How Santa is Tragically Hurting Kids

santa_myth_harm

 

Over the years I have read time and again I have read the plea to be mindful about what Santa Brings children. It wasn’t a topic that I sent much time thinking about honestly. It touched my heart but it never really sank in. As my children are homeschooled and Santa isn’t much of a topic in their lives it didn’t effect me much. In summery, the plea says begs parents to have Santa not bring the very best stuff because school children will compare what they Santa brings them and it isn’t fair if Theo, a child of 8 gets socks, and Chris the only child gets an xbox. I thought the idea was not to ruin Santa for kids. I thought the idea was that we should focus on being “fair” and keeping the myth going.

I was wrong.

It took reading this story, as someone whose home was broken into a few months ago, for this all to hit home. Hard.

Facebook Post By Diana Thompson:

When I was 6, our home was burglarized just a few days before Christmas. We came home from school to find wrapping paper strewn through the house from the closet where gifts were hidden. All our gifts had been unwrapped, so the boxes were left behind. We knew exactly what we were not getting. My mom had spent months saving money and paying for gifts on lay-away for 5 children. Every single one was gone. On Christmas eve, we went to the Sears outlet store to find anything cheap that was left. I got the ugliest, scratchiest little teddy bear you ever saw. (Which I still have) It was the one pushed back on the shelf that no one wanted. Christmas morning, my sister and I got a little doll and I had my bear. Everyone else just sat around depressed. When we returned to school, every 1st grader was allowed to bring in one toy for show and tell. I took in my bear. All the kids laughed at me and said that I could not have been a good kid since Santa didn’t bring me anything. Whether we realize it or not, the message that Santa brings to kids -both rich and poor –is ‘you will get what you deserve’ not, ‘what your parents can afford.’ I think that helps to perpetuate the idea that poor children are less deserving and it starts very young. My point is not to solicit sympathy. I think it is important to reframe the concept of Santa so it doesn’t rely on what ‘you deserve.’ The marketing industry has capitalized on this feeling and it creates a division of the classes. It creates anxiety for adults too who feel they must deserve the bigger house and the newer car. Worthiness marketing is a huge industry and it starts with Santa.
    After reading her post I found myself trembling. It was suddenly personal for me. A house that has been robbed is more likely to be robbed again and that is very much increased around the Holidays. From research I know robbers go right for the bedroom closet. I could picture that Christmas for dear Diana when she was 6 so clearly. It well could be our Christmas. Then came the terrible truth she exposed….. we think, we teach, Santa brings us what we deserve.
   At first I denied this truth to myself. Surely I don’t teach my children that Santa brings them what they deserve but then I thought about the other day when I told them to clean up a mess and reminded them Santa is watching. I recalled the other Day when my husband and I reminded them all to be good while our 17 year old watched them so we could “go talk to Santa” and shop. Oh yes, we play into the Santa mythology and yes, we have been teaching our children Santa brings you what you deserve. Oh. My. Word. I had no idea till now how tragic this actually is and as of this moment I have no solution but at least I see the problem and yes, it is a problem.

Do you see this problem with Santa?

Diana Thompson has a website too and I think it deals with issues like this! Check it out at:

 

 

Follow Kimberly Storms (LittleCrunchy) on Google+!

Comments

  1. In many cases – not matter how much money, parents do anything to get the child what it desires (for really young kids, my expierence is that a lot of them automatically choose toys in their fitting price range – measured on what they already got…but we try not to watch that much tv=commercials, that helps a lot) the most and for poor kids this 1 present may be more valued than the 10 presents for a child that is used to get everything at every day of the year. Plus Santa is not only gift bringer – a lot of kids write him and escape their world and sorrows this way. They want to believe just like grown ups hold on to god in hard times.
    Other way to explain: We celebrate christmas cause our godfather gave us the biggest gift of all. That’s why on christmas, we urge to gift the people we love. But as god said – you can only be thanked for on earth or in heaven – the people dont want anything but seeing the kids happy, thats why they just say someone that doesnt want to be known -alias santa- brought the gifts. Still- there is a person behind and although everybody loves its child and gives all he/she can, some are able to give more or less. But it is the love behind that counts.
    I myself loved to hear the stories my parents told me years later – how hard it was to get certain gifts (like the hatchimal now, it was “talking baby sinclair plush” for me- my dad drove more than 1,5h away to get the last one after searching everywhere. That really touches me till today but I guess I would have felt bad as a child- forced to thank way more. Gullible for not being able to give something back. But kids do in believing in santa – help more, be nicer to siblings..
    If you want your kids to believe in santa or not – we should teach them, toys and stuff is never as important as the love and doing good is.