Itâ€™s time to get rid of the old fat guy in the red suit. I have five good reasons why Santa has to go.
One: Santa is a big fat lie. Letâ€™s face it. Not only is he a lie, but heâ€™s essentially a nation-wide secret combination of parents. Itâ€™s a lie to say he exists when he doesnâ€™t, but itâ€™s a whole new level of deceit to have your kids write letters to the North Pole, or to eat the cookies they leave out on Christmas Eve, or to jingle sleigh bells outside their window, so they believe Santaâ€™s on the roof. â€œThou shall not bear false witness,â€? is still one of the big ten. Donâ€™t we bear false witness of Santa all season long? Can we really justify it by saying itâ€™s all in good fun and the kids get a bunch of free toys? Do we even need the Santa excuse to give our kids gifts?
Two: Santa leads to a betrayal of faith. This is an issue close to my heart. I believed in Santa until I was like eleven and it would lead to arguments all the time at school. People would say that Santa was your parents giving you stuff and Iâ€™d say youâ€™re so stupid, thatâ€™s not true, heâ€™s real. Fisticuffs would ensue and being a lover, not a fighter, Iâ€™d get my butt handed to me. But what hurt worse was that I became a wizard at Santa apologetics. Close analysis of Santaâ€™s handwriting revealed startling similarity to my motherâ€™s handwriting. I reasoned it was coincidence. I noticed Santa wrapped his presents in the same gift paper we had in our closet. I assumed it was just very popular. The lowest point came when I found an empty box from something I had gotten for Christmas in my backyard. I actually, and this is true, told myself it must have just fell out of Santaâ€™s sleigh.
Eventually, wracked with doubt I confronted my mom and she gave me that essay, â€œYes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.â€? Santaâ€™s the Spirit of Giving, it said. What?! That sucked. I wanted my literal Santa back.
Atheists and agnostics frequently compare Christ to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and I can understand why. Is there any reason we should encourage our children to put faith in something that is false and give them the inevitable experience of realizing their believes just donâ€™t hold up to rational thought? Many people grow up prone to doubt just fine without any help from their parents. Is it so far-fetched to say that the ritual realization children go through that Santaâ€™s not real encourages skepticism and discourages faith later in life?
Three: Santa is a corporate tool. The urban legend that our modern version of Santa was created by the Coca-Cola Company is inaccurate, but thereâ€™s no question their advertising department defined what we think of when we think of Santa today. The evolution of Santa in this country is inextricably linked to commerce and the marketing of material goods. Hereâ€™s an informative link on the subject.
The truth is Santa sells. Whatâ€™s the easiest place to find the fat guy? A shopping mall. Parents take their kids to sit on his lap, snap a photo, and find out what the children want purchased in the conveniently located shops nearby. What a fun tradition, you say. Allow me to direct you to a site Steve Evans found that documents the psychological damage these visits have on children. Itâ€™s pretty funny, actually, but my point is we need to open our eyes and see how many times the fat guy in the red suit is cheerfully using products. Heâ€™s a pitch man, not a symbol of giving.
Four: Santa distracts from the celebration of the birth of our Savior. This is so painfully obvious I donâ€™t intend to discuss it at length. As wonderful as gift-giving is, and as neat of a way as it is to commemorate Christâ€™s gift to us, we donâ€™t need Santa to do it. Imagine an alien race digging our civilization up thousands of years from now, who are they going to think this holiday is about, Christ or Santa? I estimate images of the fat guy with black boots outnumber the Savior four to one.
Finally, number five: Santa is intolerant. Thatâ€™s right, I said it. Heâ€™s a nose-ist. Sure, when the fog rolls in he needs Rudolph to lead the sleigh, but where was Santa when Rudolph was marginalized from the reindeer games. Santaâ€™s a white male, isnâ€™t he? Need I say more? The man has something against noses of color. And donâ€™t get me started on the labor camps where elves without health plans slave day and night. No wonder, Herbie wanted to be a dentist.
Can Santa be saved? I donâ€™t know if he can be. In my opinion itâ€™s time to give Santa the heave-ho ho ho.