Once a child figures out that you have been lying about Santa Claus for years, how can you expect that child to believe you about anything else? Many regard the tradition of pretending that Santa Claus is real to be relatively harmless, but the reality of the matter is that millions upon millions of Americans have deep psychological scars from being deceived throughout childhood only to find out later in life that everything that they believed about Santa was completely fake. Perhaps it is fun for many parents to play with the minds of their children, but those children do not benefit from investing a tremendous amount of emotional energy into a completely fraudulent narrative that will be cruelly ripped away from them at some point in the future. Our children deserve to know the truth, and the truth is that Santa Claus does not exist.
Sadly, instead of urging parents to tell their children the facts about Santa from the beginning, many mental health professionals continue to give out advice about when it is the “right time to tell kids that there’s no Santa Claus”. For example, the following comes from WebMD…
“There’s really no one right time to tell kids that there’s no Santa Claus,” says Glen Elliott, Ph.D. Elliott is an associate professor and the Director of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. “The important thing is to take your cues from the child, and not try to prolong the fantasy for your own enjoyment when they may be ready to give it up.”
In other words, try to break it to your kids gently that you have been blatantly lying to them for their entire lives.
And once a child realizes that you have been lying about Santa for so many years, they will naturally wonder what else you have been lying about.
In particular, many kids may begin to have doubts about God once they realize that everything they learned about Santa was entirely untrue.
We tell our children that Santa knows everything and that he keeps track of the good things people do and the bad things people do.
Well, so does God.
We tell our children that Santa never changes and that he will always be there for them year after year.
The same is true for God.
We tell our children that Santa gives gifts and that we should bring our requests to him.
The same is true for God.
We tell our children that even though it is literally impossible for a person to visit every home on the entire planet in one night, Santa can do it because Santa is “everywhere”.
The same is true for God.
We tell our children that Santa is only good and that he would never do anything bad.
The same is true for God.
Every December we teach our children to sing songs about a jolly old man with a long white beard that we can’t see, and we tell them to have faith that he will provide all that we need.
Of course, God is often portrayed as having a long white beard, and we are also told to trust Him with our needs.
I could go on and on, but I think that you get the point.
If you lie to your children about Santa Claus, why should they believe anything that you have to tell them about God?
Others have pointed out that the Santa myth actually has a lot of similarities to another prominent figure in the Bible as well. Here is one example…
Consider the evidence: Santa wears red; the Devil is red. Santa is known, alternatively, as St. Nick; one of the Devil’s jocular pseudonyms, in England, is Old Nick. Both are associated with the element of fire (by way of the chimney, in Santa’s case; a little closer to home, in Satan’s case); both live in the far antipodes. (Incidentally, in Dante’s Divine Comedy, the ninth and lowermost circle of hell where Lucifer is imprisoned for eternity isn’t the Mother of All Barbecue Pits, as in the pop imagination, but an icy wasteland—just like the arctic Santa calls home. Oh, and Dante’s Devil is seriously furry, calling to mind the Santa of Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” who is “dressed all in fur from his head to his foot.”)
Over the years, many have noted that “Santa” and “Satan” both use the exact same letters.
Are you sure that is just a coincidence?
From a historical standpoint, our modern Santa Claus comes from drawings by a cartoonist named Thomas Nast in the mid-1800s, and those drawings were based on the way Santa Claus was described in an 1823 poem entitled “A Visit From St. Nicholas” by Clarence Clement Moore.
Prior to that, depictions of “Santa Claus” were much, much different. Those older depictions were primarily inspired by a mishmash of traditions which came over from Europe, and that included very old pagan stories about the Norse god Odin.
For example, did you know that Odin would supposedly fly through the air delivering toys and candy to kids during the time of the Winter Solstice?…
Back in the day of the Vikings, Yule was the time around the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21. Gods and ghosts went soaring above the rooftops on the Wild Ride, the dreaded Oskoreia. One of Odin’s many names was Jólnir (master of Yule). Astride Sleipnir, he led the flying Wild Hunt, accompanied by his sword-maiden Valkyries and a few other gods and assorted ghosts.
The motley gang would fly over the villages and countryside, terrifying any who happened to be out and about at night. But Odin would also deliver toys and candy. Children would fill their boots with straw for Sleipnir, and set them by the hearth. Odin would slip down chimneys and fire holes, leaving his gifts behind.
Does that sound familiar to you at all?
It should because this is where we got the idea of Santa doing the same thing at Christmas.
And did you know that Odin had “a crew of industrious elves” that worked very hard to make gifts for Odin to deliver?…
Everyone knows that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, where his workshop is headquartered. All year long, his crew of elves work hard to produce the gifts that Santa brings to all the children who made it to his “nice” list. Well, according to Norse mythology, Odin also had a crew of industrious elves known as “Odin’s men” who made small gifts for Odin to deliver. The manufacturing did not take place at the North Pole, but many parts of Scandinavia are situated above the Arctic Circle. Odin himself was said to live in a frozen world to the north called Asgard, where he often clashed with icy giants.
I know that it may be painful to learn the truth, but there is more…
Thanks to “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas,” we know that Santa flies through the sky in a magical sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer. Similarly, Odin flies across the sky on an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir. In most stories, Odin sat on the back of the horse, but in many other Norse myths, common animals with the uncommon ability to fly pulled sleighs or chariots for the gods and goddesses. Even the names of Santa’s reindeer, as given by Moore, evoke Odin. “Donner” and “Blitzen” are similar to the Germanic words for “thunder” and “lightning,” both of which were commanded by Odin.
Yes, the story has evolved over time, but it is the same story.
By the way, according to Wikipedia during ancient times people would actually offer “human as well as other sacrificial victims” to Odin.
So the pagan Winter Solstice traditions were not as warm and fuzzy back then as they are today.
If you are a parent, I would encourage you to tell your children the truth from the very beginning.
Santa Claus does not exist, and believing in him is not going to do anyone any good.
Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder
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