An Argument for Santa: #1 But it’s FUN.

santa claus
Image from Wikimedia Commons; Click for source.

The closer we get to Christmas Day the more we hear about Santa.

This will be our 3rd Christmas without any remainder of Santa in our holiday celebration. And we’re still okay with that, by the way. But you know, it’s funny sometimes how people respond when I tell them that I “fired Santa.” I might as well have told them that I hate fuzzy kittens.

Now let me say for the record that I have a lot of friends who still do Santa at least a little bit to some degree, or quite a bit to a large degree, and I don’t love them any less or think any different of them because I love my friends no matter what. And for the people I don’t know, it’s not my business.

But for my house, we intentionally choose not to “do” Santa. By not “doing” Santa I mean that we don’t get presents “From Santa,” we don’t leave out milk and cookies, we don’t go see Santa at the mall or take pictures with Santa, we don’t decorate with Santa, and most importantly we don’t act like Santa’s real and tell our kids they have to behave or Santa won’t bring them presents, etc. So when I say we don’t “do” Santa, that’s what I’m talking about.

And you know what? It’s really hard for some people to accept that. I always get the same arguments, too. So today, instead of listing all the reasons why we don’t do Santa, (I’ve blogged some of them before, but I realized that I haven’t really blogged about this as much as I thought) I wanted to take each “But it’s Santa!” argument, one by one and take a look at them — and in doing so, give a little more of my reasoning for Not Doing Santa. I have four main arguments that I frequently hear when the topic of Not Doing Santa comes up.

Reason #1: But it’s FUN.

If this were actually a valid reason for doing anything, it would stand to reason that anything “fun” is okay or worth doing. Is it? Aren’t there plenty of things in life that are fun but not safe or healthy? So is it more worthwhile to teach our children that “it’s okay because it’s fun” or that “not everything fun is worth our time?”

One of the ways that kids get swept away by peer pressure is because whatever they’re involved in has an element of fun. Whether it’s drinking or drag racing or sneaking out in the  middle of the night to go a party… a common argument peers use is “Come on, it’ll be fun.” Surely we can agree that “because it’s fun” is an argument with no real weight or merit behind it.

Yes, I see the point, the claim that it’s ONLY fun and not harmful… at the same time, there’s no harm in abstaining either. So the fun factor is really just a moot point. Yes, it very well may be fun, but it’s not a good enough reason to make a thing something you have to do (bungee jumping very well may be fun for some people but you won’t ever catch me on one!)

Along the same lines of “it’s  fun,” I also hear “it’s just a game.”

But here’s the thing: It’s not presented like a game at all! It’s presented like it’s real. And then after kids know the truth…then it becomes a game–a game in which the rules are “everyone lies to the little kids” (in the name of FUN of course.) If it were some other “game” I don’t think we’d like those rules at all.

And raise your hand if you’ve ever gone out of your way, or seen someone go out of their way to keep “the game” going and not get caught in the lie? “Mommy, how does Santa come if we don’t have a chimney?” Anybody? Bueller? I admit it, I’m guilty. But it was at the point that my oldest started asking questions that I really started having issues with everything. I wondered, when did it become okay to make up something  (lie) to keep my kid believing in something that’s make believe anyway? Wow. Fun game.

One more thing to chew on… let’s just ponder the tradition of sending your kids to sit on a stranger’s lap “in the name of fun.” I’m willing to bet that you don’t usually tell your kid to go sit on an old man’s lap (who they don’t know) and say “Hi.” That is, under any other circumstances outside of Santa and the Easter Bunny. For some reason if you put on a Santa suit or bunny costume then it’s okay. Why? Ok, I understand that the little kids think it’s really Santa and so they may not really see the guy as a stranger. But the parents know it’s a stranger, and sometimes the kid is old enough to know but they still go along with it for whatever reason and then THEY know. I just find the whole thing really weird. I’m moving on and leaving that one alone now.

Now if you ask my kids, who all know the truth, and who attended two Christmas parties with Santas this year, if they think it’s fun.. they’d say “yes.” But if you probed them further you’d learn that the fun part is getting the present. The ‘sitting on Santa’s lap and telling them what they want for Christmas’ part–Meh. Notsomuch. They feel shy about sitting on his lap, kind of weird because they know it’s not real, and they just want the present.

But if you asked ME if it’s fun.. No. It’s not fun for me at all. Now, one of those parties the Santa came in delivering gifts to the kids that were bought by the company hosting the party. And since my husband doesn’t actually work for them but is just the computer guy that they call to work on their computers, I was really touched that they invited us and included our kids on the gift list. The Santa called their names and handed the gifts to them and they came back and sat with us to open them. And MY kids, knowing the truth looked at us and asked, “did YOU get these?” We shook our heads “no” (and we whispered they were gifts from the company) and we were all surprised and grateful. I’m sure there were little kids there who believed the gifts were from Santa, but I was not personally put under any pressure to further the illusion or make any of us do something we didn’t want to do. The Santa just handed the gift and said ‘Merry Christmas’ and I appreciated that, too. It was tolerable. So I admit that I didn’t mind that one as much as others. Otherwise I really don’t enjoy it. I’m not interested in watching them sit on his lap, I don’t feel the need to capture it in pictures and I’d rather skip the whole thing.

So for my kids… it’s the gift that’s fun. And for me, it’s not fun at all. And that’s the biggest reason that “it’s fun” isn’t much of a reason at all.

Yes, the biggest reason for doing Santa, so I’m told, is that it’s fun. But there are 3 more. And I’m going to address each of those in their own separate posts. In the meantime, I want to share for your reading pleasure, some additional blog posts that I found very enjoyable. God bless.

 Read part 2, “Santa Claus is based on Saint Nicholas” here.

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Sonita Lewis
Sonita Lewis
December 21, 2011 3:34 am

Ok so I have to ask, how exactly did you tell your kids there was no Santa after you had been telling them for years that there was? Did you tackle the Easter Bunny and toothfairy at the same time or wait until they brought them up (if they didn’t bring them up right away)? This is kinda where we are. Hubby and I talked about this tonight, we aren’t telling them this year simply because it’s so close to Christmas, but after Christmas, we’re going to tell them, I just have no idea where to start!!! I’m 34 and… Read more »

December 21, 2011 10:32 am
Reply to  Sonita Lewis

Sonita, first of all, we never really FULLY did Santa.. we didn’t put out cookies or go see him at the mall anyway. Around 5 or so my oldest started asking questions about Santa and I felt uncomfortable dodging them. I came back with a lot of “What do YOU think?” What was most sad to me was that she WASN’T buying it, she was too smart for it to make sense to her, and I was supposed to convince her that her instincts were wrong and Santa was real. I felt very uncomfortable and barely made it through that… Read more »

December 21, 2011 7:09 am

I don’t buy the “but it’s fun!” argument either. We had Santa for a couple of years, but my husband and I agreed that when we got the direct question (“Is Santa real?”) we would tell the truth. It happened when our oldest was about 4, and we told him and his 3-year-old sister at the same time. We told them about St. Nicholas and how the legend grew and changed. Santa is still fun, like many other mythical characters whom we enjoy. Christmas is still fun! I’m having a hard time with people who equate Christmas fun with believing… Read more »

December 21, 2011 10:38 am
Reply to  Margaret

Margaret, yes! Santa is still fun in a fictional character kind of way — he’s no different than Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Frosty the Snowman or any of the other fictional characters we watch at Christmas time. And along that line of thinking, we don’t try to convince our kids that Frosty and the Grinch are why Santa and Rudolph? Like you, it doesn’t make sense to me. And there’s plenty of fun in Christmas without that. Thanks for bringing that up. I’ll be talking more about Santa in movies with my 3rd post with reason #3, though, so… Read more »

December 21, 2011 11:20 am

I used to worry about things like this. We didn’t “do” Santa with our oldest kids. For the same reasons you have listed. I had the same arguments.

We don’t agree anymore.

I came to your blog via a friend’s link; coincidentally I had written on a similar subject on my blog.

December 21, 2011 7:51 pm
Reply to  Amy

I hope I don’t come across as though I spend too much time overthinking or overworrying these things. It’s really not worth that, is it? It’s just the decision that I’ve come to, and I have many reasons.
I did want to clarify, my goal here is just to give my response to “reasons” that people give me for why I *should* do Santa, even though I’ve chosen not to. People tell me that it’s just fun — but it’s not fun for me. =\
Thanks for sharing your side, and I’ve hopped over to read your post. Thanks!

Jennifer kindle
Jennifer kindle
December 21, 2011 11:49 pm

Love this and cant wait to read the others. We dont do santa either but we dont avoid him all together. We have a few snowmen things which is just decor around here….just like santa..maybe ill blog about it soon too! The other day at church a worker whispered apologies to me because my kid chose a santa sucker….i just looked at her, laughd

Jennifer kindle
Jennifer kindle
December 21, 2011 11:50 pm

….laughed and said, we dont hate santa…we just dont believe in him!!!! People are funny!!!!

Jennifer kindle
Jennifer kindle
December 21, 2011 11:52 pm

Sorry my phone is crazy!!! Its the lie that does it for us. One lady was so offended by our not believing in santa…i just looked at her and said that we didnt believe in frosty the snowman either! its late…i should shut up on this topic for tonight.

December 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Aha! I love it. I was thinking the same thing (we don’t believe in Frosty, or Barney, or Batman..) =p

Nicole Anderson
Nicole Anderson
December 22, 2012 6:43 pm

First of all I would like to say that I just finished writing a post on this that I have scheduled to publish Christmas Eve. My family and I “play” Santa. That means that yes, we set out cookies and even carrots for the reindeer. We write letters to Santa and we watch movie and read books with Santa. However, every single person in my family down to my four year old understands that we are “playing,” that Santa is not real. I explained it to them from the start that it is much like playing princesses, superheroes or pirates.… Read more »

December 26, 2012 10:13 pm

Hi, Nicole! Thanks for commenting,and I totally hear you. We kinda did it that way at one point, except that we didn’t go see Santa for pictures and we didn’t put out milk and cookies. But we played at it and I put out Santa presents even though my oldest knew it was me. We had trouble keeping it in it’s place, though. =( And we don’t miss it, we have so many other traditions that we have. (And we still have gifts I put out after they go to bed – the Christmas stocking and the three “wisemen” gifts.)… Read more »

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