I am anti-Santa.
Yep, I’ve said it and I’m prepared for all the hate that will come my way.
I believed in Santa growing up. There were some things about him that didn’t make sense, but I chose to ignore them and keep believing. I loved the idea of Santa. Well, I loved the idea of free presents, anyway.
I believed in Santa till I was 10 (yes, I was a gullible child). When my mother finally told me he wasn’t real – and neither was the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy – I was genuinely shocked. I felt stupid. I felt betrayed. I felt sad. So there wasn’t really any magic in the world. So things don’t come for free.
I swore that I would never lie to my kids about Santa. And I haven’t.
From the time they were little, I’ve told my daughter and son that their dad and I buy presents for them at Christmas, and that Santa is just a myth. (I’ve also told my kids not to spoil it for other kids, and they’re careful not to.)
LISTEN: Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo discuss what to do when your kids begin wising up about Mr. Claus. Post continues after.
You see, I have a lot of problems with Santa.
Some children hate being forced to sit on a strange man’s lap (my younger sister would burst into tears every time my parents tried to get her to do it).
Cash-strapped families are put under extra pressure to buy expensive gifts (remember, Santa gives more toys to good kids).
And with some kids finding out the truth before others, there are always going to be awkward situations at school (I have a relative who felt humiliated when he kept insisting to his friends that Santa was real because his mum had told him so).
But my main issue is with the lie. I can understand lying to kids to avoid upsetting or scaring them, but why make up a big, fat fib like this one? Christmas is special enough without it.