Christmas is around the corner, and with Christmas comes the pop culture icon Santa Claus, which raises some serious issues for me. Elliot is two this year, which makes it the first time he really understands Christmas. Already Elliot knows who Santa is. This does not bother me, in itself. The idea of Santa is deeply embedded in our culture and Elliot should be aware of the idea. The problem is that Elliot does not know that Santa is not real.
I try not to lie.
The idea of Santa a nice one. Some guy you have never meet comes to your house and leaves presents, no strings attached. The idea adds a bit of magic to Christmas. Also, there is something amazingly innocent about believing in Santa and innocence is something we value in our children. On the other hand, I believe that Christmas is magical because the people near you make it so. In some ways, off-loading the magic on to some fantasy creature trivializes the spirit of Christmas.
Which still leaves me with my dilemma. How do I reconcile my desire to not mislead my children with my desire to have them fit in with the culture around them?