Does Anyone Believe in Santa Claus?
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I was crushed two years ago when, right before Christmas, my then seven-year-old nephew announced that he no longer believed in Santa Claus. Call me old-fashioned, call me a dreamer, but I love when children believe in the fantasy and the magic of Santa Claus.

I know that in recent years there has been much controversy over whether we should teach children about Santa. Some say we are teaching children a lie and eventually they will have to learn the truth—you know, that a fat man with a big white beard and a jolly laugh doesn’t bring presents on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, and that Mommy and Daddy really buy the presents. Some people believe that when children learn the truth, they will be psychologically affected.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am certain that I was not emotionally traumatized when I learned the truth about Santa! Yes, I was disappointed, of course, but just for a moment or so. Whenever I have had psychological problems throughout my life, they weren’t the result of my discovering that Santa didn’t exist, believe me. I have never once said, “I’m so insecure because my family lied to me about Santa,” or “I have trust issues with men because Santa, a prominent male figure in my early childhood, let me down.”

I remember, as a child, being so excited waiting for Santa to arrive and Christmas Eve was the only night of the year I couldn’t wait to go to sleep, knowing that Santa Claus was on his way. I also remember leaving Santa milk and cookies to snack on when he stopped in from his long trip. It was all so much fun and exciting and a big part of the innocence of childhood.

Some people might say that many children these days just can’t believe in the fantasy surrounding Santa. They’re too smart. While I do agree that most children do figure out the truth at a much younger age than children did years ago, I still believe that we should keep the magic, the fantasy, and the innocence as long as possible. I suppose that is the problem right there: children are losing their innocence younger and younger, and it’s really our fault. We want them to grow up. Are we expecting them to make decisions and choices at young ages? And, unfortunately, aren’t we teaching them (out of necessity) about the dangers and evils of the big bad world we live in? Christmas and Santa Claus is part of the good in this world. I happen to love seeing children get excited when they see Santa in a department store and hearing them squeal with delight on Christmas morning because Santa came to their house with lots of presents.

The day my nephew said there was no Santa Claus, I felt as if my heart had dropped into the pit of my belly. I wanted to keep him innocent a little bit longer. I wanted the fantasy to continue in my family. What is so wrong about that?

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