There have been a lot of posts recently about how telling children that Father Christmas is real is damaging them. How we are teaching our children not to trust us. How they will lose faith in us as parents if we perpetuate the myth.
Well…I would dare anyone to watch this video and tell me that believing in Santa is a bad thing. This little boy’s belief gave him joy, and magic, right to the end of his life, literally. Magic and belief that his family gave to him. Comfort at the end of his short life, when he was probably feeling very scared and confused. It is one of the saddest, but also most beautiful things I have ever watched. What Eric Schmitt-Matzen did for that little boy is beyond measure. And by the same token, what his family did for him – because of them and their ability to inject magic into their son’s life – he died happy, and at peace.
I have always told my children that Father Christmas is real and I will never apologise for that. None of them are damaged. None of them are traumatised. And ALL of them trust me with their lives, and yes…before you ask, I have talked at length to them about it. They trust me, they know I will never lie to them. But putting magic and wonder into a child’s life isn’t lying, it is giving them something truly wonderful. Something they will look back on for decades to come.
Taking them into the garden when it’s dark on Christmas Eve and pointing out the International Space Station as it crosses the sky, and telling them it is Santa’s sleigh is simply adding to the magic.
Queuing up to go and talk to Santa in his grotto isn’t lying, it is simply adding to the magic.
Putting all the presents under the tree and telling them Father Christmas has come is simply adding to the magic.
And eating that mince pie and taking a bite out of the carrot they have left out for the big man and his reindeer on Christmas Eve is…yep, you’ve guessed it…simply adding to the magic.
Yesterday was my birthday, and my girls took me for afternoon tea. While we were there, entirely unplanned, Father Christmas took a break from his grotto and came in to the restaurant to talk to some of the diners. My 2 year old Grandson’s face, when Santa came to talk to him, was pure gold. I will never forget that moment. The wide-eyed wonder as Father Christmas crouched down next to him and talked to him, and counted with him, is something no amount of money can buy.
Why would you deprive a child of that? If it’s done correctly there is no damage done. You are simply giving a child some colour, some magic, some wonder in a world of sadness. They will learn soon enough that life is not rainbows and unicorns, Santas and elves – why not let them have that innocence as long as they can hold on to it?
I call BS on the studies and papers written on this – the Grinches of this world can tell me I damaged my children all they like. All I can say is that I feel sorry for them, their Christmases must have been pretty bleak when they were children.