Time to end the naughty list for Santa

Time to end the naughty list for Santa

Time to end the naughty list for Santa

Many of us have enchanted memories of Santa sneaking presents and happiness into our childhood homes, but is there a darker side to the cherished holiday custom?
Santa Claus is coming to town, so you best be careful and try not to cry or pout, I’ll tell you why.

And I’m not aware of it! My three-year-old daughter has only recently become wholly engrossed in the Santa mythology. I can see a glint of pure wonder in her eyes as she describes to me how Old Saint Nick will fit through our chimney, and it immediately takes me back to my own childhood Christmases.

I was a fervent believer, and I’m glad to say it. My parents went above and above to support my love of Christmas magic and Santa Claus, and I truly adored both of them. The crumbs of a hastily consumed mince pie on a plate, a carrot that had been nibbled by a reindeer, and a tissue with a scarlet smear where Santa had obviously polished Rudolph’s nose (absolutely not my Mom’s lipstick) were all things I would find on Christmas morning when I crept downstairs. In my opinion, the evidence was incontrovertible.

I can’t help but feel guilty as I start to create my own Santa Claus story for my daughter. Could encouraging her faith in all this holiday magic somehow erode her confidence? I can hear myself threatening to put her on the “bad list” in fits of rage, and I occasionally catch a glimpse of terror crossing her face. I now find myself debating both the type of Santa I want to make for my kid and, to be really honest, whether I should even be doing it.

And David Kyle Johnson, a philosophy professor at King’s College in Pennsylvania.


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