“Bah-humbug, you miserable old scrooge” is my message to Dante Chinni from the Washington Post who wrote an opinion piece called, “Instead of leaving cookies, let’s give Santa the boot.” He’s entitled to his opinion, and I’m entitled to tell him he is a grump who writes for a paper that clearly had nothing better to publish the day before Christmas.
This extremely unhappy human wrote that he is “relieved’ he can be done with the “reign of Santa Claus” as his children are now nine and seven years old. Wow. Those poor, poor children. Oh yeah, and he said if he had to do it again, he would “leave Kris Kringle out of our holidays altogether — at least when it comes to depicting him to our kids as a real person.”
Chinni’s article does not address the religious aspect of Christmas; rather he makes three points about why we parents should do away with the myth of Santa. The first, and maybe the most ludicrous, is that by acknowledging Santa, we face “parental contradictions.” We tell our children there are no “monsters in their closets and goblins under their beds,” but then we ask our children to “embrace magic” and believe in the guy who delivers presents in a sled led by reindeer. Chinni said Santa is “reality’s exception,” then adds, “America doesn’t need any more people who deny reality — at any age.” Denying reality? So much for the magic of the season in Chinni’s household. Honestly, what kid is going to compare Santa bringing gifts to them to a scary monster in their closet? Mine never did. They only feared Santa not getting in because we had no chimney.
The curmudgeon’s second point is that of justice. He said we make children believe Santa is “the ultimate judge and jury.” You know, because of the whole list, checking it twice and him seeing us while we are sleeping? Right…so. Chinni said Santa is pretty bad at being fair. He said Santa “always seems to conclude that everyone has been pretty nice — and that the wealthy kids deserve a little more.” No, no, no. Chinni clearly has no faith that many parents teach their young children to be appreciative. “You get what you get and you don’t get upset” worked just fine for us.
Chinni’s third point, his most important to boot Santa, (hold on to your Santa hat…), “We simply don’t need him. The world, the real world, is an incredible place all by itself. It is big and complicated and fascinating, and Santa Claus and magic cheapen it.” Oh yes he did say that. Are you telling me the Chinni children don’t watch Disney movies? Read fairytales? Will he never take his children to experience the magic of Disney World or Disney Land? Magic cheapens the real world? Oh my.
And he ended his pathetically sad argument with this: “The thing is, despite all the talk of the magic of Christmas and the wide-eyed wonder of children on Dec. 25, the real point for most kids is what’s in the boxes, not who brought them. So why pretend that they came from a magic old man who lives at the North Pole? Why not say instead, ‘They came from the people who love you most’?”
For goodness sake, what is wrong with wanting to keep the dear old jolly man dressed in red as a symbol of love and goodwill and joy and happiness for Christmas? Does he honestly believe that children don’t ultimately learn the gifts come from those who love them? Does he not believe that Santa embodies, for all ages, the magic and love of the season of giving to others?
Well boo you, Grinch Chinni. My girls, who are 19, 18, and 13, will start tracking Santa at 5:00pm and they will head to bed early because they know Santa won’t come until they are asleep. There will be a plate of cookies and milk left out, and the magic key will be hung outside the front door so he can get in. They will wake in the middle of the night to see if Santa came, and they will wake early Christmas morning so very excited. THAT is the magic of the tradition of Santa Claus in my home, and I am very sorry you don’t experience the same.
Read the bah-humbug article here.