Wednesday, December 06, 2006

That magical, mystical Santa

Let's face it - for kids, Santa Claus is pure magic.

And I don't mean in a "hocus pocus" kind of way. I'm talking about in the way that causes every little kid to practically have a stroke on Christmas eve in anticipation of his breaking and entering arrival.

Remember that? Remember being so damn excited about Santa coming that you couldn't even sleep - starting like a week before! It was the ONLY thing you could think about.


But did you ever stop to think about just how little the amount of time is, that most kids actually believe in Santa?

Seriously. Babies don't get it. Toddlers really only start to understand after they're 3. And if they're lucky, kids will make it to 3rd grade. After that, the kids in school (who know the truth) can no longer contain the sheer magnitude of the secret and simply must leak the conspiracy to everyone else before they explode from the pressure of the knowledge.


"You don't believe in Santa Claus do you?!!! Because Santa Claus isn't real. Santa Claus is really just only your parents and they buy everything and there aren't any elves either and reindeer can't fly and that guy in the mall is just a fat guy your mom wants you to take a picture with."

Of course kids are smart enough to not complain too much once they find out. My teens are still excited to wake up to presents from Santa on Christmas morning. And we still love to create the excitement.

From an adult's perspective, we tend to remember that Santa was magical throughout our entire childhood, when the reality is the window of belief was really only about 5 years - max. That's not very long.

Anyway, maybe Santa never has been about a guy in a suit in the first place, but instead simply the act of parents continuing the tradition.

I mean if you think about it, there never has been an actual physical Santa Claus, yet all kids believe he exists anyway. Then, when they have kids, the thrill of Santa gets passed down again and continues to live on and on forever.

I don't know... creating an imaginary figure so real every kid believes it?

Sounds like magic to me!

12 comments:

Bill said...

You will be happy to know that Santa Claus developed from a real person. He was Saint Nicholas, who lived in Lycia, Turkey about 300 A.D, Bishop Nicholas was known for giving gifts to the needy. Dutch settlers brought the celebration to New York. English speaking children misprounced the Dutch Sant Nikolaas. They called him Santy or Santa Claus--World Book

Anonymous said...

My fifth grader hasn't caught on yet... at least we don't think she has.

(I think we're also still sliding the old tooth fairy thing past her, but it could just been she's a willing accomplice in order to get the money...)

Anonymous said...

What are you saying, Jeff? Are you telling me Santa is NOT real?

Swing lowwww Sweet Chariooooot....

yellojkt said...

kal,
There is no way a fifth grader still believes. Your kid is just stringing you along. I would tell my kid that only people that believed got Santa presents. It's why I stil believe.

Anonymous said...

I can remember as a kid pretending to still believe in Santa because I didn't want my parents to feel bad...
now I watch my four-year-old and I feel that same anticipation you talked about, only it's anticipation of watching her eyes light up and wriggle with delight.

I say let 'em believe! Even though Santa isn't real, the IDEA of charity and goodwill (at least for one day of the year) is. And that's what I hope my kids remember when they find out the truth.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I still STRONGLY wanted to believe when I was 8-9. I still wrote letters and everything. I wasn't completely sure if he was real or not. I erred on the side of caution so as not to piss the man off...

Harmonica Man said...

dad - Thanks, that's good background. I suppose I wasn't clear when I claimed that "there never has been an actual physical Santa Claus..." I meant there isn't an actual physical Santa Claus that comes down your chimney into your house on Christmas eve.

kal - My 4th grade daughter had heard rumors at school, but didn't want to believe them. When we talked about it this summer she asked, "So how many years have you been lying to me?" I answered, "Well, how old are you now?"

jennine - I'm so sorry you had to find out this way. I just assumed all my blog readers would know. Comin for to carry me hooooome.

yello - That's what we say too... Santa is real if you believe he is!

sandy - Your kids are at the prime "magic" age. Enjoy!

heather - Good choice. You definitely DO NOT want to piss the man off!

Waya said...

WHAT?! Santa is NOT real?! Whatchootalking about Willis?! Thanks for ruining my Christmas Jeff!! HMMPH!

Anonymous said...

My older kids think it's neat to watch their three year old sister get excited about Santa - even though she's scared to death of him and won't actually talk to him - and what he's going to bring her for Christmas, so I know they get what you're saying about the spirit of the thing. At least I did that bit right!

But I do wish he was real - would save me a lot of money and time wrapping gifts!

Mom Thumb said...

You've got to be kidding. Haven't you ever seen Miracle on 34th Street? Man.

Anonymous said...

I have a hunch that Jeff is actually RELATED to Santa. The real one.

Not real. Pfffft.

Jenny said...

I freaking love this post.

I've been really torn as to whether or not to to tell Hailey the truth about Santa. You've helped me make my decision.