Now that I have a kid, I can’t just be all “pft, whatev, Santa sucks butt, commercialist propaganda, mutter mutter” because there is a whole lifetime of believing (and behaving) to be done before the bubble is burst and Kale finds out that Santa is what Santa is. I have long believed that Santa is, in part, a behavioural modification tool that parents use and abuse at Christmas time to deal with behaviour they find abhorrent while justifying overspending on plastic toys-du-jour. However, I do have to take into consideration that there is another parent who has their own opinions on Santa, and above all, being a united front as parents tops my list of important parenting qualities.
As much as my critical thinking and skeptical side would like to inform Kale right from Christmas 1 that Santa is just an “idea”, perpetuated by everyone because wink wink nudge nudge it’s about the spirit of Christmas and let’s just keep this between us, okay? I realize that its going to be very very difficult to carry this out, never mind the fact that I have already been informed that it would be a complete “shame” if I “ruined” Christmas for Kale so early. Because being honest about make-believe fat men who break into your house, well… I guess that makes me the most horrible parent in the world.
So in acquiescence to those who feel that no child’s Christmas is complete without a visit to Santa, and no grandparent’s/auntie’s/uncle’s/etc Christmas card is complete without photographic evidence of said visit, but still mindful of my “I won’t go into a mall past December 1st” resolution I made 5 years ago and trying to find the happy medium between what Ross believes and what I believe, I did some research and found Father Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum, who is willing to listen to children’s wishes and you can take your own photos. Huzzah.
Father Christmas is the pre-Santa, the Beta-Santa, if you will. He’s a kindly old thin dude, with a long beard and robe – sort of Gandalf type of dude – and was around way before Toys R Us and the Sears Wish Book and iPods and Wii’s were, and is more of a Sinterklaas than a product of a good marketing department at Coca-Cola.
It’s all about happy mediums, right? So our happy family is headed to see Father Christmas on Wednesday, in the afternoon, to try and beat some of the crowds of people.
Ross and I were out walking Mooki and Kale the other night, talking about this. He then brought up The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I didn’t even think about them. Man. I’ve never thought about all this before. What is with all the made-up bearers of gifts? Is it possible to raise children without all these fictions?
How do you, readers who are parents, deal with Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny?