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Am I wrong to deny my children a visit to Santa?

Funny how the same things happen every year – the weather gets colder, I can only ever find one glove and never a pair, Christmas starts to loom and I find myself going through the same logic loop when faced with the ‘exciting opportunity’ to book the girls into see Santa

Something seems to have changed in the last 30 or so years – I don’t remember there being A Big Thing about going to see Father Christmas when I saw a child (either that or my parents didn’t have this crisis of confidence and neatly side-stepped the whole issue)

Here and now it feels as if there are red outfitted, portly, bearded chaps stashed left, right and centre waiting for a visit from your child as soon as the pre-Christmas season starts up

I’m all for Christmas – I love it, the excitement, the family time, the presents, the tree but the hype does make me feel a bit uncomfortable

But I’m also very much not for Christmas starting too early – I can only take so many days of small children asking if it is Christmas yet and advent seems long enough without the anticipation starting in October

Part of my problem with the plethora of Father Christmases is that an awful lot of them aren’t terribly good or terribly convincing – it doesn’t take a child genius to see through a polyester beard and a cushion badly stuffed down a red jacket to totally kill off the idea that Father Christmas exists.

How on earth do you explain there being multiple Father Christmases who don’t all look the same being in different places?

How can he be busily readying presents in Lapland if he is at the school Christmas fayre, the local garden centre AND the soft play?  Do the elves really not need any supervision?  Can he play hooky from work when deadlines are looming?

Added to this any visit to sit on his knee and hand over a Christmas wish list seems to be accompanied by the opportunity to get a cheap and nasty little present – another bit of plastic tat to litter the house that nobody really wants and nobody really needs

So am I being too much of the Grinch?

Should I just cross my fingers and hope that we can pick one Santa that won’t be too obviously someone’s Dad dressed up?

Or can I carry on trying to pretend these fake Father Christmases aren’t all over the place and to try and retain a little bit of magic and mystery around Christmas?

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8 comments to Am I wrong to deny my children a visit to Santa?

  • Oh I know this dilemma well (and my kid’s not even old enough to ask for a visit yet) – it was Christmas and all the cynicism around the way the shops treat kids that sparked off my no-spend challenge. I think you WILL feel guilty but I also think you should stick to your guns. You know you’re going to make Christmas special for your kids in lots of other ways, and you also know that those ways will involve an awful lot more thought and time on your part than a quick trip to a shopping centre and handing over a fiver.

  • Sam

    I feel the same. When I was little our Santa was the one who came to school and that was it. We have decided not to meantion Christmas until the 1st Dec, then go Christmas mad, but then James is only 2.

  • In my experience you can often queue up for hours to see Santa, only to find the child is too frightened to actually go up and sit on his lap!

  • Jessie

    It’s really quite simple – Father Christmas really is too busy doing all the important secret stuff up in Lapland so he sends his ‘helpers’ out to find out who’s been good and what they would like him to bring them on Dec 25th. Look upon it as a sleek marketing ploy, after all he doesn’t want to be making hundreds of red bicycles if everyone is asking for blue bikes – think of the leftover stock he would have to dispense with in the post-Christmas sales!
    These ‘look alike’ substitutes are merely market researchers – and not very good ones at that!

  • Jem

    Not something that I’ll ever worry about because this “tradition” creeps me the hell out and I won’t be advocating my children sit on the laps of strange men any time soon.

    I know, I probably should seek help for my issues ;p

  • Grinch away! It’s your family, your Christmas, your call. And you’re pregnant, so you’re absolutely allowed to do whatever you like!

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