My dad made a convincing argument about father Christmas and I've been thinking about it a lot


#1

He basically refused to get involved in convincing his grandson (my nephew) about the existence of Father Christmas/Santa Claus because of the whole “if you’re good you get good gifts” narrative. He said that this may make unfortunate kids with less money think they haven’t been good…and there would be an inevitable hierarchy where the richest kids are supposedly the most deserving.

I think he has a point.


#2

It’s basic moral coercion anyway isn’t it? Shit for cunts


#3

It’s not exactly the hottest of takes but it’s a fair point.


#4

He’s not exactly cutting edge, but then he is 71


#5

Santa Claus is a communist


#6

yeah, we were pretty poor when I was very young and I remember being gutted for exactly this reason when my fam couldn’t afford any presents and my dickhead neighbour got a megadrive. useful primer for how bullshit meritocracy is tho.


#7

are you saying parenting is shit for cunts?


#8

Nope


#9

We’ve never done that you only get gifts if you’re good. This also goes for the goddammn elf on the shelf…

I think most parents are reasonable and don’t go stupid or over the top. Obviously there are the few on Facebook etc who make it look bad for everyone.


#10

ok good, was going to say that was a pretty mean take


#11


#12

friend’s parents used to tell him they had to pay santa for his presents


#13

Yeah…I didn’t mean to imply that all parents advocate the moral coercion method…but my brother and sister certainly were…so I enjoyed my dad’s perspective.


#14

My dad always told us to go easy on asking Father Christmas for extravagant stuff or loads of things, because if the big man thinks you’re a greedy little shit he’ll give you nothing. Also he told me once that Father Christmas had phoned him at work and asked if I wanted Pokemon Red or Blue and then was like “OK, I’ll let him know then” when I told him, and I thought my dad must be a pretty fucking big cheese to have a direct line to Father Christmas.


#15

Same applies to the tooth fairy - my daughter was actually annoyed with the tooth fairy for being unfair by giving her friend a fiver when her tooth fell out while she only got a measly pound with hers - “every child should get the same!” she cried. In no rush to tell her it’s all made up now…


#16

I feel a bit bad that we’ve let them believe in it really, but as you said we’ve never used Santa as blackmail! They do at school though, loads. We also have a demarcation between stocking presents and those explicitly from us.

I heard a useful suggestion for breaking it that he doesn’t exist (which might be useful for our eldest especially): explain that the tradition is loosely based on St Nicholas and that the Santa thing is just a fun game of make-believe, a bit like going on a bear hunt when we’re in the woods. Just because he doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean that they’ll not get presents!


#17

Slightly dreading the Santa issue… personally I want to take a line of giving R the agency to choose what he wants to believe, while making it clear that I do not personally believe in Santa in the form of this magical being… it will be a bit difficult to explain to someone so young the concept of my personal preferred view that Santa is a personification of the spirit of generosity and kindness of the festive period, a symbol derived from the story of Saint Nicholas rather than someone who actually exists.

Basically my idea is doomed to fail even before considering the amount of people who are going to want to push the ‘Santa is real’ narrative for coercion or because it is easier (not saying that these are the only motives for going with that)…


#18

You’re telling me that there aren’t actual bears? :worried:


#19

None that we’ve found!

I’d talk through our Going On A Bear Hunt routine but it’s incredibly ritualistic and detailed. In fact, the walk that includes the bear hunt has gradually incorporated more and more elements! Our eldest finds it really comforting :slight_smile:


#20

I still don’t believe any child has ever actually believed in Santa