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Do You Believe in Santa Claus?
image A British psychiatrist, Lynda Breen, has concluded that belief in Santa Claus is actually good for the moral development of children. Apparently believing in the existence of a jolly red-suited man who "'knows if you've been bad or good' helps teach children the difference between right and wrong." As much as my first inclination is to make a sarcastic remark about this, I think I'm going to hold back since there's a whole slew of fantastic beings whose existence I find myself very reluctant to deny, especially when kids are around: jackalopes, Nessie, Roswell aliens, etc. Of course, none of these creatures offer any kind of moral example, so Dr. Breen would probably say that belief in them is unhealthy.
Folklore/Tall Tales
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 02, 2004


It doesn't help them learn the difference between right and wrong. It tells them that if they're good. they'll receive gifts. In the real world, you don't get gifts for being good.
Posted by John  on  Thu Dec 02, 2004  at  06:50 PM
Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel "Hogfather" is a must read for holding up a mirror to Christmas activities.

For example, the mall manager explaining to the cops why he wants them to remove the fake store Santa Claus.
Posted by Andy  in  New Zealand  on  Thu Dec 02, 2004  at  08:16 PM
RE Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather" - don't forget about the presents - people should get what the deserve, not what they want! That's a good way of instilling good behavour in kids - Bribery!
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Thu Dec 02, 2004  at  09:31 PM
So that's total bull. If she was any sort of psychiatrist, she'd have heard of a famous psychologist named Montessorri. She had a nice little theory about fantasy play. Most 3, 4, 5 year olds can make good self judgements and have confidence in their own abilities to interpret their world as they learn about it. Throw Santa and other imaginaries in there and you mess up any and all confidence they have in reality as fixed and understandable. They'll have to learn a whole new reality when they get old enough and they'll learn not to trust your word as reference. Plus the whole good and bad thing just makes them dependent on external forces for approval which makes for the homecoming queens and yuppies of the future. How much of your kid's intrinsic abilities are you willing to sacrafice for them to "be good for Santa" ?
Posted by Heidi  on  Thu Dec 02, 2004  at  09:35 PM
Does anyone see the connection btw Santa Claus and God??? Santa can see everything you do, and rewards you if you're good - which is ultimately up to him. God can see everything you do, and "rewards" you if you're good - which is ultimately up to him? I bet it's a conspiracy.
Posted by Cathy  on  Thu Dec 02, 2004  at  11:15 PM
yes jebus and santa are much alike. i want a little kid to ask his 'rents "santa isnt real? what about the easter bunny? WHAT? what about jebus? ive been being good and going to church for nothing!!!?!?"

that would make my day...

ultimately, the santa jesus analogy proves that you can train your little child to believe anything. to be honest, it seems pretty messed up to program religion into your child when theyre at such an impressionable age.
/end rant
Posted by sam  in  medford  on  Thu Dec 02, 2004  at  11:43 PM
Are we ALL so jaded? How about - Relax, enjoy the holiday festivities, and try to support our troops overseas, who can't be with their families for Xmas, etc. Happy New Year, Alex, and fellow fans of the Museum of Hoaxes!!
Posted by stork  in  the spiracles of space  on  Fri Dec 03, 2004  at  12:05 AM
I think belief in Santa Claus is very healthy for children, because eventually they always figure out it's a lie. This teaches them several important life lessons in a very visceral way:

1. Don't trust adults. Even the ones that love you very much will lie to you to get what they want out of you.

2. You should always question what authority figures tell you is the truth. They might be lying just to manipulate you.

3. When you hear stories of mystical beings who watch you from the sky and punish or reward your behavior, distrust them. They could prove to be just as false as that Santa Claus thing.

Santa Claus has led to the enlightenment of more atheists, agnostics, and other free-thinking, mature, responsible adult minds than you might realize. The lesson isn't 'be good', it's 'question bullshit, see how easily we fooled you by taking advantage of your greed?'. Once a kid realizes the Santa conspiracy, if he's even a little smart, he'll never trust the Man again.

The fact that this very reason-based and secular lesson is smuggled in beneath a veneer of religious holiday spirit is irony almost too rich to bear.

Do your part: do the Santa thing for your kids. The inevitable turning point in their credulity will do them a world of good later. Better they are disappointed ten-year-olds than bitter old men and women on their deathbeds who only realize they've been had by the Man after a lifetime of church-going, flag-waving, and voting for Republicans, right?
Posted by Barghest  on  Fri Dec 03, 2004  at  07:00 AM
gush, you are so lonely..
Posted by Loxx  on  Fri Dec 03, 2004  at  11:32 AM
Sometimes there are good reasons to lie to children, but Santa isn't one of them. Santa can be presented as myth, but presenting him as real and manipulating their environment so they believe he is real, is a complex hoax. When you mulitiply it by the number of children this hoax is perpetrated upon, it's a wonder anyone can advocate a deception of this magnitude without being in politics.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Sat Dec 04, 2004  at  09:38 AM
Very disappointed by the negative reaction to this fine british thinker's opinion.

It is indeed very healthy to cherish a belief in a semi-supernatural entity that knows when you've been good or bad. Just ask the former citizens of East Berlin, who once made the foolhardy decision to *get rid of their secret police*.

East Germany? ***Where is it now?***
Posted by gordon k  in  Glasgow  on  Sat Dec 04, 2004  at  11:39 PM
Can't you just have fun? I can't remember a time when I deffinately thought Santa was real...but my brother? He was CRUSHED when, one day he looked at my mom and asked, "Mom, I'm old enough to know. Is Santa real?" He tried to hold back his little 9 year old tears...but a few escaped. On the other hand, my mom wasn't sure when I knew the difference...She just recalls that by the time I was 3 I knew exactly what was going on. I still get presents from "Santa" & every now & again I'll get a gift from a reindeer! My brother is over being upset about Santa. He says that when he has kids he'll let them believe in Santa.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Dec 05, 2004  at  11:15 AM
Maegan how old are you?

Sam: Who's "Jebus?" Jesus with a B?
Posted by John  on  Sun Dec 05, 2004  at  05:33 PM
Kids grow up believing in FC, then discover he's mum and dad... and thereby learn that the warm figure of love, the gift-giver, the one who cares what they do is none other than those demonized parents, and thereby learns how much mummy and daddy care... ahhh...
Posted by Paul in Prague  on  Mon Dec 06, 2004  at  08:27 AM
I'm 21. And I don't mean that I think Santa actually leaves gifts. But my mom sticks things under the tree, "From: The Elves/Rudolph/Mrs. C", so when I come over on Christmas morning it's supposed to seem magical...since it's not magical (to me) in my own house anymore...cuz I'm the one leaving the presents out.

It's just a cutesy tradition we have. Rudolph tends to give animal-related gifts. Mrs. C gives bath stuff...the Elves always give electronics.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Mon Dec 06, 2004  at  03:10 PM
We usually recieve presents from our cats.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Tue Dec 07, 2004  at  09:21 AM
before i start this is a true ! experament i also apolagize to any splling mistakes.me and my husband robert have two children. riley 10 and jamie-lynn 5 . last christmas we told them about santa again. so me and robert decided to do a little experament. on chrismas eve we left down-stairs as normal jamie and riley would leave treats for santa as usual. we didnt buy any presants for them only 1s off us Not santa.
and that night we slept as normal.
we got woken up by jamie jumping on r bed shouting joyfully hes come hes come . my eyes widend really sweetie ?? yes she had the biggest smile on her face . go and wake riley and take her downstairs. as jamie went out the room i wispered to robert did you here that ?? every word h replied. riley and jamie came running in hes really come mum . said riley .me and robert got out of bed and went into the living room . We cudent belive are eyes . he really had come.
i hink the only reasons my parents and roberts told us he wasnt eal was to get bullys away.
if your not sure do this experament like me and robert did . rust e it will work !!!!. chloe thomas liverpool.
Posted by chloe thomas  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  01:13 PM
chloe i did the exact same with my children and santa and it really did work !!!
thank you someone had the guts to put a message on this websie like this . I really respect you .
Mary Lomax
Posted by Mary lomax  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  01:18 PM
santa claus is rel one time he arrived in the sleigh at my neighbors house we saw his sleigh th top of the roof with all the raindeer lined up and rouldoulph so lady forget that hes not real because he is GOT THAT!OK THANX FOR YOU TIME
Posted by brianna  in  home  on  Sat Nov 26, 2005  at  06:43 PM
santa is real lady put it in your mind do not forget and im only 7 so you better watch out you better not be naughty lady let me ask you a question who put the gifts under your tree?this is what youll say uh my mom and dad put them under the tree well guess what you lady uncorectto he is real stick it in your mind if you do there will be serios consequences p.s u better believe in him
Posted by alea  in  home  on  Sat Nov 26, 2005  at  06:51 PM
Not allowing your child to belive in Santa Claus? Why not let your child dream while they're still young? Oh right, I forgot, allowing your child to belive in Santa Claus will cause them to no longer trust adults, or to question authority figures, eh? I am a 14 year old girl who belived in Santa until I was about 10. And I do not distrust my parents, or question my teachers, wondering, "Hm, Ms. Smith says that Abraham lincoln was a U.S. president, but you know, my parents DID once tell me that Santa existed, so perhaps Ms. Smith is lying to me!" Ha. So, while we're at it, lets tell children that Disneyworld is just a clever combination of well-crafted machines and a man with a large imagination, or that a sunset is simply light reflecting off water vapor in differnt ways (please note my extreme sarcasm)

Jeez. you guys are no fun at all!
Posted by Ellen  on  Sun Dec 04, 2005  at  07:28 PM
hi,
im 10 years old and belive in santa clouse! but people dont think so.my mom tells me there is such thing as santa, my cousin ashley also belives in him.me and her are almost the only 5th and 6th graders that do! i do and i dont want to learn the truth about him. but why dont people belive in him?
Posted by heather kirklin  in  north branch  on  Tue Dec 06, 2005  at  05:03 PM
Santa Claus as an authority figure. One of many many dissapointments in life. Other than trying my patience and otherwise pissing me off in general pretty much most of my life, I can't see what family in general and Christians in particular are good for. Only my father joined alternate "different" religions one right after another till one suited him the best. After trying many weird religions myself I think that worshiping Satan and knowing who the true Lord of this world is, by far, the best thing I have ever done. I also feel much better about myself rather than having the wool pulled over my eyes for the rest of my life! I'm happy with my decision, are you? The Joy of Satan website sets things straight!I don't have to be duped into stupid Christianity like most average boring American citizens!!! So there!!! Have a stupid boring XMAS all you dumb Xtians!!!HA!HA!HA!!!
Posted by SNAP  in  California  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  09:59 PM
SANTA IS REAL PEOPLE IM ELEVEN AND I STILL BELIVE IN HIM YOU SOULD TO IT IS NOT STUPID IF YOU BELIVE IN HIM TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND TELL THEM NOT TO THINK IT IS THEIR DAD!

BELIVE PLEASE BELIVE WILL ALL BELIVE TOGETHER

SANTA IS REAL THERE ARE FLYING REINDEER THERE IS A MRS. CLAUS, HOW DO I KNOW THIS ITS BECAUSE I BELIVE IN MY HEART THERE IS A SANTA CLUAS OUT THERE. YOU SHOULD BELIVE IN YOUR HEART TOO LISTEN ON CHRISTMAS EVE NIGHT AND YOU WILL HEAR HIS BELLS!

BELIVE!! PLEASE!!

I LOVE SANTA CLAUS BECAUSE HES REAL.

I HOPE ALL WHO COME ON THIS SITE READ THIS.

SANTA CLAUS I WILL ALL WAYS BELIVE IN YOU!

LOVE KATIE DENISE HANKS
Posted by Katie  in  las vegas  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  03:35 PM
I don't care if you believe or not, but stick it in your mind, THERE IS AT LEAST ONE SANTA. I am 10 years old and I am not as stupid as Maegan, 21, or any of you other older people than me and I am SMARTER than you because I KNOW Santa is real!!!
Posted by Regan  in  Texas  on  Sat Dec 24, 2005  at  04:11 PM
i am your santa now.

wah hahahahah HA HA HA!
Posted by elvis  in  mars  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  11:02 AM
i dont know if i should or shouldn't belive in santa because i recently havn't and i want solid information to know if i should belive in him!
Posted by allie  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  02:43 AM
nintendo wii wwe video of revolution
Posted by chris  in  irving  on  Mon Nov 20, 2006  at  08:02 PM
im, 12 years old and i belive in santa some people might say he is a spirt or he is not real and its your perents who put ur present under a christmas tree not beliving in santa is just stupid and i know that santa is real in my heart ...so plz lets all belive in him togheter
Posted by Naomi  in  gosport  on  Mon Jan 01, 2007  at  07:26 AM
Dear Santa Clouse, I have everyone objects of the "Winx club"! I love you!
Posted by Maria Nicolaeva Stoeva  on  Wed Apr 18, 2007  at  03:06 PM
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