Are commercial Santa’s killing Christmas?

December 7, 2013 in Childhood, Christmas, Parenting, Uncategorized by Emma Day

I think this could be the last year that Bunny believes in the magical Father Christmas.

Bunny's first Christmas (2007)

Bunny’s first Christmas (2007)

It started with a few questions last year about how Santa looks different in different pictures and movies. Talk of Santa’s with fake beards, poor quality costumes. Santa’s with broad geographical accents throw further curiosity out there. Last year we even met a Santa of a different ethnic origin!

Then there are the customs and traditions that differ amongst parents. Years ago everyone had a chimney. Different children are given different explanations of how he gets in. Sometimes children get upset if they think they’ve done it wrong. Bunny has a key to leave in the letterbox, her friend doesn’t. She didn’t have the key when she was little, but a relative gave it to her when she was 4 – so how did he get in before that? Sometimes the lies we parents have to tell, to keep the magic alive, get all too much.

Then there are interfering relatives and friends who “phone Santa” or give a present and say it’s from Santa – after you’ve told your children that Santa only comes on Christmas eve. I’ve even heard, via Bunny’s friends, that Santa lives in other places, than the North Pole.

Santa’s elves look different in different Grottos. The traditional Santa wears glasses – so how come lots of Santa’s don’t wear glasses, and why are some of them young?

There are commercial Santa’s with off-white beards. One near where we live, has a dark ash grey beard! What’s that all about?

There used to be one traditional image of what Santa looks like. Now for the sake of bringing in the profits, Santa is everywhere at Christmas and he looks different in every image. I think commercial Santa’s are killing Christmas, because they are putting doubt in our children’s minds. Our children might be little, but their inquisitive minds are not stupid, they work things out.

I was 7years old when I found out Santa wasn’t real, but that was an error on my mums part, because I wasn’t asleep when she brought my stocking in. I also heard the dog come in at the same time.

We took Bunny to see Santa at her school fair the other day, and I have to say, he was the most realistic looking Santa I have ever seen. His attitude was perfect too, but he made one crucial error… he asked her what her name was! Now I didn’t see this as an issue at the time, but when we got in the car Bunny said, “He wasn’t the real Santa, the real Santa would have known my name without asking”.

Well that’s that then. When I was little, there weren’t fake Santa’s, there was only one Santa, and he was real.

I’m reluctant to take Bunny to another grotto – what’s the point if she knows none of them are real? And the amount that shopping centres charge to see him? It’s ludacris – £5 for a photo (which they will then scrutinise every inch of his costume) or more for a present, which turns out to be a £1 book. We are just lining corporate pockets, even grottos are losing their magic.

When Bunny does discover the truth, we will then have the issue of making sure she doesn’t tell her little sisters!

What do you think? Is Santa becoming a joke? Do your children still believe?

***update***
Since writing this post, Bunny has rumbled another “phoney” Santa… Because he was carrying an ASDA bag!!!