Santa Has Got to Go

I prayed to Santa as a kid. I didn't ask for toys but for my family to be taken care of. It was a few years before I stopped praying completely and he was my last hope.

I was embarrassed by this but looking back it was hardly my fault. Why wouldn't kids pray to Santa? Such a massive myth is built up and culturally reinforced with physical proof delivered yearly to kids' homes.

While both Santa & God reinforce morality Santa has the benefit of appearing in commercials on screens. Children are defenseless against this kind of advertising and parents enthusiastically participate.

Ever have your picture taken with Jesus as a kid?

I'm no longer ashamed to admit I prayed to Santa or my current conclusion that the entire Santa lie is just plain awful. Aside from outright lying to children, it takes credit from parents and encourages magical thinking in children. As an artist & teacher, I encourage creative thinking every day but magical thinking can make kids unable to deal with reality because of un-realistic expectations or fears.

Ready for another confession? As a child I was terrified of aliens.

I knew the odds were small. There’s most likely extra terrestrial life and my adult mind now says, 'Why would they come to earth to kidnap this 8 year old boy?' but I wasn't thinking reasonably, I was thinking magically and if in one night Santa can deliver presents to every well behaved, financially stable christian child in the world then aliens can certainly know this kid on Long Island is ripe for abduction. Why not?!

At the time, Santa taught me the world doesn’t always make sense. I lived under the mantra of 'anything can happen' which is both a beautiful & terrifying world for a kid. Adults can compartmentalize by teaching common sense all year and then throw it away for a day but this creates chaos for a child who believes.

Maybe I’m bitter. Maybe I believed too long, resisting the ground swell of facts until I was overwhelmed by the evidence. It’s like finding out you’re on the wrong side of a joke and it hurts. I felt stupid, deceived, selfish & guilty for all the presents I never thanked my parents for and I don’t wish that on future generations.

Am I declaring a War on Christmas? No, but let’s face it: Santa has got to go.

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