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Santa: The Necessary Evil?

Over at emergent village, a post has come out against our traditional model of the western Santa.  We had quite an argument about this in my class last year called Diversity in the Classroom. The author of the article brought up a good point:

I once knew a poor Latina woman who struggled to afford any Christmas presents for her six children. At a church gathering, someone mentioned Santa. Tina barked, “No way I’m telling my kids about Santa! I worked hard for these presents, and they’re going to thank me for them. No white man is getting credit for this!” It was funny, but also totally true.

Should Santa be banned? What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Santa: The Necessary Evil?

  1. Satan Claus? I don’t know about that but he certainly is a manifestation of American Christmas ( I realize of course that other countries have Santa traditions but you know what I mean). I think Santa can be used as a tool to talk to kids about what’s truly important but when Santa becomes a symbol of “me, me, me” and “I-need-what-I-want Christmas” then indeed he should be banned. But I think the character can be subverted. For example I don’t plan on telling my kids about Santa but I won’t tell them that he doesn’t exist. I plan to use him as an excuse or a means by which to ask my kids important questions about generosity and gift giving. The true focus of Christmas is and should always be the coming of Jesus, a birth festival, for the one who came to save us from, among other things, consumerism and selfishness.

    P.S. I think it’s good for kids to have fantasy in their lives, a sort of awe and mystery we often miss out on when we rationalize everything.

  2. It is this fantasy that I am afraid of taking away by getting rid of all magical characters. I think magic and myth can sometimes be a very important part of children’s lives.

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