I love recreating the magic of Santa Claus at Christmas time for my three boys, just as my mum did with me. But each year it becomes more and more stressful because the whole system is far more complicated now than it was ever meant to be. Why can’t it be more simple?!!
Okay, let’s start with writing letters to Santa. I don’t actually ever recall doing this as a child. Instead, I wished for a few small things or talked about them, and somehow Santa always got me stuff I liked. When my eldest two boys were little, I didn’t have to worry about letters because they couldn’t write (like my youngest who’s a toddler), but now it’s ALL about the letter and they think they can ask for whatever they like because Santa is magic and will make it happen (I blame movies, books and the Post Office for this). This year my six-year-old actually asked FOR A PHONE – I told him it was an inappropriate gift and even if he asked for it, Santa wouldn’t bring it.
When I was growing up presents from Santa used to be small toys, trinkets and treats and I felt so excited and grateful to get whatever I was given. The big stuff came from mum and dad and there was a good reason for this – it keeps it real! What if “Santa” can’t afford or even find whatever a child has asked for? I already know my first two boys will feel “ripped off” if they don’t get almost exactly what they wrote in their Santa letter, and they will probably compare presents with their friends and cousins and question why the big guy has appeared to favour someone more. It puts so much pressure on parents and I don’t even consider myself to be struggling financially! What about all of those children who perhaps don’t have parents or are from really poor families? It must be terrible when those kids feel like Santa doesn’t care much for them because Jimmy down the street got an iPad and they only got a tennis ball (or nothing at all!).
Read more about children and Santa:
- “Santa is watching!” The funny little white lies we all tell our kids
- Keeping the magic alive – what to say when your child asks if Santa is real
- Social worker’s plea to parents not to give expensive Santa gifts goes viral
Adding to the confusion and questions I get around the mystery of Santa are all the different Saint Nicks that pop up everywhere. I don’t remember shopping mall Santas appearing so early in November when I was little, and certainly not everywhere you went. There’s a jolly fat guy at every shopping centre pretty much straight after Halloween, and then more appear at other things like preschool end of year concerts and local carol nights. I’ve explained to my bigger boys that they’re Santa’s helpers and not the real deal (anyone can tell those beards are fake), but it just feels a bit too much with everyone trying to jump on the ho bandwagon and I swear it’s going to lead to my boys discovering the truth.
Thanks to modern technology we now have things like Santa apps where you can send him a message and get a phone call back (so obviously fake), naughty and nice meters, or track his movements on Christmas Eve to see where his sleigh is at. And there are Facebook pages and other stuff too. I know the idea behind all of these things is to help make it more magical for kids (and profitable for companies!), but in my opinion, it’s just too much. Why can’t it go back to being simple? I still found it magical!
We need a manual
Somehow I think the Santa system is only going to get more confusing. I know time is limited with my eldest (eight and a half is the average age that they start to get wise apparently), but my youngest is only two so I’ve got quite a few more years to keep up this charade! Can someone please just create a Christmas manual for us parents already? This way at least there will be no more guesswork, everyone will be doing the same things so it will be fair to all children – no matter how rich or poor their families are – and the magic will be more likely to remain for longer. Hiding the presents before Christmas and then sneaking them in on Christmas Eve is hard enough as it is without all the other hoo-ha!
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