It is that time of year again. The time of year where there is at least one person we all know who has to make an issue of the “Santa Claus Syndrome”.
The Santa Claus Syndrome is the ideal that we are harming our children by “lying” to them about Santa Claus.That conversation recently passed through my home when my older son asked if my two year old grandson would be subjected to “lies by his parents” about there being a Santa Claus. Santa Claus is a part of childhood, and unless some rogues with nothing better to do than spoil everyone’s fun gets their way, he always will be. I suppose I reflected a moment as I pondered the idea that I may have damaged my children for the rest of their lives for my partaking in the Santa Claus Syndrome. It was a very short moment. There are things in this life that we must come to terms with at some point in our lives. Some of the awakening are quite simple while others become quite traumatic. Learning that Santa Claus is not really a jolly fat soul in a red suit riding in a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer that brings children toys by sliding down their chimneys one night a year is not a traumatic life experience. It is more a eye opening lesson about calculating possibilities and improbabilities. It becomes a very important lesson in life for children. They begin to realize that common sense is vital for survival. Once the discovery that Santa is really Mom & Dad, the rest comes easy. The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy soon take the same fate as the fantasy of Santa Claus but by then, that lesson is learned by the use of common sense and calculated deductions. And most children make their announcements to their parents in such a proud way. “ I knew there really wasn’t an Easter Bunny because any giant rabbit that came into the house would have been shot by Dad for dinner!” displays their ability to see the reality (if somewhat warped vision). Personally, I was never devastated about learning Santa wasn’t real. I had heard the other kids in the schoolyard telling everyone proudly that “they knew there was not a Santa Claus” and that we were all “babies” if we still believed there was. So thus began my first excursion into the world of the private detective. Sure enough, after a day of snooping I found the pile of toys and games in the back of my mother’s closet. Confirmation came Christmas morning when those very same toys were the very same wrapped gifts under the tree. By the next year I was one of the kids on the playground telling others that they were babies if they still believed in Santa Claus. So, my grandson will have Santa Claus in his life the same as his parents. He will learn the lesson someday soon and be all the more wiser for it. Then comes the even tougher lessons for him to learn as he grows older and faces the "The Political Clause Syndrome". Life lessons such as: “we honor liberty and freedom” or “we are all equal under the law” or "you are innocent until proven guilty" and the one of the harshest clauses of all “my vote counts”. Maybe believing in Santa Claus is simpler