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A Grandparent's Truth About Santa Claus

Recently, my four-year-old grandson asked me if Santa Claus was going to bring him some presents this year. Without hesitation, I told him no.

Unlike me when I discovered there was no Santa Claus (at age 7), my grandson did not break into tears. Instead, he was inquisitive and wanted to know why so I told him point blank: the truth is–there is NO Santa Claus. I went on to explain that his mom, grandparents, nana and papa and other family members are the ones who buy him gifts.

I don’t want my grandson to get it in his head that if he is good all year, some jolly old white man will come and bring him presents. It just doesn’t seem right.

Now I know someone reading this is going to think I'm being racist but I would argue the whole idea of having a white santa claus is racist. It's something that's been embedded in our minds for years with movies, TV specials and in practically every mall in America. Have you ever seen a black santa claus? What would be his commercial appeal and would parents be reluctant to have their precious children sit on his lap?

As a grandparent who has tremendous influence in how my grandson is being raised, I want him to understand the TRUE meaning of the season. It's Jesus' birthday. The gifts he receives are blessings.

Anything beyond that would be a LIE and I'm also trying to teach my grandson about honesty.

Do you think I'm wrong?

Comments

Anonymous said…
I would never tell my kids there is no Santa!
Val said…
I haven't any kids, so have no grandchildren and can't presume to know how children should be brought up but going on my own experiences from childood (in the 1950s), and having seen 'Santa' put presents on the end of my bed one night, when I was a small child in hospital, only to recognise one of the doctors, I'm kind of with you and kind of not. Childhood lasts such a short amount of time, and kids do get disillusioned very quickly, so even if you didn't tell them, they'd suss it themselves pretty soon. There's still magic in people 'being santa' if it's for the right reason, imo, but it is after all from a Northern-Hemisphere myth (I am now gonna have to go and wiki and check that, lol!) where the folks are white from the cold... brrr! I'm feeling pretty white from the cold myself and 'my lot' came from the middle east originally, though so wayyy back that my 'olive' has gone sort of anaemic! (I'm Jewish).

Btw, this is the first time in days I've been able to get your blog to open, it's been unavailable previously. I surfed in via Mitch's blog, I'm Just Sharing.
:)
Beverly said…
Val,

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I'm starting to re-think my actions because I've read some wonderful comments (on my FB page) from people who have shared their own heart-warming "santa" stories. I think my problem is with wanting my grandson to believe that he has to be rewarded by a white man if he's good versus knowing it is his family who loves and rewards him. I'm sure I wouldn't feel this way if I ever saw some black santas around.
Val said…
Well, not quite what you have in mind, I suspect, but there's this:

African Santa Claus helps children
Anonymous said…
So it's only ok to let your children believe in a magical judge of character if he's the same race as you?

I very much sympathized with your position until I read that. I think the argument that it's more meaningful to children that they know their families are the ones who give them gifts has a lot of validity.

But I think the argument that you don't want to let your kids to believe in Santa because he's portrayed as white is pretty misguided.
Beverly said…
Anonymous,

Personally, I don't like addressing anyone who doesn't feel comfortable giving their name--especially if they feel BOLD enough to leave a comment but here goes----

Your comment has merit. I have to assume you are not black because otherwise I think you might get my point somewhat.

I do want my grandson to believe in the magic of Christmas but also to appreciate it's TRUE meaning. It's NOT about Santa Claus at all--whether he be white or black.

I could've made the same argument about not wanting my daughter to believe that only a man could be santa. Why can't women be santas? There are plenty of single moms in the world.

Young black men are born into a world of racism and hatred. If you've done any research at all, you know white employers have said they'd rather hire a white male convict than a young black man with a college degree. What does that tell you?

Personally, I don't want my grandson to believe any stranger, black or white, is the one who gives him presents if he's good all year.

I do appreciate your "anonymous" comments.

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