Friday Factoids Catch-Up: December Fun Facts

This time of year is one of the more enjoyable times for adults, but especially children. The darkest time of the year is also a time whereby a hero emerges. Lights on the Christmas tree are symbolic of the return of illumination. Beaming through the nighttime sky emerges Santa and his reindeer. Santa and the representation of a “all knowing” creature bringing gifts for good children is an innocent game played between children and parents. Some parents believe that exposing their children to Santa is harmful. As future psychologists, it’s important to note the distinctions on both sides of the “Santa” debate.

 

Some psychologists view the belief in Santa as a negative occurrence. Johnson (2012) argues that parents who promote Santa are guilty of lying unjustly to their children, damaging parental trust, and encouraging negative behavior (Johnson, 2012). Furthermore, Johnson states that engaging in the Santa fantasy risks even more damaging consequences such as diminishing the child’s spiritual beliefs or allowing the promulgation of magical thinking (Johnson, 2012). Other arguments include the belief that sometimes even the “good” children do not receive gifts due to financial hardships. This time of year can be extremely difficult for children in poverty and their parents whom feel shame and guilt if they are unable to provide material gifts for their families.

 

A counter argument for the promotion of Santa with children underscores the value that Santa plays in developing the imagination of young children (Waugaman, 2013). Waugaman also emphasizes the idea that parents are able to create magical memories for their children that ultimately represent a parents eternal love (Waugaman, 2013). Upon the age whereby, the child comes to the realization of Santa he graduates to a stage from being a receiver of gifts to more importantly a giver of gifts. The ultimate hope is that children when matured will one day share their unique gifts and talents with human kind.

 

Parenting is one of the most difficult aspects of life. Deciding as to whether to incorporate holiday traditions into Christmas family routines should be handled carefully. The complexity of the Santa debate will continue to go forward in the future. However, for all parents the challenge is to keep the spirit of Christmas alive for their children. Anyone can adopt the spirit of hope, peace, and goodwill to humankind. The epitome of the Christmas spirit does not require a white beard or sleigh full of reindeer. Instead, anyone with a big heart and twinkle in their eye can become Santa.

 

References
Johnson, D. K. (2012, December 12, 2012). Say Goodbye to the Santa Claus Lie. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/plato-pop/201212/say-goodbye-the-santa-claus-lie

Waugaman, E. P. (2013). The Santa Question. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/whats-in-name/201312/the-santa-question

 

References
Johnson, D. K. (2012, December 12, 2012). Say Goodbye to the Santa Claus Lie. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/plato-pop/201212/say-goodbye-the-santa-claus-lie

Waugaman, E. P. (2013). The Santa Question. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/whats-in-name/201312/the-santa-question

 

Chris Morrison, MA, M.Ed.
WKPIC Doctoral Intern

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