Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus

As you know, I teach grade two.  My students are seven-years-old.  Yesterday, three of them were choosing to shout across the classroom, "NO. Santa Claus is JUST YOUR PARENTS."  Other students were shouting back, "NO!  Santa IS SO real!".

Sigggghhh.  I hate this part.  I hate when kids are ruining childhood magic for other kids.  These kids are SEVEN, Santa should be REAL to them. 

I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas, but I wish we wouldn't take away childhood magic so quickly.  Some parents are just choosing "not to bother" with Santa or the Tooth Fairy -- just because they feel it's "unethical" to be "lying to their children".  I am not trying to be controversial, I'm just sharing my opinion, but I feel like that's just being unfair to what childhood IS.  Why do we need our kids to grow up so fast?  Some parents hurry them onto technology, hurry them on to learning about world issues, and take away magical, imaginative experiences by wanting their children to just grow up already.  I see this at my school, and I'm so sad about it.

I believe in the magic of childhood.  Childhood is this one, short, sacred time.   Lifespans are longer, people, they're going to be adults from 18 to 80 at least!

Santa Claus is SO REAL.  I told my students that Yes, Of Course Saint Nicholas is Real, and then moved on.  Later, I pulled my three disbelieving boys aside.  I said the following:

"It's okay if you don't believe in Santa Claus, though the spirit of Santa is what Christmas can be about.  Remember we just learned about traditions and celebrations?  For some families, Santa is an important tradition.  Please don't take that tradition away from your friends, it's not your job to do that."

I don't want my generation to take the magic of childhood away from our children.  At the very least, if you don't want to participate in Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy traditions please abide by The Code -- teach your own children that they are NOT to spill the beans!  If you are to tell your very young children that Santa Claus doesn't exist, at least explain to them that the spirit of Santa Claus is important for other children.

And for the love of whatever you believe in let children be children.  Let there be some magic and imagination!

/end Christmas rant.

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  1. No, I'd say that saying something is "unfair to childhood" and "ruining childhood magic" (not to mention fighting words like "should be") is indeed being controversial. OWN it, sister!

    We don't teach our children that Santa or the Tooth Fairy are real, but I assure you that "not wanting to bother" or "wanting kids to grow up too fast" or "taking away imaginative experiences" are not our motivations.

    But I agree that children should not be telling other children there isn't a Santa. We sternly instruct our children that telling other kids there's no Santa is one of the worst things a person can do. I'm not sure, though, that children can be counted on to understand and implement that instruction, because the parts of their brains that can process WHY it's such a bad thing to do are not yet in place.

  2. LOL. Well, I don't like to stir the pot. I understand there are other reasons for not doing Santa, but what I'm talking more about are the actual families that are doing it for the reasons I mentioned... because I'm seeing that in my generation, and it makes me sad (because it isn't the right reason not to do Santa stuff, is my personal belief). I'm totally understanding that not every family will do these things, but it's just irking me the way it's handled with kids in my school.

    And yeah, I know kids will be kids, but I just wanted a reminder out there for parents to continue to remind their children not to ruin it for others. At least not at age seven... it's too young, haha. (And my line about taking away childhood magic was directed at the kids who tell the truth, not at the parents, there).

    I think you probably DO give your children playtime and imaginative experiences, so I don't mean YOU when I write this post. Beyond Santa, I'm seeing so many children in my school (it's partly a cultural thing, and I will be honest about that) with ZERO imagination, as they aren't allowed much freedom or playtime. It makes me super sad!

  3. Oh, oops.. my line about "should be real to them" was also again, meant at the kids not the parents. I just meant that kids who do have the Santa tradition, at age seven still should get the chance to believe in it.

    I tend to write from a kid's perspective admonishing other kids, being that I spend my day with 20 kids of the same age... LOL.

    I just do understand that not every family will have a Santa Claus tradition, but I meant to be writing about the unfairness of losing that magic too young IF the kids already have that tradition in their home. And, admonishing only those parents who are not doing Santa for the wrong reasons, which I have been seeing.

    I hope that explains myself a bit better, I was being ranty before, I know. hahaha.


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