Explaining Santa and His Mysterious Ways
So I saw an interesting photo on a friend’s Facebook wall:
Which is an interesting point and one I never thought about before; mostly because the gifts my kids receive (with the exception of money from the tooth fairy) comes from humans they know. Discrepancies with money from the tooth fairy can be explained with the idea that there is more than one tooth fairy. There is a tooth fairy army. And the fairy assigned to our house gives X amount, and the fairy assigned to your friend’s house gives Y amount, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Regardless, the difference in amount is usually a couple of quarters.
But how do you explain to a child that Santa brought the bully in the class the XBox he always wanted and brought your child some new underwear, despite your child also asking for an XBox? How do you explain to your child why Santa didn’t fulfill their wish items and instead went rogue with the gift giving whereas stuck to another child’s entire list that they uttered on his lap at the mall?
The first recess after winter break seems to be a big conference on “what did Santa bring you for Christmas?” Kids tell each other what they got. And I know the message is supposed to be of gracious acceptance; being happy with whatever gifts you are given. But let’s be frank — how can you not internalize the discrepancies when you see one being (Santa) treating various children differently? How can you not think you are the best kid ever or the worst kid ever if you see how different your experience is from your classmates; especially when the message of Santa is that he is judging you, seeing when you’re sleeping and awake, and giving out toys (or a lump of coal) befitting of your behaviour?
And yes, I know that most people don’t present Santa in the manner of omniscient decision maker, but even if you don’t state it outright, you can’t sing “Frosty the Snowman” or read Elf on a Shelf and not expect your child to pick up on that message. Even I know what is said about Santa, and I’ve never celebrated Christmas.
Life isn’t fair or equal. People have very different experiences interacting with the same person. I know this and you know this. And kids will learn this, too. But somehow, Santa seems the wrong person to inadvertently teach this lesson, you know? He’s supposed to embody happiness, generosity, kindness. So how do you explain why he isn’t consistent with the gift giving?
I’m curious how other people react to that woman’s request to keep the smaller gifts from Santa and make the bigger gifts from parents in order to even out the story. Do you do something similar? Do you wish this was the case? Do you think kids just need to deal — I mean, this isn’t a new thing. Poor Laura Ingalls had to deal with this when Pa brought her a tin cup, and I’m sure Nellie Olson got something like a doll. How do you handle/explain this?
[Side Note Reminder: Tomorrow is #MicroblogMonday. Write your post.]