Every year, the Santa argument comes up on at least one of the forums I frequent. And the pro-Santa crowd always argue that no one will take the magic away from their children at Christmas–that they only have so many years to believe in Santa and use their imaginations and believe in magic before they grow up and realize “how crappy life really is.”
How bad are the lives of these adults that they feel this way about their children growing up?
Yes, the older you get, the more you’re aware of bad things in the world. But even children are familiar with unhappiness. To a four-year-old, having a favorite toy taken away, or being sent to their rooms, or any other form of punishment is the end of their world. Through a child’s eyes, these circumstances are just as bad as the bad things an adult goes through. Children are notorious for screaming, “It’s not fair!” so they clearly get that life can be harsh sometimes, Santa magic or not.
That being said, I don’t think, as an adult, that life is crappy. Yes, bad things happen. But there are so many more good things that happen, so many things to enjoy and appreciate. I know that Christmas is way more special to me now than it was when I was a child–and it was really special then! It’s so much fun sharing the holiday with my own children, and I have such a deeper appreciation for the Christmas story, especially from Mary’s perspective, now that I’m an adult. So I don’t get the mindset of getting as much mileage as possible out of the whole Santa thing, because life is going to suck later, because life just doesn’t suck that much.
Maybe that’s the difference in just celebrating a secular Christmas, and actually celebrating Christ’s birth!