Lies about Santa
Is Father Christmas just another type of seasonal monkey business?
I was watching an insert on the news the other night about a bizarre (well bizarre to me anyway) festival in a country in the East somewhere, where the citizens of a town prepare an annual feast for about 3000 resident monkeys.

The camera showed the monkeys having a veritable feast on all kinds of delicacies from fresh fruits to home-made desserts. This was done as a sort-of tribute or thanks to the monkeys for their role in maintaining good juju in the village.

It got me thinking.

This whole hoohah about Christmas is probably much the same thing (as the monkey festival) to those of us who believe in Santa.

Who believes in Santa?

Hannah announced earlier this year that she’s now finally convinced (at age 10) that Santa does not indeed exist. This after analysing her grandmother’s handwriting and realising that the cards on the Christmas gifts could not possibly be written by anyone else. After a brief inquiry Grandma confessed to being Santa’s little helper.

I’ve told my kids, ever since they’ve been old enough to ask, that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and World Peace is just a load of codswallop. But credit to them, they just think I’m the Grinch incarnate and laugh it off and continue to believe. Unless of course they receive irrefutable proof from someone like Grandma.

So here we are again celebrating Christmas by buying gifts for each other which we wouldn’t ordinarily buy, and supposedly in celebration of the birth of someone by whose example those who follow him live. Nothing wrong if it’s done with the sincerity meant to go with the pressie, I guess.

If Santa is a lie...

I’m beginning to think that the discovery that Santa is just another marketing gimmick to get us to spend money on gifts we share without any real meaning, could actually have a profound psychological impact on our kids.

As they get older and they realise that they’ve been hoodwinked since birth about the fat guy in the red suit, why would they believe anything else we tell them?

I remember making the discovery at around 8 years old. I sat quietly contemplating this horrendous discovery of deceit (that was the kind of kid I was). And after a while, I just shrugged and thought, ‘ah well, at least the presents aren’t too bad’, and went on my merry way.

But there lingered a lasting sense of distrust about things mythical and seemingly belonging in the realm of fantasy - including religion.

I’m almost sure that is what has prompted my honesty on the subject when it comes to my own kids. Although, because of my particular brand of humour, my kids tend to take my earth-shattering revelations with a bit of salt.

But in the end does it really matter? Should we just continue celebrating regardless of the real meaning and impact this most holy of events is meant to reflect? And should we continue the fat man’s myth?

 I think so! Because if it does indeed restore your faith in the world, much in the same way that feeding a bunch of monkeys apparently does, it can do more good than harm I guess. Have a happy Christmas everyone, sincerely from the Grinch.

Is there any harm in believing in Santa? At what age should you tell the truth?

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

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