Santa Claus and Jesus Christ:
Between Fantasy and Myth
Photo : Wiki Commons /Heinrich Hofmann
I'll bring you face to face with a question that some people consider to be somehow offensive if not even rude: Why do people believe in Jesus, but not in Santa Claus?
I have coily interviewed a few people on this matter. Preceding that, I have a thing or two to say myself. First things first, do not take this personally, whoever you are. Its purpose is not to offend, but merely stress a bit of the reader's brain and hopefully make them follow the old saying 'Question everything!'
I stood up for Santa Claus until the age of eleven, when I accidentally stumbled upon one of my Christmas presents in early December. This discovery confirmed what my classmates and friends had told me for about two years: that Santa Claus just doesn't exist. At first I felt cheated, like I was made a fool of. I was angry at my parents. When I came home after school and told them stories like 'Johnny says Santa is not real, he said that his parents are buying him presents', my mom and dad always had something up their sleeve that conforted me and I slipped into the blind faith once again. It is true though that I questioned some parts in the story of Father Christmas. How does he get to be that old and still take on his job every year? I felt something was not right there, but I chose to ignore the facts because it was just beautiful to have faith.
My parents aren't the type of persons that threw hard life lessons in my face without thinking them through, thus they never told me 'Santa is not real, grow up.' They just let it happen by itself. A year after my discovery there was a mutual, yet not outspoken agrement between us that I was now aware Santa was just a beautiful lie. This fact made Christmases dull for me. I realised two things: that I was a materialistic human being and that Christmas is just another boring holiday without the magic of Santa. I still have not overcome the aspect of dullness. I'm not as excited for Christmas as I used to be, but I consider myself less materialistic. What once used to be a season full of magic now it's just a reason to get off school and meet up with friends. I am now looking forward to the future Christmases when I'll have my own kids and I will have to 'struggle' to hide the presents from them. But I guess you are not interested to read about my potential future kids so let's continue with the other character.
If you are wondering why am I comparing Jesus with Father Christmas and haven't realised it by now, it's because of the similarities between them. Generally speaking, kids who believe in Santa and his naughty list tend to behave more than those who don't. I was very affraid that hitting another child, raising my voice when talking to my teachers or parents, or behaving unsatisfactorily in general could bring me a tree branch under the Christmass tree, and not the presents I wanted.
Talking on a larger scale, fear of not being accepted in heaven is the one thing that stops some people from being mean to each other. I realise now, can you imagine what a deplorable human being I was if the only thing that stopped me from hitting some people was the fear that Santa won't come? Do not imagine now that I restrained from being a serial killer and I beat every other kid when no one was looking. I had my morals then and I mostly didn't hit people because I know it wasn't ok for them.
So I was manipulated into behaving how various people wanted me to by being threatened with the absence of Santa. The church I feel uses the same method to make people behave. If somebody dares to question the church they are easily labeled as a person who will end up in hell and people will keep their distance.
I now feel what my friends felt when they tried to convince me Santa is not real. I cannot unsee how degrading faith is for some, how they despise others just because they are different and because the church says they will end up in hell for being so.
I kept the interviews for the end because I received more or less the same answer from people: 'I do not know'. Some of them confirmed Santa is not real because it's impossible, without questioning the same impossibilities for Jesus, like transforming water into wine, bringing life to dead people and himself and walking on the surface of the water. Only one individual told me he does not care if Jesus is real or not, because it is irrelevant for him as a person.
If you are wondering, yes I will raise my kids upon believing that Santa is real. It's just a beautiful thing that I do not want them to be deprived of. No, I will not raise my children into believing into Jesus, Budha or other similar characters. If later they choose to believe in them it is fine with me, but I do not want to be the one held responsible into raising them into ignorance and not facts.
Now, after you read the article, if you are thinking about how I will end up in hell, let it go and do something else; forget about me, I am irrelevant to you as a person. If you believe Santa Claus is not real because it is impossible, in spite of all the beauty that comes with having such faith, then go further: question everything!