Spilling the beans on Santa


Graphic by Evelyn Shue

The happy bliss of Santa Claus fades once the realization hits that the magical giving man is instead the mundane parent.

Francis Paloma, Opinions Writer

Hanging up stockings, leaving out warm cookies and milk, and setting up an Elf on the Shelf. All in preparation for the one day of the year when a plump man in a red suit with magical reindeer barrels down chimneys giving away an endless bag of presents. However, this happy bliss fades once the realization hits that the magical giving man is instead the mundane parent. Evading the truth of Santa does not have to feel like walking on eggshells.

Santa Claus is a staple to Christmas spanning across continents, cultures, and religions. Instrumental Music teacher Dr. Perry said, “That idea of kindness in giving… just how you treat other people, just the unfettered gentle generosity, that symbol embodies something that we can strive for as people.” Santa is more than an old guy with a white beard to be excited about, he is a figure that exhibits to children actions that have consequences while instilling a value of compassion lasting into adulthood.

However beneficial Santa is to one’s childhood, it should not last forever on account of practical reasoning that comes about at age eight. Freshman Cata Dulcey said, “I figured it out when I recognized it was my dad’s handwriting and signature fish doodle on the ‘card from Santa.’” In situations like this where a child starts gaining some suspicions and confronts the parents, the response is a break or make situation.

Age eight is only a general reference when telling the truth on Santa; there is no universal or perfect moment. Sophomore Juliana Saquilayan said, “If I teach them too young then they’re going to be that [rude person] that tells other kids that Santa’s not real.” Treating each child on an individual basis along their Santa truth journey will ease the stress.

Continuously lying to kids about Santa may develop trust issues later on. Rather, when kids start asking probing questions like, “How does Santa get around the whole world in one night?”, responses such as “Well what do you think?” that guide them to their own conclusion should be employed. According to the BBC, allowing children to come to their own conclusions lessens the blow of learning Santa is fake while also cultivating critical thinking skills.

When the big question of, “Is Santa real?” is asked, replies like “What makes you think that?” and “Do not tell your siblings” are valid to reduce a child’s disappointment. Answering this question truthfully and watching their world shatter as a parent can be heartbreaking. In reality, kids are quite resilient and a confirmation of their suspicions of fake Santa will not kill them.

Santa is an unmatched figure for the entirety of America’s existence that spreads joy and virtuous values everywhere he goes. Sending a child to college, driving for the first time, first steps then spilling the beans on Old Saint Nick are all monumental milestones in raising a child, so do it right