I was reading a blog post somewhere and they were talking about whether or not it's okay for Christians to play Santa Claus. I don't have anything against Santa, I guess. I learned he wasn't real very early on - I can't even remember a time when I thought he was real, that's how early I learned there was no Santa. But I don't have this animosity toward the character that some people appear to have. *shrug* He's based on a real person - a Saint, as a matter of fact. St. Nicholas of Myra's feast day was yesterday, December 6th.
Anyway. It just reminded me that I'd decided a long time ago that if I ever had kids (I wasn't planning on it at that point, but there was always an outside chance and now I want to have kids...) I wasn't going to tell them about the character of Santa Claus. Not because I thought that the revelation later on would destroy their trust in the adults or make them wonder what other invisible beings we'd been lying to them about but because I think that the myth of Santa as it exists today encourages unrealistic expectations for presents. After all, if Santa is a magical man living at the North Pole with magic elves and rain deer then why can't he give them that pony or that $200 Barbie dream house or whatever it is they want? Is it because they've been bad? No. It's because 'Santa' is Mommy and Daddy and Mommy and Daddy can't afford the $200 Barbie dream house with all the accessories and Mommy and Daddy can't afford the pony in the first place and understand that their house is not zoned for livestock and who's gonna feed and groom it anyway? Yeah. Kids will still want things that they're not going to get even if they know that 'Santa' isn't real, but I think that knowing it's really your parents who have to buy you these things makes a difference. Especially once they get a little bit older and start to understand about money and how it's necessary to keep the roof over their heads and food on the table and how there's a finite supply of it. Which is another thing - kids should learn about that as early as possible. It's all about knowledge and treating them not like they're pets but like they're going to have to grow up and be adults at some point. Keeping stuff from them is not actually helpful most of the time. I do also see the point that Santa takes away from the religious meaning of the holiday - Christmas is very commercial for most people, in case you didn't notice that one on your own.
And I realized that I'm not going to do the 'Easter Bunny' either. It's just silly and takes away from Pascha which is the entire point of the season. Why can't you do Easter things without involving an imaginary giant rabbit? Dye the eggs, have an Easter basket, all that good stuff. Just...without the giant bunny.
The Tooth Fairy is *also* unnecessary! Loosing teeth just shows that the child is growing up. I think it's still cute to give them a quarter or whatever for every lost tooth as a sort of memorial for it - no fairy busting into your room in the middle of the night necessary.