In our modern world of political correctness, age old traditions are falling by the wayside. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are slowly taking a backseat in tradition. The once enamored, jolly old fellow is not so healthy with his big, fat belly as he seems to only project a lie to children. What kind of role model is Santa these days, along with his other comrads of imagination? A perpetuated lie, a myth, a story or just a dream for children’s imagination. Santa does not believe in the tooth fairy anymore, because Santa is an adult that has grown up to know the real world.
Santa, the beloved giver of gifts at Christmas time, has evolved through the ages over time for close to 2000 years. A do-gooder named Nicholas started bestowing gifts to the poor, out of the kindness of his heart, around 270 A.D. He became the patron of children and many followed in his footsteps. The most famous being Sinterklaas of The Netherlands in the late 1700’s. The names were melded together yielding good old St. Nick and Santa Claus. The tales of good deeds to children has been a lasting tale of yore and well attached to the Christmas of modern times.
Santa is a fictional character based on real sacrificial love and giving. His story has grown to massive proportions through created legends, myths and family traditions, as well as fascination with imagination. The aura of the beloved icon is based on truth of those that have given to others through a kindred spirit of love, but the figure has gone on to become commercialized and exaggerated for centuries. The fur lined traveler with leather boots, can somehow travel the world in one day and carry a multitude of gifts in one sleigh, meeting all the needs and wants of children’s dreams around the globe. How is that even possible?
Santa is in on the hoax of the continuous lies of parents. Traditions are real and the fictitious characters seem to get top billing while raising a child. The Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are guilty as well, as parents scramble to prolong the tale of unexpected gifts and wishes come true. Imagination and fantasy is all fine and good, but soon the day will come when the truth rears its ugly head. The unending questions from older siblings, the pressure from relatives and neighbors to keep the secret and the worry of the big reveal from school classmates, haunts parents as they strive to delay the truth.
Equality and a trophy for everyone makes all things fair. The day after a holiday is not fair among youngsters as they compare their loot from Santa, the cash they received from the tooth fairy or the extra gifts besides candy from the Easter Bunny. Kids are smarter than we think. They know it is all a lie, but are willing to believe beyond the horn-rimmed glasses and fake beard of the mall Santa for one more year. The truth eventually seeps out like not being young enough to trick 0r treat anymore. The truth takes all the fun away.
Entitlement and living life through a child’s eyes quickly appears as kids grow into adults. The truth of Santa has long been accepted and enjoyed, but is not an equal giver when the kids go back school, talking about their gifts of electronics compared with a mere set of pajamas. Life is not fair, and to extend the wishes of those who believe they will get $20 from the tooth fairy while their friends may find a single dollar under the pillow, only promotes the feeling of deserving more.
Parental lies, or myths we like to tell can be fun, but in the long run can be a damaging trait many take on throughout their lives. Issues of distrust can actually occur from holiday myths. The fantasy life beyond the realities of life in the world, often takes on forms of celebrity and sports worship. The hope, dreams and lies of Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny promote big business with consumerism, materialism and greediness. An unfair advantage is running wild with the continuous script of these long time characters. As adults make up for their lost childhoods and bestow the traditional rites of passage to their children, Santa has long forgotten the Tooth Fairy.
Editorial by: Roanne H. FitzGibbon