiate between reality and fairy tales.
2. That’s beautiful.
I used to tell my son when he was little that Santa Claus was the spirit of giving.
Not a real person, in other words. A symbol.
1. Not everyone does it, though.
I was raised with no Santa. My mom did have to tell me other kids believed in him after I tried to let my best friend in on the secret. Anyway, my parents, the ever weird people that they are, and my aunt (also very weird) came up with a different magical Christmas deity, the Cosmic Christmas Jellyfish, when I was four. I’ll explain the CCJ below because Santa probably would have been better.
The Cosmic Christmas Jellyfish (CCJ for short) live deep below the ocean and sometimes comes out and flies in the sky leaving a colorful goo in his wake that some people mistake for the Northern Lights. He is a giant, colorful, magical flying jellyfish. To receive presents on Christmas you must do as follows: 1. Clean your room 2. Leave a pistachio offering out for him 3. Be asleep. If all of those things are done he will eat the pistachios and poop out your presents. If they are not, however, he will rip you limb from limb, eviscerate you, and leave your guts strewn about your room to be discovered in the morning. I had a weird childhood
I was honestly a bit torn on the whole Santa thing when I became a parent, but it just kind of happens, and you know what?
Magic is hard to come by in life. I say let the kids hang onto it for as long as they’d like.